Featured Advice
What are your interests?



Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Stephen Fletcher - Coillte

Stephen Fletcher - Coillte

Current Job – Harvesting Technology Team Member, Coillte

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

  1. Developing new technologies which are beneficial to the business and training staff in the use of that technology.
  2. Carrying out log quality audits on harvest sites.
  3. Training new staff in best practices for harvesting operations.
  4. Managing the Coillte Harvesting team.

Describe a typical day?

I can't define a typical day. The work is too varied.

What are the main challenges?

  1. Getting more done with less.
  2. Simplifying existing processes to become more efficient.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

  1. An understanding of the operational and financial side of harvesting operations.
  2. A keen interest in new technologies and an aptitude for working with and developing them.
  3. Working well with others.

What's cool?

Drones, autonomous vehicles, intelligent displays, big data, working outdoors.

What's not so cool?

Steep learning curve, lots of driving around.

How did you go about getting your current job?

Through the Coillte Graduate Program

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Completing the Graduate Program.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Parents and mentor within the Graduate Program.


What is your education to date?

Honours degree in Forestry, part-time GIS courses, Qualified financial advisor, advanced Excel course.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Advanced excel for day to day work. Forestry degree for getting into the industry.

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

Yes, I aspire to do a masters in a subject unrelated to Forestry. Most likely a course in either IT or business management which would compliment my Forestry experience.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

  1. Determination to work win the forestry industry
  2. Passion for working with new technology
  3. Desire to work both indoors and outdoors

What is your dream job?

Managing all aspects of a large forest estate, from planting to haulage and everything in between.

Advice for Others

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

  1. Desire to work outdoors in nature.
  2. Determination to learn as much as possible at every opportunity
  3. Expressing interest in certain areas, volunteering for jobs and asking questions of those more experienced.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Get work experience first, know what you are getting into and explain your expectations to someone who will speak honestly with you.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

  1. National forest inventory
  2. Chainsaw operator


Forestry Careers Ireland