Foresters are professionals who use technology, engineering and science skills to plan, analyse and manage plantation forests.

Forest managers plan and direct the silviculture [planting, thinning, pruning and looking after the health of the forest as it is growing], harvesting and protection of forests for wood production. They may manage their own staff, as well as forest contractors.

Forestry analysts work out how much forests are worth, use computer based growth models, and come up with strategic plans for making the best economic return from each plantation. They may also use computer simulations to figure out how many trees a company needs to plant in order to mop up their carbon dioxide emissions.

Forestry consultants help forest owners and logging contractors to work more efficiently by delivering appropriate business strategies and advice about a range of aspects of harvesting, shipping and selling logs.

Foresters typically earn:

  • $50-60,000 starting salary
  • Potential to earn more than $100,000 after five years

Key tertiary qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Forestry Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Forest or Natural Resources Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science, Commerce or Management
  • NZ Diploma in Forestry Management (Level 6)

Recommended school subjects:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Sciences
  • Agricultural or Horticultural Science

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Forester: People who work in this role

  • Joshua Tansey

    Harvest Operations Coordinator , Joshua Tansey at work

    Acacia Farmery

    Graduate Forester, Acacia Farmery at work

    Jacob Saathof

    Forest Engineer, Jacob Saathof at work

    Shaun Andrews

    Harvesting Operations Coordinator, Shaun Andrews at work
  • Tony Li

    Forestry Consultant, Tony Li at work

    Alfred Duval

    Regional Forester, Alfred Duval at work

    Sheridan Ashford

    Export Operations Manager, Sheridan Ashford at work

    Paul Jensen

    Director, Paul Jensen at work
  • Hazel Swanson

    Graduate Forester, Hazel Swanson at work

    Jessica Brown

    Planning & Valuation Analyst , Jessica Brown at work

Forester: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    Rayonier Matariki Forests
    Rayonier Matariki Forests

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation