Forestry & Forest Products

Forester

Foresters manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Forester do?

Foresters manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes.

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Work activities

As a forester, you might be involved in a range of issues, including:

  • managing native forests for conservation and sustainable production
  • developing new forms of forestry and forest industries to address land degradation
  • restoring landscapes and helping landholders diversify their incomes.

Day-to-day tasks undertaken by foresters include:

  • monitoring contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations
  • determining how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations
  • planning and supervising forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings
  • establishing short- and long-term plans for management of forest lands and forest resources
  • determining methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage
  • supervising the activities of other forestry workers
  • performing inspections of forests or forest nurseries.
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Key skills and interests

To become a forester, you would need:

  • an interest in science and the environment
  • good communication skills
  • practical skills
  • to enjoy outdoor work
  • confidence to work on your own
  • the ability to work in a team.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most foresters work full time and have a standard work schedule. Responding to emergencies or fires may require foresters to work longer hours.

Conditions

Foresters work for governments (federal, state, or local), on privately owned lands, or in social advocacy organisations.

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How to become an Forester?

Entry Level Education

To become a forester you usually have to complete a degree in forest sciences or forest science and management. Alternatively, you could complete a bachelor's degree in an area such as environmental science, followed by a postgraduate qualification in forestry or forest science.

To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry, biology and earth and environmental science would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Practical experience can be advantageous when you are looking for jobs in the forestry industry. Most degrees in forestry are recognised by the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA).

The institute offers student, associate and voting membership.

www.forestry.org.au/

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of foresters is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Most job growth is expected to be in state-owned forest organisations, including in areas where preventing and suppressing bushfires has become the primary concern for government agencies managing forests.

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