Foresters study, establish, manage and harvest forests to ensure there is a continuing supply of timber and associated forest products. They also maintain forests to meet community recreational needs.
To become a forester you usually have to complete a degree in forest sciences or forest science and management. Alternatively, you can complete a bachelor degree in a relevant area such as environments or 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 Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and earth and environmental science are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Foresters may perform the following tasks:
Foresters work both indoors and outdoors, often in isolated bush areas.
Foresters are employed by state and territory government agencies concerned with public land, state forests, soil conservation, national parks and wildlife. They are also employed by local government agencies and regional authorities in areas such as fire protection and urban forestry. There are opportunities with pulp and paper companies and other large firms in forestry related industries. Foresters may work as field management officers, scientific officers, resource planners, fire prevention officers, conservation officers, timber and harvesting managers, reafforestation (replanting) officers and production managers. Forestry graduates usually enter the occupation as project foresters and gain experience by rotating through positions during the early years of employment. Employment in research and advisory positions, such as with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), requires a higher degree in plant and/or soil sciences. Employment opportunities depend on government strategies for the conservation and development of forest resources, the number and size of native forests and plantations, and demand for timber products.