How to become a Forester

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. They may be involved with forest ecology (environment), hydrology (water), entomology (insects), pathology (diseases) or geographic information systems. Other areas of specialisation include various commercial forestry aspects and forestry extension and consultation services.

Personal requirements of a Forester

  • Aptitude for science
  • Able to take initiative
  • Interested in environmental issues
  • Good communication skills
  • Enjoy outdoor activities

Education & Training for a Forester

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. 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 further details, visit www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,455

Future growth:

moderate growth

Employment by state:

ACT 3.5%

NSW 34.7%

NT 2.2%

QLD 24.5%

SA 11.1%

TAS 3.7%

VIC 15.9%

WA 4.4%

Hours worked:

42.6

Unemployment:

average

Gender split:

Male 80%

Female 20%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 0%

Not completed Year 12: 0%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 28.6%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 32.7%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 38.8%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 27.9%

Above 35 years: 73.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.




Additional Information
Most degrees in forestry are recognised by the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA). The institute offers student, associate and voting membership. Contact IFA for further information. Universities recommend that students seek employment in the forestry industry during summer vacations. Field or practical experience is highly regarded when seeking full-time employment.
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