Forestry Scientist Kaipūtaiao Ngahere

Forestry scientists research forest growth, wood processing, conservation and different types of trees, and how these can be used.

Forestry scientists may do some or all of the following:

  • measure and analyse tree and forest growth
  • develop new timber products or forestry technology
  • investigate new species of tree that may be of commercial interest, and develop ways to breed them
  • investigate damage to trees caused by diseases or animals
  • study the impact of forestry on communities, and the impact of communities on forests
  • study parts of the forestry industry such as forest product transport, or wood and paper product export
  • provide technical advice on issues affecting forestry such as effects of climate change on tree health
  • supervise technical and research staff
  • write and publish reports on research findings.

At technician level, the main tasks are to help scientists prepare and carry out a range of experiments and tests.

Physical Requirements

Forest scientists need to be reasonably fit and healthy as they may walk long distances when doing fieldwork. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for forestry scientists includes:

  • summer placements working as a technician while studying for a Master's degree
  • volunteer work in ecology and conservation.

Experience driving four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles may be useful when in the field.

Personal Qualities

Forestry scientists need to be:

  • good at planning and organising
  • skilled at writing reports and publications
  • good at maths
  • adaptable
  • enquiring and observant
  • open-minded and hard-working
  • detail focused
  • patient and methodical, as some research may take a long time.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for forestry scientists includes:

  • summer placements working as a technician while studying for a Master's degree
  • volunteer work in ecology and conservation.

Experience driving four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles may be useful when in the field.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Agriculture and horticulture, maths, biology, and chemistry are preferred. English and economics are useful.  

Forestry Scientists can earn around $55K-$98K per year per year.

Forestry scientists with Bachelor's degrees typically start as technicians, sometimes progressing into research scientist roles after getting a Master's degree or PhD in the relevant science area.

Forestry scientists with PhDs can apply for postdoctoral fellowships at research organisations or universities. It may take two or three postdoctoral fellowships to secure a permanent scientist or lecturer position.

After several years' experience, scientists can progress into senior research scientist, team leader or managerial roles.

Forestry scientists may specialise in different fields such as:

  • biotechnology (developing products, such as plastics, from renewable fibres)
  • ecosystems and climate (looking at human and climate influences on forest health)
  • forest technology (assessing how new technology could make forest management more efficient) 
  • wood processing
  • wood quality.
Forestry Scientist

SchoolPoint by Inbox Design SCHOOLPOINT129, Rendered 0.99MB in 0.0550 seconds with 12 queries.

----