98% of New Zealand’s wood comes from sustainably managed forests making this the ideal industry for the future

Careers information

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What does it involve?

Forestry and logging workers plant, prune, measure, cut and clear trees from forests. They have good knowledge of trees and timber types, knowledge of tree pruning, felling, cutting and trimming methods, good mechanical operations skills (from chainsaws to heavy vehicles) along with firefighting, and health and safety skills.

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Typical day

Often a 10-hour working day; sometimes weekend work is required. There are a mix of jobs to do from preparing the ground, planting, pruning, measuring tree growth, selecting and cutting down trees through to using harvesting machinery, operating loaders, cutting and grading logs and maintaining equipment. You’ll need to be absolutely safety conscious, practical and work well in a team.

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How could I get into the industry

There are no specific requirements to become forestry and logging worker as skills are gained on the job. There are no specific secondary education requirements, but NCEA. Level 1 maths and English are seen as an advantage by most employers.

Forestry and logging workers should be:

  • absolutely safety-conscious
  • practical
  • motivated and hard working
  • able to make good judgements
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to work as part of a team.

Forestry and logging workers need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong, as their work can be quite physical. They also need to have quick reactions, good hand-eye co-ordination and a good level of stamina. Useful experience for forestry and logging workers include timber mill work, work as a volunteer firefighter, experience driving heavy vehicles or farm work.

Career Pathways

Study areasAttributesHelpful experiencePreferred work environments
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Agriculture or Horticulture
  • Physical Education or Health
  • Reasonable strength and fitness
  • Good initiative/‘can do’ attitude
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Customer service or helping people
  • Making or fixing things
  • Selling or persuading people
  • Working with machinery
  • Outside (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time

How much could I earn?

  • 1 - 2 years experience

    $32k- $40k

  • 5 years experience

    $40k- $60k