Forestry Worker

New Zealand has an estimated 1.79 million hectares planted in production forests. Silviculture workers improve tree growth for sustainability and economic benefit.

Careers information

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What do they do?

Forestry, or Silviculture, contractors and their workers plant, prune and thin young trees to ensure the stand of trees is healthy and maximising growth. They may also spray for weeds, fertilise and measure trees to track growth and help the forest manager plan activities. Forestry workers will often be involved in fire fighting activities.

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A typical day

Often a ten-hour working day; sometimes weekend work is required. There is a mix of jobs from preparing the ground for planting, planting seedlings, pruning trees, and selecting and cutting down unwanted trees. Some workers may be involved in measuring trees to track growth.

Crew leaders will plan the day to day operations as well as carry out quality and safety checks.

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    Sound like you?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • Science or Workshop Technologies
  • Agriculture or Horticulture
  • Physical Education or health
  • Reasonable strength and fitness
  • Good initiative/'can do' attitude
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery


  • Outside (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs
  • Tertiary Entrance Qualifications in:
  • Maths
  • English
  • Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Forestry Worker. 
  • Includes 
    • Planting, pruning, thin to waste
  • Logging worker
  • Machine Operator
  • Tree Faller
  • Crew Manager
  • Contractor
  • Forest Manager
Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsDegreeHigher learningHigher learning
Gateway programmes available