OFO No: 213203

Other names for Forester:

Forest Pathologist
Forest Ranger
Forestry Consultant / Advisor
Forestry Researcher
Wood Scientist
Wood Technologist

What is a Forester?

Foresters are in demand locally and internationally!

A Forester is a person who specialises in forestry (the science, art, and profession of managing forests).

A Forester’s job is to manage a forestry plantation, staff and its contractors.

Foresters engage in a broad range of activities including timber harvesting, ecological restoration and management of protected areas.

Foresters manage forests to provide a variety of objectives including direct extraction of raw material, outdoor recreation, conservation, hunting and aesthetics.

What does a Forester do?

  • supervises fire-fighting crews
  • organises replanting after fires
  • works to prevent timber damage resulting from insects, diseases, fire and other causes
  • works to prevent soil erosion and flood damage
  • calculates timber available for harvesting
  • keeps up to date with surveys, maps and road-building plans in the area
  • manages and protects wildlife
  • managse recreational activities like hunting, fishing, camping and hiking in the area
  • makes sure regulations and laws are protected
  • manages budgets
  • maintains good working relations with the local farmers and communities
  • meets with staff and contractors
  • negotiates the use of common roads and the maintenance thereof

Are you … ?

  • a nature lover?
  • able to work on your own in remote areas?
  • self motivated?
  • open minded?
  • innovative?
  • able to negotiate?
  • decisive?
  • able to manage staff and contractors?
  • able to apply the law?

How do I become a Forester?

To become a Forester you have to have a National Diploma (Forestry), B Tech (Forestry) and/or Bachelor of Science degree (Forestry) and/or Business Degree.  

To head up a forest, years of working experience in this area are an added advantage.

‘Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) graduates have enjoyed 100% placement for many years, even during the economic slowdown, according to Ms Alet van Tonder, Marketing and Corporate Relations Manager at the George Campus.’ – SA Forestry Magazine

Offers more details with regarding training institutions.  They are only a guide, so be sure to check with your institution of choice for their details and minimum requirements.

Fort Cox academic programmes received full accreditation from CHE.


National Diploma in Forestry


Relevant Diploma

Bachelor of Technology in Forestry / Wood Technology


Bachelor of Science in Forestry 

  • University of KZN
  • University of Stellenbosch


Relevant SACNASP Recognised Honours Qualification 

Workplace Experience 

Registration with SACNASP


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Wood Scientist … or … Wind-Energy Developer  

Is becoming a Forester the right career choice for me?