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Forest Technical Officer

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Forest Assistant and Forest Technician.

Forest technical officers are responsible for many of the forestry operations involved in the planting, management and harvesting of trees.

Forest technical officers usually work in country areas and sometimes in isolated bush locations.

They work irregular hours during emergencies such as bushfires.

Those in administrative or research positions are usually based in larger centres.

Forest technical officers may be involved in forest operations, forest assessment and planning, or forest research.

Those working in private industry may supervise logging activities.


    Forest technical officers may perform the following tasks:

  • supervise forest establishment and maintenance work such as fencing, planting, nursery work and pruning, and protection work involving controlled burning, fire spotting and firefighting
  • carry out or supervise seed harvesting, propagation or cultivation of young trees
  • measure and select trees for felling and supervise logging operations to ensure compliance with forest policies and programmes
  • implement erosion and sediment controls
  • carry out or supervise the use of herbicides and insecticides to implement pest, weed and disease control
  • set up or assist with field trials associated with research projects and forest growth studies
  • enforce fire prevention regulations
  • supervise the construction and maintenance of forest access roads
  • issue licences and permits for recreation and the collection of some forest products
  • carry out investigations and assist with the prosecution of offenders
  • write reports and undertake other clerical work


  • enjoy practical and outdoor work
  • interested in forest and environmental management
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good communication skills
  • leadership potential and ability to supervise others
  • able to work as part of a team

Interest Area

Outdoor Technical/Engineering


Forester - Technical - usually performs a supervisory or managerial role in forestry projects. They may work with Foresters and Forest Technical Officers. See the separate entries for these occupations.


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

You can work as a forest technical officer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in forest growing and management, environmental monitoring and technology or environmental management. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a forest technical officer through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Forest Growing and Management.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Alternatively, you can become a forest technical officer by completing a degree in forest sciences or forest science and management at university. You may also consider a degree in a related area, such as biodiversity and conservation, environmental management or environmental science. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology are normally required.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    Some employers may require a current and valid drivers licence or a Provide First Aid Certificate.


Most forest technical officers are employed by the Forestry Corporation of NSW or in the timber industry. Some organisations require field staff to start work at overseer level before being promoted to a ranger position.

Demand for forest technical officers depends on current and future demand for timber, as well as government policies relating to forest management.

With experience and further training, there are opportunities for forest technical officers to progress to senior positions. When they arise, vacancies tend to attract a large number of applicants.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Forest Technical Officer Rural Skills Australia ForestWorks Forestry Corporation of NSW

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