Media Statement

Recent graduates doing well in forestry sector

Recent tertiary graduates are earning good incomes from their employment in the forest industry, according to a recent survey by the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF).

A survey of 600 NZIF members indicates recent graduates in the forestry sector are attaining a median gross salary of $58,520, which increases to $62,725 for a total remuneration package.

NZIF spokesperson Tim Thorpe says many of the graduates would have a degree from the University of Canterbury Schools of Forestry and Engineering. But he says others would be included in the recent graduate category as holders of New Zealand diplomas in forest management or similar, from Toi Ohomai in Rotorua, NorthTec in Whangarei or EIT in Gisborne.

 “For a diploma qualification, a starting salary of more than sixty-thousand dollars is a good start up the career ladder and shows that there is a good future in forestry. There are many skillsets that make up a forestry career,” Tim Thorpe says.

The survey, conducted in October with a third of those surveyed responding, also shows people with diploma qualifications (at $117,500) were earning slightly more than those with a doctorate ($115,404).

 “This could be that the PhDs are new to the industry and lack experience, while the forestry people with a diploma have a number of years in the industry.  As time goes on, those who have spent the extra time getting their doctorate will be rewarded after they have also gained experience on the job,” Tim Thorpe says.

The survey also shows the median gross salary of NZIF members in the private sector was $110,000, which was up to $20,000 a year above members employed in the public sector of the industry or in scientific work.


Contact information:

Tim Thorpe

General Manager
NZ Institute of Forestry

M +64 21 895 980

About the NZIF

Founded in 1929, the NZ Institute of Forestry (NZIF) represents New Zealand’s forestry professionals.  Its main objectives are to provide services and support to its members, the profession and the general public, and be an independent advocate for forestry. Its membership is approximately 750.

NZIF members are concerned with the professional management of all forests, plantation and indigenous, protection, urban, conservation and commercial.  The members can be found in forestry companies, consulting businesses, research institutes, educational facilities, government departments and providers of specialist services.

The NZIF operates a registration scheme that manages the registration and conduct of members who provide forestry advice to the public. There are around 90 registered NZIF members.