Wood Technologist

Wood technologists are trained to function as line managers in saw mills or other timber processing plants. They apply practical and academic knowledge of timber and timber processing technology to the process of converting raw timber to saleable products such as plywood or particle-board, thus ensuring quality standards and efficiency.

Wood technologists can be involved in:

  • obtaining of timber; preparation, storage and control of raw materials
  • efficient and cost-effective conversion of these raw materials
  • transport within and outside the processing plant
  • storage and control of finished products
  • marketing; management and training of staff
  • cost and quality control
  • plant safety and equipment maintenance
  • conducting industrial and scientific research within the company

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy working with wood and timber products
  • technical aptitude
  • able to organise and control a number of processes
  • able to supervise and motivate people

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Diploma: The N.Dip. Wood Technology is a 3-year course and is offered at the Faculty of Forestry, Saasveld, outside George, by NMMU. The course includes 1 year’s practical and 2 years’ theoretical training.


  • saw mills and timber processing plants
  • plywood plants
  • timber house construction companies
As the training covers a wide range of aspects relating to the industry, wood technologists can apply their skills and knowledge to other industries, such as furniture manufacture, joinery and timber building and construction. Wood technologists. who do not wish to stay in line management, can opt for specialisation in other areas of the timber industry e.g. marketing, training and research.

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a wood processing plant
  • arrange to speak to wood technologists about this type of career and ask permission to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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