Wood scientists and technologists expertly convert wood to wood products -- a process that takes very little energy. And wood is a renewable resource. Wood scientists can work in manufacturing, marketing, technical service, or research.
Wood scientists and technologists in manufacturing can work in product or process development, quality control, production control, engineering, or management. Those in marketing can work in sales, management of accounts, retail management, market research analysis, or product-market management. Wood scientists and technologists in technical service positions make operations more efficient for the chemical companies, machinery manufacturers, wood products manufacturers, government agencies and laboratories, state and federal extension services, or industrial associations who hire them. Wood scientists and technologists can be researchers for large wood products manufacturers, universities, state agencies, associations, or federal agencies or laboratories.
To be a wood scientist, you need a bachelor's degree in wood science and technology (sometimes called forest products or wood utilization). In college, take courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, economics, wood anatomy, wood structure, production management, product manufacture, wood design, statistics, marketing, and business administration. Graduate-level education is valuable to all wood scientists and technologists. It is normally required for research positions.
In high school, take mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and computer sciences. To develop your communication skills, take courses in both speaking and English composition.
-- Tom Maloney, Washington State University