How to Become a Logger

Loggers work in the open space and natural elements to harvest and procure timber.

Timber is necessary for raw material that is used to create a variety of consumer products.

Loggers collect timber from forests and harvest raw material from thousands of acres of land on a yearly basis.

Logging professionals harvest timber as part of a crew and work as part of team in order to collect the raw material.

Each logger has his own set of responsibilities and specializes in one part of the timber cutting process.

This is necessary in order to harvest timber in the most efficient and safe manner possible.

Loggers may specialize in the following jobs and duties and work together as a team:

  • Tree fallers or tree harvesting machine operators: responsible for cutting done trees using powered saws or similar equipment
  • Bucker: cuts larger pieces of timber to smaller logs
  • Logging skidder operator: drag and maneuver cut trees to a loading deck
  • Equipment operator: loads cut up logs onto a transportation vehicle such as a truck

A Logger would focus on one of the above mentioned specialties and would work with other loggers as a team in order to complete a job in an efficient and safe manner.

Candidates who want to know how to become a Logger should continue to read below to learn about education requirements, a general job description, salary and wage expectations and the career outlook.

Education Requirements to Become a Logger

Most logging employers require candidates to have a minimum of a high school diploma in order to become a Logger.

Logging workers can learn all the necessary skills through on the job training.

While learning from more experienced workers, new employees can learn how to use machinery, the dangers involved with foresting and other necessary equipment.

There are some other requirements that those who want to become a Logger should be able to fulfill.

Because the logging industry can be a hazardous environment, those who want to become a Logger are required to attend safety training.

Safety trainings can be offered through logging associations, logging manufacturers or state forestry groups.

In addition, some technical and vocational schools offers 2 year Associate’s programs in forest harvesting.

Students who complete one of these programs may have better opportunities for finding employment.

Some important skills that Loggers should have include having the physical stamina to be able to work long hours with this physically demanding job.

In addition, candidates should be able to perform these tasks under a variety of climates and weather.

Logger Job Description

A Logger’s responsibilities would depend on what their title is.

A Logging team would have to be able to determine the best environment to begin cutting timber from.

Some members of the team would also have to clear the area from brush, plants and shrubbery in order to reach the best timber.

The team would then be responsible for “felling” trees; this means sawing and cutting enormous trees in a safe manner.

After the trees have been safely cut, a team member would remove branches and shave limbs.

Another team member would then chop the timber into smaller lengths in order to make it easier to transport; the Bucker would cut timber according to what the manufacturer requires.

Finally an equipment operator would transfer the raw materials onto a truck or trailer which will be transported to manufactures.

Logger Salary and Career Path

The logging industry is expected to experience slow growth through the year 2018 at 6%.

Some factors affecting this growth include the importation of logging that is cheaper to produce as well as the advancements in technologically that has created more efficient ways to log.

Even with this slow growth, candidates can expect good opportunities due to Loggers going into different professions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median wage for Loggers is approximately $15 per hour.

Exact wages will depend on the logging specialty, location and the size of a logging company.

Positions in Alaska are likely to pay higher wages.

Loggers who specialize in falling make the lowest wages while Loggers specializing as graders and scalers make the highest wages.

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