Logging Machinery Operators

(NOC 8241)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Logging machinery operators operate cable yarding systems, mechanical harvesters and forwarders and mechanical tree processors and loaders to fell, yard and process trees at logging sites. They are employed by logging companies and contractors.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate decline employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 25 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 910 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Logging Machinery Operators most commonly work full-time hours. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 58% of Logging Machinery Operators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $49,102. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$19.75

Median

$26.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,704

Minimum

$43,644

Median

$76,652

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$10.85

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.88

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Logging machinery operators operate cable yarding systems, mechanical harvesters and forwarders and mechanical tree processors and loaders to fell, yard and process trees at logging sites. They are employed by logging companies and contractors.

Job duties

Logging machinery operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Cable yarding system operators operate machines to transport trees from logging areas to landing or log loading sites in mountainous terrain in western Canada.
  • Mechanical harvester and forwarder operators assess site and terrain and drive heavy equipment to perform a combination of felling, slashing, bucking, bunching and forwarding operations at logging areas.
  • Mechanical tree processor and loader operators operate a variety of machines which perform a combination of slashing, bucking, chipping, sorting and loading logs or trees at landing sites.

Sample job titles

  • bunk skidder operator
  • log loading machine operator
  • log processor operator
  • logging truck loader
  • mechanical harvester operator - logging
  • mechanical tree processor operator - logging
  • pulpwood harvester operator
  • tree processor operator - logging

Skills

You must be alert and responsible. An awareness of safety is important. You should enjoy working outdoors and be prepared to spend time in isolation. Physical stamina and coordination are needed.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school may be required.
  • On-the-job training from three to 16 months is provided, depending on the complexity of machinery operated and the type of woodlands operation.
  • Experience requirements vary depending on the complexity of machinery operated.
  • Mechanical harvester and forwarder operators may require logging experience as a chain saw and skidder operator.
  • Feller buncher operators and cable yarder operators usually require three to five years of logging experience.
  • Mechanical tree processor and loader operators usually require one to three years of logging experience.
  • Certification as a heavy equipment operator may be required.
  • Company certification for mobile logging machinery operation may be required.
  • Workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) and first aid certificates may be required.
  • Knowledge of tree harvesting regulations is required.

Other considerations

Workers in this group spend their time outdoors and are vulnerable to all kinds of weather conditions. They should be prepared to spend their days at a noisy work site that may also be dusty or muddy. Logging machinery operators are exposed to vibration and very hazardous situations, such as moving logs, snapping cables and falling trees. Over long periods of time, hearing may be impaired by the high noise levels of harvesting operations if safety precautions are not taken. Long working hours are often required, particularly during peak operating seasons.

Employment in the logging industry can vary significantly from one year to the next. Therefore, job prospects in these positions will rise and fall along with the industry.

There is some mobility among jobs in this group from the less complex to more complex machinery operation and also between employers, particularly in similar types of woodland operations. Self-employment as a logging contractor is possible with investment in equipment. Progression to logging and forestry supervisory positions is possible with experience

By the numbers

Quick look

160

employed in 2016

91.1%

employed full-time

15.6%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.6

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

84.0%

employed full-time

22.0%

self employed

15.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

52.2%

Northern

15.2%

Southern

13.0%

Annapolis Valley

10.9%

Cape Breton

8.7%

Halifax

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

78.8%

Forestry and Logging

12.1%

Wood Product Manufacturing

6.1%

Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

3.0%

Other Industries

What is the age of Employment?

33.3%

55-64

29.2%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

35-44

8.3%

15-24

8.3%

65+

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

42.3%

45-54

26.1%

55-64

18.9%

35-44

8.1%

25-34

3.6%

65+

Top levels of education

46.7%

High school

$25,022 median annual income
40.0%

Less than high school

$49,068 median annual income
8.9%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

34.0%

Less than high school

$14,445 median annual income
31.5%

High school

$14,229 median annual income
14.3%

College certificate or diploma

$21,289 median annual income
14.0%

Trades certificate

$19,107 median annual income
4.3%

Bachelor's degree

$15,980 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate and maintain a variety of heavy equipment, such as crawler tractors, motor graders and scrapers, shovels, rigging devices, hoists, and jacks. These programs include courses in digging, ditching, sloping, stripping, grading, and backfilling, clearing and excavating.

Institutions providing this program

McKenzie College

74 Townsend Street

Sydney, NS B1P 5C8

(902) 562-8549

Maritime Environmental Training Institute

301 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2E8

(902) 539-9766

Commercial Safety College

Highway #2, Masstown PO Box 848

Truro, NS B2N 5G6

(902) 662-2190

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Operating Engineers Investment Limited

251 Brownlow Avenue

Dartmouth, NS B3B 2A9

(902) 865-8844

South Shore Training Centre

320 Logan Road

Bridgewater, NS B4V 5J8

(902) 521-2443

Dexter Institute

927 Rocky Lake Dr, Po Box 48100

Bedford, NS B4A 3Z2

(902) 832-6391

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Forestry Safety Society of Nova Scotia
PO Box 696
Truro, NS B2N 5E5
Tel: (902) 895-1107
Fax: (902) 895-4270
Nova Scotia Forestry Association
PO Box 696
Truro, NS B2N 5E5
Tel: (902) 895-1179
Fax: (902) 893-1197
Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 696
Truro, NS B2N 5E5
Tel: (902) 895-1179
Fax: (902) 893-1197

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.