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 work for logging companies and contractors.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Decline employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 25 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate -415 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 355 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. 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 moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Logging Machinery Operators most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 55% 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

$14.00

Minimum

$19.00

Median

$25.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,704

Minimum

$43,644

Median

$76,652

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.84

Median

$32.00

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 work for logging companies and contractors.

Job duties

Logging machinery operators:

  • 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 complete a combination of felling, slashing, bucking, bunching, and forwarding operations at logging areas.
  • Mechanical tree processor and loader operators use a variety of machines that 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

  • 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 like 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. Movement to logging and forestry supervisory positions is possible with experience

By the numbers

Quick look

230

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

10.6%

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

78.0%

employed full-time

20.0%

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%

North Shore

15.2%

Southern

13.0%

Annapolis Valley

10.9%

Cape Breton

8.7%

Halifax

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

81.3%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

18.8%

Manufacturing

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

35-44

27.0%

45-54

21.0%

55-64

15.0%

25-34

6.0%

15-24

4.0%

65+

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

20.7%

45-54

19.8%

15-24

19.2%

55-64

16.2%

35-44

14.8%

25-34

Top levels of education

44.7%

High school

$25,022 median annual income
40.4%

Less than high school

$49,068 median annual income
8.5%

College Diploma

N/A
4.3%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A
4.3%

Bachelor

N/A

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

35.7%

Less than high school

$23,463 median annual income
30.8%

High school

$19,301 median annual income
13.7%

College Diploma

$29,551 median annual income
13.4%

Apprenticeship

$31,535 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor

$17,956 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

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 - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate and maintain a variety of heavy equipment like crawler tractors, motor graders and scrapers, shovels, rigging devices, hoists, and jacks. They include courses in digging, ditching, sloping, stripping, grading, and backfilling, clearing and excavating.

Institutions providing this program

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 1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Operating Engineers Training Institute of Nova Scotia

296 Grey Mountain Road, PO Box 103

Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0

(902) 798-5070

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
Forest Nova Scotia
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.