Machine Operators in Woodworking and Wood Processing

(NOC 9434, 9437)

in All NS Occupations

This group includes machine-related jobs that require some skill and are generally performed inside a building. These workers assist with repairs and maintenance of machinery; feed conveyors and other equipment; handle materials; monitor machine operations; and clean work areas. Other machine operators in wood processing remove bark from logs, produce wood chips, preserve and treat wood, and produce wood products such as particle board, plywood, or veneer. They are employed in sawmills, pulp mills, planing mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing plants. Woodworking machine operators make and repair wooden parts for furniture and other wood products. They are employed in furniture, fixture and other wood products manufacturing establishments.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate Decline employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All NS Occupations

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 33315 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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. Machine Operators in Woodworking and Wood Processing most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 60% of Machine Operators in Woodworking and Wood Processing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,660. 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

$12.80

Minimum

$19.00

Median

$24.52

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,766

Minimum

$29,631

Median

$63,100

Maximum

Compared to: All NS Occupations

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$19.89

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,872

Minimum

$29,983

Median

$83,126

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes machine-related jobs that require some skill and are generally performed inside a building. These workers assist with repairs and maintenance of machinery; feed conveyors and other equipment; handle materials; monitor machine operations; and clean work areas.

Other machine operators in wood processing remove bark from logs, produce wood chips, preserve and treat wood, and produce wood products such as particle board, plywood, or veneer. They are employed in sawmills, pulp mills, planing mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing plants.

Woodworking machine operators make and repair wooden parts for furniture and other wood products. They are employed in furniture, fixture and other wood products manufacturing establishments.

Job duties

Machine operators in this group perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and tend various wood processing equipment and machines to remove bark, knots and dirt from logs; reduce logs or sawmill waste into wood chips or flakes; stack and band lumber; screen wood chips; and produce waferboards, particleboards, hardboards and insulation boards.
  • Operate and tend conveyors, lathes, sanding machines and other equipment to peel and slice veneer from logs and log sections, and to glue, press, trim, sand and splice veneer sheets.
  • Operate and tend kilns, treating tanks and other equipment to dry lumber and other wood products, and to treat chemically and impregnate wood products with preservatives.
  • Observe equipment, panel indicators, video monitors, and other instruments to detect malfunctions and ensure that processes are operating according to specifications.
  • Assemble plywood panels and repair plywood and veneer mechanically or manually.
  • Start up, shut down, set up, adjust and assist in maintaining processing equipment and machines as required.
  • Complete and maintain production reports.

Woodworking machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Set up, program and operate one or more computer numerically controlled (CNC) or manual woodworking machines such as saws, moulders, lathes, routers, planers, edgers, pressing machines, shapers, drills and sanders to fabricate or repair wooden parts for furniture, fixtures and other wood products.
  • Operate gluing machines to glue pieces of wood together or press and affix wood veneer to wood surfaces.
  • Operate preset special-purpose woodworking machines to fabricate wood products such as coat hangers, mop handles, clothes pins and other products.
  • Read and interpret specifications or follow verbal instructions.
  • May clean and lubricate equipment, and replace parts as necessary.

Sample job titles

  • chipper operator - wood processing
  • drill press operator - woodworking
  • lathe operator - woodworking
  • lumber kiln operator
  • machine plywood patcher
  • machine sander - woodworking
  • planer - woodworking
  • plywood press operator
  • power saw operator - woodworking
  • wood treater

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should be responsible, alert, and in good physical health. Coordination, agility, and a mechanical aptitude are important. You must be accurate and attentive to detail. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements

  • Completion of some high school is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.
  • Some college or company courses may be required for some jobs within this group.

Other considerations

These are largely rural jobs, and self-employment is not common. Generally, work is carried out in shifts at various hours of the day. Previous experience as a labourer within the same company is usually required as an entry point to this group of jobs. Mobility is common among jobs in this group. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

205

employed in 2016

85.7%

employed full-time

9.8%

self employed

6.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
93.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
N/A

median age

Compared to: All NS Occupations

427,305

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

49.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
50.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.7

median age

Where will I likely work?

27.3%

Southern

25.0%

Northern

15.9%

Cape Breton

15.9%

Halifax

15.9%

Annapolis Valley

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

50.0%

Wood Product Manufacturing

16.7%

Textiles, Furniture and Other Manufacturing

11.9%

Forestry and Logging

7.1%

Retail Trade

4.8%

Transportation and Warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

29.4%

55-64

17.6%

35-44

17.6%

25-34

17.6%

45-54

11.8%

65+

11.8%

15-24

Compared to: All NS Occupations

41.6%

45-54

28.6%

55-64

20.8%

35-44

5.2%

25-34

2.6%

15-24

Top levels of education

28.6%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
25.0%

Less than high school

$60,425 median annual income
23.8%

High school

$52,600 median annual income
19.0%

Trades certificate

N/A
4.8%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

38.1%

High school

$28,358 median annual income
22.9%

Less than high school

$21,011 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$36,968 median annual income
12.4%

Trades certificate

$37,356 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

$36,852 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

Machine tool technology/machinist

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 plan, manufacture, assemble, test, and repair parts, mechanisms, machines, and structures in which materials are cast, formed, shaped, moulded, heat treated, cut, twisted, pressed, fused, stamped or worked.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Apprenticeship Training

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

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

UNIFOR
63 Otter Lake Court, 2nd Floor
Halifax, NS B3S 1M1
Tel: (902) 455-9327

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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