Becoming a logging worker requires a lot of skill and physical acuity. Logging workers are required to be in their peak physical condition, which means they are usually men aged 18 to 35. Logging is an excellent occupation for those that have obtained a high school degree or a GED. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a logging worker will make a median of $32,870 a year. This is an average wage, which means some will fall below and some will fall over it.
While the logging industry is not growing as fast as some other related industries, it has been a source of steady employment for many skilled individuals for many hundreds of years. Logging is a very important industry which is required for the development of homes, the production of materials and even the production of paper.
What Does a Logging Worker Do?
High School or GED
A logging worker will use various items of manual and electronic equipment to harvest wood from trees. Loggers will be required to move quickly through forests to locate appropriate timber. They will usually need to identify the trees that are suitable for cutting down. Once the trees are cut down they will often need to be processed before they can actually be harvested for wood.
Loggers will need to operate the heavy machinery required to move logs from the forest to the production area. Loggers also need to be very skilled in determining the quality of wood and they will need to rate the wood they cut based on certain metrics. As safety is paramount in Logging, highly specialized training is required in many cases.
There are many specialized tools that a logging worker will need to use throughout their day. This will include choke setters, fallers, buckers and more. These tools will also need to be used in accordance to certain safety procedures to ensure the safety of employees.
How to Become a Logging Worker
Logging workers are primarily trained on the job. There are usually no trade schools or vocational schools in regards to this type of work, which means a logging worker will need to get hired with a logging company first and then receive training. There are forestry associations and logging industry associations that will provide training programs for those that are interested in breaking into the industry. These programs can usually be entered into by anyone of good health with a high school diploma. No higher education is usually required for this job.
Forest harvesting is a two-year degree that some of those in the logging industry may get, but these degrees are usually obtained if the logger is interested in moving into a different area of the trade rather than continuing on as a logging worker. Getting a two-year degree in a trade program for forestry can open up new doors for someone that already has experience in the logging industry.
How Do You Advance as a Logging Worker?
Advancement as a logging worker is usually an issue of hard work and seniority. Logging workers that have been in the trade for a significant amount of time and have proven themselves in the position will often become supervisors or eventually even the managers of logging companies. Logging work is highly physical work, which means that the majority of logging workers do not choose to do the work for very long.
Those that do wish to get a degree may be able to move into another related field if they desire advancement. According to O*Net Online, Landscaping and Agricultural Workers are among the fields related to logging work that have the best and brightest outlook for future positions. Other opportunities include farmworkers, agricultural workers, pipelayers and excavation workers. Overall, there are many related industries that have varying levels of economic potential.