Timber and Wood Process Workers perform routine tasks in paper and pulp mills, sawmills, timber yards, and wood processing and timber products factories.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

Tasks

  • rolling logs from trucks and conveyors to log decks, saw carriages and stacking bays
  • placing logs and wood billets onto conveyors and lathes for processing into chips, veneers and pulp
  • sorting and stacking timber during milling
  • placing timber for processing by machines and unloading cut timber from tail end of machines
  • assisting with setting up and operating plant and ancillary equipment used in the manufacture of sheets and boards
  • transporting processed wood products, such as plywood, chipboard sheets and panels, to work areas
  • clearing blockages in machines
  • assisting with measuring and cutting materials
  • packing and loading finished products for transportation
  • cleaning work areas, tools and equipment

Job Titles

  • Paper and Pulp Mill Worker
  • Sawmill or Timber Yard Worker
  • Wood and Wood Products Factory Worker
  • Paper and Pulp Mill Worker (also called Pulp, Paper Making and Paper Products Labourer)

    Performs routine tasks in a paper and pulp mill such as placing logs onto conveyors for chipping, and loading woodchip and pulp for processing.

  • Sawmill or Timber Yard Worker (also called Timber Mill Worker or Wood Processing Worker)

    Performs routine tasks in a sawmill or timber yard such as sorting and stacking timber, assisting timber machinists, assembling orders and racking offcuts.

    Specialisations: Tailer-out

  • Wood and Wood Products Factory Worker (also called Wood and Wood Products Labourer)

    Performs routine tasks in a wood processing and timber product factory such as placing logs on equipment and conveyors, assisting with measuring and cutting of materials, and setting up and operating plant equipment.

    Specialisations: Hardboard Factory Worker, Joinery Factory Worker, Particleboard Factory Worker, Plywood Factory Worker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $900 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    5700
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    84.6%
  • Female Share

    15.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    81.2%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 5700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Timber and Wood Process Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $900 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 35 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 4 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200510200
20067300
200710200
20087200
20098600
20108400
20117900
20126200
20135500
20146700
20155700
20205000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time81.268.4
Part-time18.831.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.940

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing83.9
Wholesale Trade13.2
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing2.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW27.931.8
VIC22.525.5
QLD25.319.8
SA12.16.8
WA8.111.2
TAS4.22
NT01.1
ACT01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.9-5.45.4
20-2430.5-9.99.9
25-3415.6-23.423.4
35-4412.5-21.721.7
45-549.4-21.121.1
55-5921.7-8.78.7
60-644.4-5.95.9
65 and Over0-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryTimber and Wood Process WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males84.6Males53.6
Females15.4Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Timber and Wood Process Workers who work well in a team, with a strong work ethic and are polite and courteous.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Production and Processing

    65% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Mechanical

    64% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Public Safety and Security

    53% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  4. Mathematics

    52% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Education and Training

    46% Important

    Teaching and course design.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    82% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Handling and Moving Objects

    82% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    74% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    73% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    69% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

Occupational Information Network Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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