Sawmilling Operators set up and operate machines to cut logs into planks of standard sizes.

Specialisations: Band Saw Operator, Beam Saw Operator, Cant Gang Sawyer, Resawyer, Ripsaw Operator.

You can work as a Sawmilling Operator without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Tasks

  • Adjusts and cleans machines and performs minor repairs.
  • Secures timber into place and sets saws to produce specified sizes of plank and board to be cut.
  • Starts machines and feeds stock onto cutting saws, and operates automatic feeding mechanisms.
  • Raises and lowers saws to trim boards and remove defects such as rot and splits.
  • Controls lathes and slicing machines to produce veneers, and laminates veneers using glue.
  • Verifies dimensions of cut stock and accuracy of cuts.
  • Checks saws and other machines for safety, sharpness and correct functioning.

All Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators

  • $1,312 Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Higher Unemployment Unemployment

Sawmilling Operators

  • 1,600 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 89% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 43 years Average age
  • 5% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Sawmilling Operators (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 1,800 in 2011 to 1,600 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Sawmilling Operators work in many parts of Australia. Queensland and Tasmania have a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Construction; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 5% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing84.9
Construction4.7
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing3.4
Wholesale Trade3.0
Other Industries4.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSawmilling OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW32.431.6
VIC17.425.6
QLD25.620.0
SA11.07.0
WA5.810.8
TAS7.52.0
NT0.21.0
ACT0.21.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSawmilling OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.9-5.05.0
20-248.4-9.39.3
25-3421.9-22.922.9
35-4421.8-22.022.0
45-5424.6-21.621.6
55-5910.7-9.09.0
60-646.2-6.06.0
65 and Over3.6-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationSawmilling OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.2-10.110.1
Bachelor degree1.8-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV24.8-21.121.1
Year 1215.7-18.118.1
Year 118.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below47.2-12.512.5

You can work as a Sawmilling Operator without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry and Forest and Wood Products Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators who are hardworking, have good people skills and are reliable.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mechanical

    48% Skill level

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

  2. Production and Processing

    40% Skill level

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

  3. Mathematics

    28% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. Building and Construction

    26% Skill level

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  5. Education and Training

    26% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7041.00 - Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

    100% Important

    How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

  2. Exposed to Hazardous Equipment

    98% Important

    How often do you work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic?

  3. Exposed to Contaminants

    95% Important

    How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

  4. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

    94% Important

    How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

  5. Being Exact or Accurate

    92% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7041.00 - Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood.

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