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

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

    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

    More about Timber and Wood Process Workers

    All Timber and Wood Process Workers

    All Timber and Wood Process Workers

    • $1,013 Weekly Pay
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
    • 3,800 workers Employment Size
    • Entry level Skill level rating
    • 79% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 38 years Average age
    • 8% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Timber and Wood Process Workers (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
    from 3,800 in 2018 to 3,300 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
    • Location: Timber and Wood Process Workers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and Construction.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,013 per week (lower than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (79%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (23%).
    • Gender: 8% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20089600
    20096500
    20108800
    20117100
    20127600
    20134700
    20146700
    20156900
    20163700
    20177400
    20183800
    20233300

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings10131460

    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)
    Manufacturing66.4
    Wholesale Trade9.0
    Construction6.5
    Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services4.9
    Other Industries13.2

    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.
    StateTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
    NSW26.431.6
    VIC30.125.6
    QLD18.920.0
    SA10.67.0
    WA7.810.8
    TAS5.42.0
    NT0.31.0
    ACT0.41.9

    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 BracketTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-196.3-5.05.0
    20-2416.2-9.39.3
    25-3421.7-22.922.9
    35-4417.1-22.022.0
    45-5421.0-21.621.6
    55-599.8-9.09.0
    60-645.6-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.3-4.24.2

    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 QualificationTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.5-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree2.4-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.5-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV18.1-21.121.1
    Year 1226.5-18.118.1
    Year 1110.3-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below39.7-12.512.5

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

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • forklift licence
    • manual drivers licence

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

    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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