Logging and forestry labourers (NOC 8616)

About this job

Logging and forestry labourers assist other workers at logging sites. They plant trees, clear brush, spray chemicals and help with a range of other tasks.

Common job titles
  • boom worker - logging / mill pond
  • cable hooker - logging
  • choke setter - logging
  • log driver / rider / river driver
  • pondman / pondwoman
  • sprayer - logging and forestry

Duties

In general, logging and forestry labourers:

  • Plant and prune trees using hand tools
  • Space young trees
  • Attach chokers or cables to move felled trees
  • Spray herbicides from the ground using hand-held equipment
  • Clear trails using chain saws
  • Clean up sorting areas at logging sites

They may also help with more complex tasks, such as:

  • Measuring the amount of timber in a harvest area 
  • Assessing the harvest area and laying out roads 
  • Taking down dangerous trees
  • Fighting fires
  • Assessing waste
  • Surveying the impact of root rot and insects 
  • Assessing streams and wetlands

Work environment

Logging and forestry labourers work for logging companies and contractors.

They work outdoors in a challenging environment. They are subject to all kinds of weather and to the noise of loud machinery. They work on unstable ground and steep slopes. They also face the danger of trees falling or cables snapping. They must follow strict safety rules to reduce the risks.

Some logging and forestry labourers work with drones and geographic information system (GIS) mapping.

Insights from industry

Logging and forestry labourers do a variety of tasks and often move between similar jobs in the field. Experts in the field are discovering some challenges in finding trees that are available to cut.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With experience, logging and forestry labourers can move into more advanced positions. These include silviculture and forestry worker, environmental monitor, chain saw and skidder operator, log truck driver, fibre hauler and logging machinery operator. Workers with specialized training can do danger tree assessments and falling.

Some logging and forestry labourers advance by apprenticing as a mechanic or in another related trade.

Additional resources