Career Profile: Logging Equipment Operator
Wood is an important part of every building, whether it is in doorways, on kitchen tables, or elsewhere. Before carpenters can make it into chairs or many other objects, people have to cut down trees and get them to the factories. Logging equipment operators help to move trees after they have been cut down so that manufacturers can work with the wood and turn it into all kinds of objects.
Logging involves skill with a variety of machines and tools, such as bulldozer blades, cable winches, and more. Being able to coordinate driving a vehicle with operating the equipment is an essential part of being a logging equipment operator. Often, work in this field involves long hours, moving logs from where they have been cut down to the trucks that will transport them to where they need to go.
Training to become a logging equipment operator involves a combination of education and experience. Usually, employers require people to have at least a high school diploma, as well as a driver’s license. On-the-job training can last from three to sixteen months, where learning to use new types of equipment is necessary. Being able to handle heavy equipment in muddy conditions or bad weather is very important for this job.
Often, people can learn through experience, but it may be necessary to take courses or training sessions to practice new techniques. Experience can help people advance in this job, and learning special skills can give people flexibility in looking for work.
Generally, salaries for logging equipment operators begin at about $19 per hour or $40,000 per year and can rise to about $36 per hour or $85,000 per year. The work can involve long hours, and it can be hot in summer and cold at other times of the year. Although people can continue in this career for many years, they may want to move on to other work as they get older.
Normally, logging happens only in certain areas of Canada, mainly in the north. This job also tends to be seasonal and can depend on factors such as forest fires. Many people in this line of work may choose to fly in from other parts of the country and to stay in logging camps during the main working season. Being away from family and friends can be difficult, but it is often necessary.
Like many physically difficult jobs, logging can be dangerous, even for people operating the equipment and driving the trucks. If the equipment falls off of its attachment, it can injure or kill anyone who is underneath. Logging equipment operators have to be careful to watch for other workers, and to make sure not to hit anyone else with a piece of equipment or to be hit by something themselves. Some of the areas where they work can be quite steep or uneven, and drivers need to be careful not to tip over.
Working as a logging equipment operator has its challenges, but it can be a good choice for people who enjoy working outside with various types of equipment. Many people, including those who love the outdoors and working with their hands, could enjoy this job.
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