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Timber Harvesting Operator

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Logging Worker and Timber Harvester.

Timber harvesting operators undertake a range of tasks to do with the harvesting and maintenance of trees in natural forests and plantations, including logging, felling and sawing trees.

Timber harvesting operators usually work under the supervision of a senior tree faller.

They work outside, often in a team.

They may be required to live in, or travel to, regional or remote areas for work.


    Timber harvesting operators may perform the following tasks:

  • renove or trim branches and tree tops
  • load and transport logs
  • clear area around intended fall of each tree
  • plan the tree felling and bucking (sawing into logs)
  • operate manual and machine saws to fell and buck trees
  • operate machinery such as loading machines, excavators and bulldozers
  • maintain equipment
  • maintain strict occupational health and safety requirements


  • able to undertake manual and heavy work
  • observant and methodical
  • good communication skills
  • enjoy outdoor work
  • enjoy working in teams
  • alert and safety-conscious

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor


Tree Faller - operates manual and machine saws to fell and buck trees.


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a timber harvesting operator without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in harvesting and haulage or forest operations. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a timber harvesting operator through a traineeship in Harvesting and Haulage or Forest Operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    In order to work as a timber harvesting operator, you may need to qualify for and obtain a relevant licence. Contact the Forestry Corporation of NSW or ForestWorks for more information.

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Forest and Forest Products Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


Timber harvesting operators are employed by both private companies and the public sector to work in native forests or plantations.

Harvesting is usually carried out by harvesting contractors working in small teams. With experience and further training, a timber harvesting operator may become a crew leader or foreman.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Timber Harvesting Operator Rural Skills Australia ForestWorks Forestry Corporation of NSW

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