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Timber and Wood Production Worker

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Sawmill Hand, Timber Mill Worker and Timberyard Worker.

Timber and wood production workers assist with the milling, processing and merchandising of timber and timber products such as sawn timber, timber mouldings, roof trusses, wall frames, laminated beams, plywood, hardboard, fibreboard, laminates and veneered products.

Most timber and wood production workers are employed in regional centres, in businesses ranging from small sawmills to large processing and manufacturing plants. The work can sometimes be physically demanding.

However, working conditions have improved with the introduction of new technology and specialist equipment.


    Timber and wood production workers may perform the following tasks:

  • select types and grades of timber and measure and cut to order
  • operate bandsaws, gangsaws or circular saws to convert logs to usable timber
  • support and guide timber being sawn
  • assist with the production of veneers, plywoods, laminates and paper products, often using sophisticated computerised equipment
  • assemble fabricated products such as timber frames and trusses
  • undertake specialist operations such as kiln drying and visual or mechanical stress grading
  • stack and pack timber and prepare it for dispatch
  • operate forklifts
  • undertake administrative tasks such as record keeping, including tallying and ordering


  • enjoy practical work
  • enjoy working with timber and timber products
  • alert and safety-conscious
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • basic mathematical ability

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor


Kiln Operator (Wood Operator) - uses solar, gas or steam kilns or ovens to dry and season timber and other wood products.

Production Operator (Panel and Board) - assists in the machining of panels, production of veneers and laminating of boards.

Sawmill and Processing Plant Operator - operates sawmilling and processing plants to cut and sort material.

Timber Truss and Frame Production Fabricator - operates a range of equipment to dress boards and timber, cut material and assemble products including timber roof and floor trusses.


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a timber and wood production worker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

You can also become a timber and wood production worker through a traineeship in Sawmilling and Processing, Timber Manufactured Products or Wood Panel Products.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional 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 and wood production workers may be required to hold a License to Perform High Risk Work.


Timber and wood production workers usually start as general hands in a timber mill. They progress to stacking and assisting with sawing before being put in charge of a saw or other machinery.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Timber and Wood Production Worker ForestWorks Rural Skills Australia

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