What Do Log Graders and Scalers Do?
Log graders and scalers are responsible for inspecting and estimating the value of logs or pulpwood. They work primarily in the outdoors, in locations such as sorting yards, log decks or millponds examining logs for defects and measuring them for volume. They will then grade the logs and estimate their marketable content.
Log Graders and Scalers Skills and Abilities
You will find that a knowlege of mathematics is valuable in this line of work, as well as an understanding of processing and production methods relative to manufacturing and distribution. You must be able to use good judgement and employ critical thinking to solve problems effectively. In interpersonal relations, the ability to be a good listener will be just as important as the ability to convey information to others clearly and accurately. Situations will arise where you will need both deductive and inductive reasoning: deductive to find logical answers to specific problems, and inductive to piece together bits of information in order to form conclusions. Problem sensitivity, the ability to anticipate when something is off base or about to go wrong, will also be important. You should have a familiarity with word processing and be able to manage files and records.
Log Graders and Scalers Duties
Your job as a log grader or scaler will require specific tasks, such as:
- evaluating the grades and characteristics of logs
- recording data about certain trees or load volumes
- identifying grades or species of trees
- measuring felled logs or pulpwood loads to determine weight, volume and dimensions
- marking logs of substandard quality to be recut, regraded and returned to shippers
- inspecting logs for defects such as knots, rotten areas or broken ends
- sawing felled logs into various lengths
- tending conveyor chains used in moving logs to scaling stations
- using conversion tables and measuring devices
The work of a log grader or scaler is sometimes performed in remote areas. You will nevertheless be required to communicate with coworkers and supervisors by telephone, email or written form. You may be called upon to operate vehicles or mechanized forestry equipment and you may be needed to assist in weighing log trucks before and after unloading is performed.
Log Graders and Scalers Tools and Technology
Forestry hard hats are among the tools of the trade for log graders and scalers. Other equipment needed includes log calipers, smear- and water-resistant lumber crayons, electronic log counters and a ball peen hammer. The technical aspects of this position involve using computer programs, such as analytical or scientific log grader software. Since part of your job will be to determine the value of wood products, you will likely use inventory management software.
Education and Training for Log Graders and Scalers
Of people aged 25 to 44 who are employed as log graders and scalers, 46.5% have high school diplomas or equivalents but 35.2% have not graduated from high school. Prior experience is not needed for this position; you will receive on-the-job training once you have been hired for the job.
Log Graders and Scalers Salary
While the lowest 10% of log graders and scalers earn $11.30 per hour or $23,500 per year, the highest 10% more than double those figures, earning $23.78 per hour or $49,500 annually. The average salary for this position is listed at $17.03 per hour, which translates to $35,400 a year.
Log Graders and Scalers Jobs by Geography
The state of Indiana has seen the most increase in the number of the jobs for log graders and scalers, followed by Florida and Washington. If you are interested in this kind of work, look for states where the ongoing harvesting of forests provides raw material for industrial products and consumer goods.