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Logging and forestry supervisors lead teams of workers who harvest and plant trees and who perform all the supporting tasks associated with these operations. Physical fitness is a must for these supervisors, because they travel to job sites over uneven terrain in remote locations.
To become a supervisor, you will need technical training covering all of the activities your crew executes. This means everything from understanding the capabilities of heavy machinery to safety procedures for chain saws. Learning on the job and building your seniority is essential as well. As you gain experience, you may also act as a mentor and trainer to other staff. Your career track could see you move into senior managerial, training or sales positions.
Getting a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification is usually required. Completing a college program for forestry technologists or technicians may be required. Earning certificates, like industrial first aid, can enhance your prospects for promotion.
Heavy Equipment Operator
In the forest products industry, heavy equipment operators operate machines like articulated haul trucks, tractor-loader-backhoes, excavators, dozers, loaders and graders. Their duties may include assessing sites and terrain. You may also do material handling work — say, stacking lumber and getting it ready for shipping. Being a heavy equipment operator is a fast-paced, physically demanding job that requires attention to detail and good hand-eye co-ordination.
You could also find yourself driving heavy equipment to perform a combination of operations at logging areas, like harvesting sections of trees for processing in a sawmill. To do this, you would operate a $300,000-feller-buncher machine on a caterpillar track. Manipulating a powerful, but precise, arm with a saw lets heavy equipment operators practise selective, sustainable harvesting.