There are over 30,000 individuals that work in the logging industry across America. If you want to join their ranks, you have to show grit and determination.
Learning to become a logger is the first step on the long road to becoming a competent woodsman.
The career path for logging is challenging. Even though education requirements are less than for other jobs, becoming a lumberjack is fraught with difficulties.
Developing the skills necessary to become a safe and successful logger isn’t easy, but it is well worth it for many people. Read on to find out what it takes to become one of America’s forest heroes.
Spend Time in the Woods
Before you even consider becoming a logger, you need to spend significant time in the woods to ensure the lifestyle is right for you. There are a couple of different ways to do this.
Work a Forestry Job
Working a forestry job is one of the best ways to gain some woodsman experience. Marking timber, building trails, or joining a conservation team is a great way to have a precursor to a logging career.
Work Wildland Fire
Much of what you will be doing as a logger is refurbishing harvested units by burning them. You should work on your wildland fire skills. Becoming a firefighter for a few seasons is a great way to get your woods-legs as well.
Go On Backpacking Trips
Long extended backpacking trips in the wilderness where you are self-sustainable and sleep under the stars will prepare you for the rigors of timber work. At the very least, take a few short hikes or hunting/camping trips.
Work a Job in Land Clearing
Working in land clearing or landscaping is a great way to get in some hours on heavy equipment. A logging outfit will require you to have some experience with chainsaws and other equipment before hiring you.
How to Become a Logger
Once you have successfully developed some woodsman skills, you can start looking for an employer. Expect the following process.
Start at the Bottom
You will be applying for the most entry-level position available. This means either a choker who sets the cable around trees or a menial equipment operator.
Send Out Many Applications
Turnover for many entry-level logging positions can be high due to the dangerous nature of the work. Keep applying to many outfits across the nation to increase your chances of getting hired.
Work Your Way to the Top
Once you have secured your entry-level position, you can slowly start learning more skills. As you gain competencies, you may even end up climbing to the ranks of a timber faller. Usually, this can take many years or even decades.
If you put in enough time and manage to show promise, you may even end up as a supervisor or a foreman. You will not make it rich as a logger, but you will enjoy a dynamic outdoor work environment.
Logging Is a Great Profession
Getting a job as a logger is one of the last great outdoorsman professions left in modern society. If you think you have what it takes, you can expect a long and arduous career path.
That said, if you are a right fit for it, no other job will be as enjoyable. Use this guide to start your journey about learning how to become a logger. Take it slow, and you never know how far you may get.
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