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Log Grader/Scaler  What They Do

Just the Facts


Grades logs or estimates the marketable content or value of logs or pulpwood in sorting yards, millpond, log deck, or similar locations. Inspects logs for defects or measures logs to determine volume.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Natural Resource Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Evaluates log characteristics and determines grades, using established criteria.
  • Records data about individual trees or load volumes into tally books or hand-held collection terminals.
  • Paints identification marks of specified colors on logs to identify grades or species, using spray cans, or calls out grades to log markers.
  • Measures felled logs or loads of pulpwood to calculate volume, weight, dimensions, and marketable value, using measuring devices and conversion tables.
  • Measures log lengths and marks boles for bucking into logs, according to specifications.
  • Identifies logs of substandard or special grade so that they can be returned to shippers, regraded, recut, or transferred for other processing.
  • Jabs logs with metal ends of scale sticks, and inspects logs to ascertain characteristics or defects such as water damage, splits, knots, broken ends, rotten areas, twists, and curves.
  • Drives to sawmills, wharfs, or skids to inspect logs or pulpwood.
  • Communicates with coworkers by using signals to direct log movement.
  • Weighs log trucks before and after unloading, and records load weights and supplier identities.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Inspector --
  • Log Buyer --
  • Log Check Scaler --
  • Log Grader --
  • Log Scaler --
  • Log Yard Manager --
  • Procurement Forester --
  • Raw Material Manager --
  • Timber Buyer --
  • Veneer Grader --