Logging industry workers harvest trees and cut them into logs to be used for commercial purposes. From areas that foresters have selected for harvesting, loggers determine the quantity to be harvested and cut the trees. They load logs into trucks or trains, which transport the wood to sawmills and other factories, where it is processed into lumber, pulp, paper, and other wood products. Approximately 53,600 logging industry workers are employed in the United States.
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Logging wages vary with the logger's skills, the company's payment system, and the weather.
In most parts of the country, workers who cut trees into logs or bolts are paid by the piece or the volume of work they do. Others are paid hourly wages that logging companies and independent contractors set for their employees. Union workers often earn more than non-unionized workers.
Loggers work outdoors in all kinds of weather. Most work 40 hours a week plus overtime. In the South, conditions usually permit year-round work, while workers in the West typically work only nine or 10 months a year because of the threat of forest fires. Snowy and rainy conditions interrupt work less frequently than they did before the introduction of rubber-tired skidders and forwarders, which...
Employment for most logging and timber cutting workers is expected to decline 14 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Despite this outlook, there should continue to be good employment opportunities for logging industry workers as a result of steady turnover in the field. The DOL reports that "some fallers will continue to be needed to fell trees on slopes that ...