Explore Careers - Job Market Report
Supervisors in this unit group supervise and co-ordinate the activities of workers in the following groups: <i>Pulping Control Operators</i> (9233), <i>Papermaking and Coating Control Operators</i> (9234), <i>Labourers in Wood, Pulp and Paper Processing</i> (9614), and <i>Machine Operators and Related Workers in Pulp and Paper Production and Wood Processing</i> (943). They are employed by pulp and paper companies, paper converting companies, sawmills, planing mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing companies.
coating room foreman/woman – pulp and paper, foreman/woman, lumber grading, foreman/woman, plywood making, foreman/woman, shingle mill, foreman/woman, waferboard, foreman/woman, wood treating plant, paper machine foreman/woman, paper mill foreman/woman, pulp mill foreman/woman, sawmill foreman/woman, shift operating supervisor – pulp and paper, supervisor, paper converting, tour foreman/woman – pulp and paper.
- Supervise, co-ordinate and schedule the activities of workers who operate pulp and paper mills, paper converting mills, sawmills, planing mills, plywood, waferboard and other wood and paper products mills
- Ensure that systems and equipment are operating efficiently and that proper maintenance and repairs are performed
- Establish methods to meet work schedules and co-ordinate work activities with other departments
- Resolve work problems and recommend measures to improve productivity and product quality
- Requisition materials and supplies
- Train staff in job duties, safety procedures and company policies
- Recommend personnel actions such as hirings and promotions and administer the collective agreement
- Prepare production and other reports
- Monitor safety conditions
- May set up machines and equipment.
Education & Job Requirements for Supervisors, Forest Products Processing in Vancouver Island and Coast Region
Education and job requirements can vary by region. Workers in regulated occupations require a licence to work legally. Workers in non-regulated occupations do not require a licence, but employers may have other certification requirements.
Employment requirements are prerequisites generally needed to enter an occupation.
- Completion of secondary school is required.
- A college diploma in pulp and paper technology or a related discipline may be required for some pulp and paper supervisor positions.
- Several years of some combination of formal and on-the-job training are provided.
- Several years of experience in the most senior occupation supervised are often required.
- Certificates, such as lumber grading and industrial first aid, and a competency certificate in natural gas may be required.
Regulation by Province/Territory
Some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province, your licence may not be accepted in other provinces or territories. Consult the table below to determine in which province or territory your occupation/trade is regulated.
|Province and Territory||Regulation|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||
|Prince Edward Island||
Programs in the order in which they are most likely to supply graduates to this occupation (Supervisors, Forest Products Processing):
- Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians
- High School/Secondary Diploma Programs
- Interpersonal and Social Skills
The essential skills profiles can:
- Help determine, based on skill sets, which career may best suit a particular individual.
- Assist job seekers to write a résumé or prepare for a job interview.
- Help employers to create a job posting.
Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as “building blocks” because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Supervisors, Forest Products Processing
Supervisors in this unit group supervise and co-ordinate the activities of workers in the following groups: Pulping Control Operators (9233), Papermaking and Coating Control Operators (9234), Labourers in Wood, Pulp and Paper Processing (9614), and Machine Operators and Related Workers in Pulp and Paper Production and Wood Processing (943). They are employed by pulp and paper companies, paper converting companies, sawmills, planning mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing companies.
- Read instructions and warnings on product and equipment labels. For example, supervisors of wood processing workers read handling and storage instructions on product container labels. They read operating instructions and hazard warnings such as 'danger high voltage' on equipment labels. (1)
- Read short text entries in forms. For example, sawmill foremen read comments on production reports explaining why production totals were not met. Production team leaders read entries on maintenance forms to understand what preventative work has been scheduled and the estimated lengths of time machines and equipment may be out of service. Supervisors in this unit group may read written grievance complaints. (2)
- Read e-mail messages and memos from co-workers, colleagues and customers. For example, sawmill foremen read e-mail messages from shippers who remind them of the lumber lengths required and that products should be bagged before being sent to shipping. Production supervisors in paper converting plants read e-mail messages from cross-shift supervisors who inform them of equipment malfunctions and staff absenteeism which affected production levels. Moulded pulp product foremen read memos in which management personnel outline changes to company policies on safety requirements such as the requirement for weekly maintenance checks of hydraulic hoses and annual hearing tests. They read e-mail messages from customers who are making special product requests and inquiring about projected delivery dates for these products. (2)
- Read workers' performance reviews, evaluations and any associated incident reports. (2)
- Read product bulletins and trade magazine articles. For example, production supervisors read Material Safety Data Sheets for products such as oil used in forklifts to develop procedures for cleaning up spills. Wood processing foremen read product descriptions and suggested best uses of different brands of saw blades, cutters, routers and other wood cutting tools. Sawmill supervisors read articles in trade magazines such as the Logging and Sawmill Journal to learn about new machinery and methods designed to improve productivity using the latest technologies. They also read articles on topics such as the softwood lumber tariffs and the effect on the Canadian market. (3)
- Read equipment and policy and procedure manuals. For example, production supervisors read equipment manuals to develop operating and troubleshooting protocols and training programs for operators who will use the equipment. Supervisors in this unit group read their organizations' policy and procedure manuals to ensure they follow the proper procedures when taking actions such as disciplining workers. They also review the policy and procedure manuals to ensure all components are updated to reflect current standards and practices. (3)
- Read operation, maintenance and accident reports. For example, pulp and paper mill foremen read engineering reports on topics such as the efficiency of boilers. The reports may contain recommendations for repairing, replacing and upgrading boilers to increase efficiencies. They read operational reports in which details of production levels, product quality, downtime occurrences, defect counts, possible causes of substandard results and safety violations are described. Supervisors in this unit group read equipment maintenance reports where causes for machinery breakdowns, follow-up actions required and potential effects on shift productivity are outlined. They read detailed accident investigation reports in which causes, contributing factors, recommended corrective measures and follow-up actions to be taken are described. (4)
- May read collective agreements and industry standards. For example, supervisors in this unit group may read collective agreements to understand the rules and regulations to be followed for each worker under their direct supervision. They review topics such as provisions for overtime and leave. Wood processing supervisors may read the Canadian Lumber Standards to understand topics such as wood quality standards, transformation processes and safety measures. (4)
- Observe symbols on signs. For example, supervisors in this unit group observe signs which indicate requirements for personal protective equipment such as hard hats, earplugs and safety glasses, identify hazards and show the location of eyewash stations. (1)
- Locate data in lists and tables. For example, sawmill foremen locate product codes and prices for items such as cutting blades and tools in suppliers' catalogues. Production supervisors locate workers' contact information and payroll numbers in confidential staff lists. They view maintenance schedules to confirm dates for planned maintenance of equipment and machines. (2)
- Locate data in graphs. For example, pulp and paper mill shift supervisors review reliability statistics such as equipment downtime and worker and equipment availability presented in bar, line and pie graphs. Sawmill foremen review monthly production statistics displaying both planned and actual production data. (2)
- Locate data in forms. Supervisors in this unit group review shift production reports to identify which machines and equipment are being serviced. Supervisors of sawmill workers review tally reports to identify grades and quantities of lumber produced. (2)
- Enter data in tables and forms. For example, pulp and paper mill foremen enter hourly production totals for each worker and machine, equipment downtime, and efficiency measures such as the percentage of shrinkage and dryness in production forms. They record measures of paper quality such as weight, tear resistance, rigidity, elasticity, colour and opacity at set time intervals. Sawmill supervisors record sampling results such as measurements of the amount of bark, slivers and sawdust in samples taken from the chippers. Supervisors in this unit group enter suppliers' contact information and types, quantities and costs of materials and supplies required in purchase requisition forms. They record employee regular and overtime hours, arrival and departure times, and leave days on workers' time sheets. They enter data on lockout inspection forms such as the procedure names and numbers, equipment locations, dates and times, and lockout points. They complete safety audit forms after inspecting workers use of and compliance with safety standards at work stations and when using equipment. They complete worker training records to show which machines and safety procedures workers have received training on and when they must be recertified. (2)
- Interpret technical drawings. For example, pulp and paper shift supervisors study technical drawings of mill piping when planning machine shutdowns. (3)
- Interpret schematics. For example, production supervisors at pulp and paper mills interpret schematics of electrical circuits, switches and connections when troubleshooting malfunctioning machines. (3)
- Write reminders, notes to co-workers and logbook entries. For example, production team leaders write notes as reminders to check the performance of machines which have undergone maintenance repairs and to remember steps to include in procedures for troubleshooting equipment malfunctions. Pulp and paper mill supervisors write notes to machinists asking them to complete tasks such as fabricating parts for rollers. They describe the problem and the measurements of the required parts. Sawmill foremen write notes in logbooks reminding operators to check machine adjustments prior to production start-up. (1)
- Write e-mail messages to co-workers. For example, pulp and paper mill supervisors write e-mail messages to their cross-shifts to inform them of equipment malfunctions and personnel concerns. Production team leaders and sawmill supervisors write e-mail messages to their managers to inform them of safety violations and the steps taken to address the unsafe situations. (2)
- Write descriptions of events in reporting forms. For example, supervisors of pulp and paper and wood processing workers write descriptions and comments about malfunctioning machinery in end of shift reports. Sawmill foremen explain reasons for downtime in daily reports. Supervisors in this unit group may complete incident and accident forms where they describe what occurred such as chemical spills, who was involved and actions taken. They may include recommendations to prevent further occurrences of similar incidents. (2)
- Write reports. For example, supervisors in this unit group may write performance summaries and evaluation reports for workers they supervise. They describe the workers' goals, achievements and challenges and may recommended further training in work processes and procedures. They may write monthly reports summarizing equipment breakdowns, safety concerns, production rates and action plans for addressing areas of concern such as staffing requirements. (3)
- May write and revise operating procedures and training materials. Supervisors in this unit group may write standard operating procedures on topics such as operating and lock out procedures for equipment such as forklifts to ensure that procedures are specified and followed. They may prepare training materials for newly acquired machinery and equipment and include maintenance and safety checklists. (3)
- Calculate invoice amounts. For example, supervisors in this unit group total costs of supplies and materials including volume discounts and taxes on suppliers' invoices. (3)
- Establish maintenance and repair schedules for machines and equipment. Supervisors in this unit group plan maintenance schedules after reviewing machinery and equipment hour usage meters, data entered in workers' logbooks, manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules and completing visual inspections. (3)
- Create work schedules. For example, supervisors in this unit group may create work schedules for varying numbers of workers depending on the sizes of the production operations. When planning for multiple shifts, they consider the availability of both full and part-time workers, workers' competencies and experiences, required training times and scheduled leaves. (3)
- May schedule production runs. For example, supervisors of sawmill and wood processing workers prepare production schedules after considering the planned targets and reviewing production histories. They allot time for the procurement of raw materials and to ensure quality control standards are met. They take into account work rotations, training requirements and machine and equipment planned maintenance schedules. (3)
- May create and monitor operating, maintenance and training budgets. For example, supervisors in this unit group track monthly expenditures against budget line items. They may adjust budgets to accommodate unexpected expenses such as equipment replacements and the introduction of new products and training programs. They review budget expenditures from previous years, production estimates and calculate wages and overhead costs for workers, machines and equipment required when planning budgets for new fiscal years. (4)
- Take measurements using common measuring tools. For example, sawmill and wood processing supervisors use rulers and callipers when taking length, width and thickness measurements of finished products. (1)
- Calculate dimensions, quantities of products and wastage. For example, production supervisors calculate the cutting and installation dimensions for a variety of types of panelling including specialty pattern panels. Pulp and paper supervisors calculate volume productions of paper by determining the number of rollers produced within specified time periods. Sawmill supervisors weigh and calculate the percentage content of sawdust, slivers and bark in wood chip samples. They calculate amounts of wastage per bin when cutting raw products such as select red oak. (3)
- Compare measurements and gauge readings to specifications. For example, supervisors of wood processing workers compare measurements of hardwood test samples to customers' specifications. Pulp and paper mill foremen compare temperature and pressure gauge readings to acceptable levels when checking the moisture content of pulp. They read gauge displays to determine if paper weights and thicknesses are within specifications. (1)
- Collect and analyze production and employment data. For example, production team leaders track daily shift production outputs and compare results across shifts and to daily, weekly and monthly targets. They review production data collected for individual workers and machine down times when analyzing plant efficiencies. Supervisors in this unit group may collect, analyze and compare absenteeism and retention rates across pay periods and to industry statistics. (3)
- Estimate quantities. For example, sawmill foremen estimate wastage when advising customers on quantities of building materials required. Supervisors of wood processing workers estimate quantities of raw materials required to produce specified amounts of finished products such as hardwood flooring. Pulp and paper supervisors estimate the amount of paper left on machines at shift change based on the diameters of the paper on the rollers. (2)
- Estimate times required to complete tasks. For example, production supervisors estimate the times required to repair malfunctioning equipment based on the severity of the breakdowns and previous experiences with similar situations. (2)
- Discuss products and services with suppliers and manufacturers' representatives. For example, they place orders with suppliers for items such as coveralls, safety glasses, and other supplies used in daily operations. They clarify order details and inquire about delivery methods, costs and times. They call manufacturers' representatives when they encounter problems with equipment and machinery. (1)
- Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and colleagues. For example, sawmill foremen explain specifications and restrictions for permitted holes in finished products to cut saw operators. Pulp and paper mill foremen discuss required machine adjustments with operators when paper appears discoloured compared to control samples. Production supervisors discuss downtimes, production levels and any production problems encountered with their cross shifts. They describe machinery malfunctions and explain troubleshooting attempts to maintenance supervisors. They discuss safety regulations and practices such as the requirement to use fall arrest protection with supervisors in other departments. Supervisors in this unit group meet with workers to assign them to machinery and equipment, discuss production quality and review production targets, safety requirements and any problems encountered on previous shifts. (2)
- Train, direct, assess and motivate workers. For example, supervisors in this unit group may train workers to operate machines and equipment and follow specified work processes. They give instructions to workers and monitor progress on work tasks. They conduct annual performance reviews with operators to provide feedback on performance, listen to workers' concerns and suggestions, and discuss ways and timelines for improving skill levels and productivity. They motivate workers to meet and exceed production and safety records. (3)
- Discuss technical matters with senior management personnel. For example, pulp and paper mill supervisors discuss topics such as quality control requirements, safety performance, production statistics and targets and the staffing implications resulting from increased production demands during meetings with their colleagues, plant managers and senior leadership team. Production team leaders explain their ideas for increasing equipment and machinery reliability and decreasing downtime with senior managers and company owners. (3)
- Identify, mediate and resolve conflicts with workers. For example, supervisors in this unit group inform workers of workplace and safety infractions they have committed and discuss ways to resolve these infractions. They explain the appropriate policies and procedures and may recommend further training. They inform operators of sub-standard work and offer suggestions for improvement. They may mediate disputes between workers on topics such as inconsistencies in workers' production levels after speaking individually with the workers involved. (3)
- Find that workers are not following safety procedures. They meet with workers to discuss the safety infractions such as failing to lock out a machine's power supply prior to beginning repair work. They review the standard work procedures and protocols and inform workers of next steps in the discipline process should further infractions occur. In some instances, they may require workers to retake specific safety training such as fall arrest or confined space. (2)
- Cannot meet production quotas because of worker absenteeism and declining production rates. When full time workers are frequently absent from or late for work, supervisors in this unit group bring in replacement workers who are on the part-time call lists, and workers currently on scheduled days off in attempts to achieve production targets. When they observe that workers' production rates are declining, they speak with the workers to identify reasons for the declines. In some instances, they may reassign operators to other machinery and equipment and provide time for the workers to address concerns that are personal in nature. When production declines are the result of inadequate or lack of training, they arrange for additional training to help workers build their competency levels. (2)
- Cannot meet production targets because of equipment breakdowns. When equipment fails, supervisors in this unit group examine the cause of the breakdowns and consult with maintenance supervisors to determine the nature, extent, and timelines of repairs required. In some instances, such as the malfunctioning of a rooftop fan, they contact the manufacturer and request that a new fan be delivered and installed. (3)
- Find that products do not meet specifications. For example, when pulp and paper supervisors learn that samples from the current paper run are too wet they check with the dryer operators to determine if the machines were properly calibrated and the rollers were dried between production runs. They make the appropriate adjustments to the machines to ensure paper is dried to specifications. When they receive feedback that paper products are not recycling properly, they check the machinery for impurities and ensure that the correct temperatures and chemicals are being used. They re-calibrate the machinery to ensure final products meet specifications. (3)
- Decide daily production requirements. For example, supervisors of wood processing and sawmill workers decide production requirements after reviewing current stock inventories, customers' orders and requested delivery dates. Production team leaders decide to adjust or halt production runs when defect and waste percentages are outside specified limits for extended periods of time. (2)
- Select job tasks and assignments for workers. For example, sawmill foremen assign workers to run equipment after considering qualification requirements, workers' demonstrated skill sets and knowledge of standard operating procedures for that equipment. (2)
- Determine training requirements and promotions. For example, supervisors in this unit group determine which workers will receive training on new machinery and new work processes. They review workers' safety records, consider workers' abilities and initiative and production requirements. They decide which workers will receive promotions to head operators and lead hands after reviewing collective agreements, analyzing workers' competencies and reviewing workers' past performances. (3)
- Judge the condition and performance of equipment and machinery. For example, pulp and paper and sawmill supervisors judge the conditions of equipment and machines by observing signs of vibration and listening for unusual and excessive noises. They review workers' notes about equipment performances in logbooks. Sawmill foremen evaluate the performances of kilns by considering how fast wood products are drying, the moisture content of the wood, current levels of humidity inside and outside the kiln, and the accuracy of the kiln temperature control readings. (2)
- Evaluate the efficiency of work processes. For example, pulp and paper mill foremen review the production targets and data gathered on production totals and product quality. They consider their observations during walkabouts and review shift reports outlining equipment breakdowns and worker shortages. They listen to feedback and suggestions offered by workers. (3)
- Assess workers' performance. For example, supervisors in this unit group observe workers' skills and abilities in completing job tasks, consider their ease in operating machines and equipment and review their training and safety records. (3)
- Evaluate workplace safety and work procedures. For example, supervisors in this unit group review both their organizations' standards and industry regulations when conducting safety audits. They observe the uses of personal protective equipment, the placement and expiry dates of fire extinguishers and the locations and storage of chemical products. They evaluate the risks associated with operating various pieces of equipment and machinery, and check for emergency stop switches and protective guards and rails. They observe workers completing tasks to ensure adherence to written operating procedures, and review incident and accident reports. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Supervisors in this unit group organize their days to meet production requirements established by their organizations and quality specifications outlined in industry regulations. They plan their days to gain efficiencies where possible. They frequently adjust their work schedules to attend to pressing concerns such as equipment breakdowns and labour shortages. In larger organizations, they co-ordinate their work plans with maintenance supervisors. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Supervisors in this unit group coordinate and schedule the job tasks of workers they supervise. (3)Significant Use of Memory
- Recall safety regulations and operating procedures.
- Find information about daily production numbers by speaking with operators and reviewing production reports and tally counters on machines. (2)
- Find information about incidents and accidents on previous shifts by speaking to their cross-shift and reading incident and accident reports. (2)
- Use word processing. For example, they use text editing and formatting features to create memos on safety procedures and letters documenting disciplinary steps taken and formal reprimands for workers. They use track change features when editing standard operating procedures and reviewing training materials. (2)
- Use graphics software. For example, they may use presentation software to create health and safety presentations and export digital images for inclusion in accident reports. (2)
- Use databases. For example, sawmill foremen enter and review workers' attendance, regular and overtime hours and leave dates in their organizations' databases. Pulp and paper mill foremen review machinery maintenance histories and enter production numbers in databases. (2)
- Use spreadsheets. For example, they enter and track worker and machinery production levels in spreadsheets. They may enter and adjust line items in their budgets. They create spreadsheets to track workers' training and inventories. They may generate graphs to display equipment down time and product defect frequencies. (2)
- Use computer-assisted design, manufacturing and machining. For example, they may enter specification values when programming computer numerically controlled machines. (2)
- Use communications software. For example, they exchange e-mail messages with managers about production levels and budget adjustments and with maintenance supervisors about machinery that requires maintenance. They may attach files and digital images. (2)
- Use the Internet. For example, they use Internet browsers to search for information about new suppliers, tools and equipment. They use their organization's intranet to access information on topics such as quality control specifications and extended health benefits. (2)
Working with Others
Supervisors of forest products processing coordinate and integrate their job tasks with supervisors in other departments to ensure labour and equipment are available to meet their organizations' production goals. (3)Continuous Learning
Supervisors of forest products processing learn continuously to improve their supervisory skills and to remain current in new production technologies. They learn through their daily conversations with co-workers. They attend courses and workshops offered by their organizations on such topics as health and safety and leadership in the workplace. They attend courses provided by manufacturers when new equipment and machinery is introduced in their operation. (2)
Information for Newcomers
Fact Sheet for Internationally Trained Individuals
Are you an internationally trained individual looking for guidance on foreign credential recognition in your profession in Canada? This occupational fact sheet can help you by providing information on:
- the general requirements to work in your profession
- the steps that you can take to find the most reliable sources of information
Applied Science and Engineering Technician or Technologist (PDF Format - Size: 758 KB)
Provincial credential assessment services assess academic credentials for a fee. Contact a regulatory body or other organization to determine if you need an assessment before spending money on one that is not required or recognized.
The assessment will tell you how your education compares with educational standards in the province or territory where you are planning to settle can help you in your job search.
- British Columbia - International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
- Alberta - International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- Saskatchewan - International Qualifications Assessment Service The Government of Saskatchewan provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
- Manitoba - Academic Credentials Assessment Service – Manitoba (ACAS)
- Québec - Service des évaluations comparatives d’études (SECE)
- Northwest Territories - International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS). The Government of the Northwest Territories provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
- Date Modified: