Explore Careers - Job Market Report
Sawmill machine operators operate, monitor and control automated lumbermill equipment to saw timber logs into rough lumber; saw, trim and plane rough lumber into dressed lumber of various sizes; and saw or split shingles and shakes. They are employed in sawmills and planing mills.
circular saw operator, edgerman/woman, head sawyer, log cut-off operator, planer operator, resaw operator, shake splitter, trimmerman/woman.
- Operate front-end loaders and stationary deck cranes to feed logs into the sawmill
- Examine logs and rough lumber to determine size, condition, quality and other characteristics to decide best lumber cuts to carry out, or use automated equipment to convey logs through laser scanners which determine the most productive and profitable cutting patterns
- Operate automated lumbermill equipment from control rooms or equipment consoles to saw logs into rough lumber; saw, trim and plane rough lumber into dressed lumber of various sizes; and saw or split shingles and shakes
- Start conveyor system to move logs and lumber to and from saws
- Set up and adjust saw equipment and replace blades or bands using wrenches, gauges and other hand tools
- Operate equipment to sort and stack lumber by length and thickness, move stacks to storage areas or drying kilns, and feed lumber through planers
- Monitor movement of lumber and computer screens to ensure cuts are made according to specifications, and print production reports
- Clean and lubricate sawmill equipment.
Outlook & Prospects for Sawmill Machine Operators in Southern Region
The future forecast and current conditions for an occupation can vary based on location or due to changes in the economy, technology, or demand for a product or service.
Local Employment Potential Information
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Currently the chances of qualified Sawmill Machine Operators finding employment are considered to be fair in the local area. Employment potential is fair in the South Shore area but limited in Digby County. Historically, local mills export 85 percent of their product to America where continued weakness in their economy and a higher valued Canadian dollar has eroded sales margins and made Canadian products less competitive. In the South Shore area, Bowater Pulp and Paper ceased their periods of five-week shut downs in the spring, allowing for a more consistent level of processing and employment. In late 2010, AbitibiBowater announced that they were coming out of bankruptcy protection but indicated that challenges, including a continued declining demand for newsprint, continue. Reduced capacity at the mill in 2009 negatively affected supporting sectors like forest management, harvesting and trucking. Many supervisors are longer term employees that remain with the company and are promoted from within. However, Digby County still has access to an oversupply of experienced workers from past mill closures. Demand for this occupation may stall somewhat as more and more wood lot owners adopt automation. An experienced forestry worker has more opportunities for employment.
In addition to employment opportunities locally, opportunities may exist in other areas of the province or in other regions of the country. People who are able to work elsewhere may want to research opportunities for this occupation in other labour markets within Nova Scotia and across the country. The future employment outlook for Sawmill Machine Operators in Nova Scotia is expected to be fair over the next 5 years.
Additional information on Sawmill Machine Operators (opportunities in other areas, training, who hires, current job openings, statistics and other information), is available on other parts of this web site.
Local Labour Market News
Week of Apr 29 – May 03, 2013
- The mink farming industry in Nova Scotia is turning record profits. Most of the province's 120 mink farms and 1,000 workers are in Digby County.
Week of Apr 22 – Apr 26, 2013
- Composite Atlantic Ltd. of Lunenburg has landed a contract to produce a composite wheel bin for airline fuselages. Some job growth at the company is expected.
Week of Apr 15 – Apr 19, 2013
- Weymouth-based Lewis Mouldings and Wood Specialities, maker of various wood products, has received a loan from the provincial government to expand products and markets. The company employs 75 people and plans to add more with additional growth.
- Kings Produce Processing Ltd. has won a contract to make boxed lunches for soldiers at CFB Gagetown in Oromocto, N.B. The company employs 75 people in Middleton and has tripled its workforce in the past four years.
- Always Home Homecare, a care for seniors business based in Dartmouth, will open a satellite office in Liverpool in May 2013 and employ several homecare workers. Other satellite offices may follow in other parts of the province.
Week of Apr 08 – Apr 12, 2013
- Allendale Electronics of Lockeport has laid off 12 of its 36 employees after losing a contract. The company is attempting to gain new contracts, which would allow it to rehire.
- Cooke Aquaculture has hired 16 people for its farms at Jordan Bay and hopes soon to have 27 new employees in the area. Once the processing facility is completed in Shelburne by the end of 2015, 320 jobs are expected.
- Shelburne will benefit from federal money to help it expand and develop its industrial park
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