It takes nearly three decades for a radiata pine tree to grow to maturity in the forest, so raw logs need to be processed with great care and accuracy to extract the maximum timber – and value – out of each one.
What does it involve?
Wood processing workers:
- operate sawmill machinery
- operate log loaders and fork-lifts
- sort, stack and grade timber
- trim timber pieces to a standard length
- record timber sizes and grades and the amount of timber in the yard
- clean the work areas and equipment
- package and wrap timber for delivery.
Skills and knowledge
Wood processing workers need to have knowledge of the sawmill process
- knowledge of timber characteristics
- the sizes and grades of timber required for different products
- safety procedures.
The also need mechanical skills to do basic machinery maintenance.
How could I get into the industry?
There are no specific entry requirements to become a wood processing worker, though a fork-lift licence may be useful. Wood processing workers need to be:
- careful and efficient
- able to remain calm under pressure.
Useful experience includes previous work in the timber or forestry industries, work with heavy machinery and/or engineering experience.
Wood processing workers need to have a good level of health and fitness. They also need to have normal colour vision and good hand-eye co-ordination.
How much could I earn?
$35k - $50k
How we support your industry
We partner with industry associations like the Wood Processors Manufacturing Association and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.
We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.
New Zealand Certificates are replacing National Certificates. The industry and New Zealand Qualifications Authority will recognise all New Zealand and National Certificates as valid, relevant qualifications. Our Competenz account managers will work with companies and learners to help learners complete the appropriate qualifications.
How has the industry been involved?
Members of the industry have recommended the structure and content of the new qualifications.
How will the industry move to the New Zealand Certificates?
The New Zealand Certificates are now available for learners to study towards. They will replace the National Certificates over the next few years.
Are part way through a National Certificate
Our Competenz account managers will review learners’ progress and confirm the appropriate way forward for each learner.
Have not yet started their qualification
They will enrol in the New Zealand Certificate.
Have completed a National Certificate
They will not need to enrol in the new qualification. The industry continues to recognise National Certificates as valid, relevant qualifications.
Our Competenz account managers will work with companies and learners to help them understand what they need to do to complete the appropriate qualification.
Solid wood manufacturing qualifications are comprised of a number of disciplines, each with a unique qualification variation (strand) and specific unit standards (learning outcomes) to help assess competency and promote best practices in the yard or in the processing factory.
In some cases two programme options exist for each qualification. A shorter duration option may be chosen if the trainee already holds some of the required units and will therefore complete the qualification in a shorter time.
Competenz also offers solid wood manufacturing apprenticeships which result in the completion of both a Level 3 and Level 4 qualification. Our solid wood manufacturing apprenticeships include:
- Apprenticeship in Finger Jointing
- Apprenticeship in Saw Doctoring
- Apprenticeship in Sawmilling
- Apprenticeship in Timber Machining
All of our apprenticeships comply with the New Zealand Apprenticeship rules.
New Zealand Certificates
The programme handbook summarises the New Zealand Certificates and how to work towards them.
NZ Certificate in Solid Wood Manufacturing (Level 2)
- Timber grading: 58 credits, 8-12 months
- Sawmilling: 53 credits, 8-12 months
- Timber drying: 45 credits, 8-12 months
- Laminating: 55 credits, 12 months
- Pole, post and pile: 74 credits, 14 months
- Timber machining: 53 credits, 8-12 months
- Finger jointing: 53 credits, 13 month
- Wood panel manufacture: 58 credits, 8-12 months
NZ Certificate in Wood Manufacturing (Level 2)
- Foundation knowledge: 40 credits, 12 months
- Wood handing and distribution: 40 credits, 9 months
- Wood processing: 41 credit, 10 months
NZ Certificate in Solid Wood Manufacturing (Level 3)
- Timber grading: 74 credits, 8-12 months
- Sawmilling: 49 credits, 12 months
- Timber treatment: 67 credits, 18 months
- Pole, post and pile: 62 credits, 18 months
- Timber machining: 79 credits, 18 months
- Finger jointing: 78 credits, 18 month
- Saw doctoring: 77 credits, 16 months
NZ Certificate in Wood Handing and Distribution (Level 3)
- Log yard operations: 53 credits, 12 months
- Wood fibre operations: 55 credits, 12 months
- Timber yarding and dispatch: 50 credits, 12 months
NZ Certificate in Solid Wood Manufacturing (Level 4)
- Timber grading: 50 credits, 8 - 12 months
- Timber drying: 45 credits, 8 - 12 months
- Timber treatment: 55 credits, 8 - 12 months
- Laminating: 48 credits, 12 months
NZ Certificate in Timber Machining (Level 4)
160 credits, 30 months
NZ Certificate in Finger Jointing (Level 4)
120 credits, 24 months
NZ Certificate in Saw Doctoring (Level 4)
125 credits, 24 months
NZ Certificate in Sawmilling (Level 4)
80 credits, 18 months
NZ Certificate in Manufacturing (Level 5)
New Zealand Certificate in manufacturing in level 5: 65 credits, 9 months