How Do I Become a Log Scaler?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A log scaler determines the amount of lumber that can be made from a tree.
A log scaler determines the amount of lumber that can be made from a tree.

A log scaler is a person who works in the logging industry; the primary responsibilities include measuring the scale of a cut log and making a determination of the wood grade of that log. He will do a general inspection of the log to determine its usefulness overall. To become a log scaler, you will need to complete a high school education and have basic math skills. After high school, most of the skills necessary to become a log scaler can be learned on the job; in some cases, an apprenticeship may be available.

The best way to become a log scaler is to get a job within the logging industry and work your way up through the ranks. This may mean working for several years in a lower paying and lower responsibility position; whenever possible, you should try to work with current log scalers so you can learn the skills and techniques necessary to become a log scaler full time. This is also a good opportunity to learn as much as possible about the logging industry and the processes a log scaler is likely to participate in. You can take the time to learn about the different types of wood and the different grades as well.

If a logger's union exists in your area, you may want to consider joining, as this will give you many opportunities to learn more about logging and potentially secure an apprenticeship that will help you become a log scaler. In some parts of the world, such an apprenticeship may be required in order to become a log scaler, so be sure to check in with any local unions to find out if any such requirements exist. Other parts of the world may not have unions and an apprenticeship may not be necessary at all, in which case you will most likely learn the skills and techniques on the job.

Many logging companies will have training programs available to employees for various logging jobs. A log scaler training program can be offered by a private company, and that company will teach the proper techniques, not to mention safety techniques and other concerns for job efficiency and safety.

You can prepare yourself to become a log scaler by getting into good physical shape as well. You will spend a significant part of your day on your feet, and you may have to do heavy lifting, walking, or even some minor climbing. You certainly don't have to be in peak physical condition to complete the job, but it helps to be in good shape and generally healthy.

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    • A log scaler determines the amount of lumber that can be made from a tree.
      By: Lars Johansson
      A log scaler determines the amount of lumber that can be made from a tree.