Chain saw and skidder operators (NOC 8421)

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Changes have been made to the method for estimating job prospects per occupation. To better reflect the reality of the job market and the new method of estimation, the prospect diagnostics have been modified. Thus, the possible diagnostics are now excellent, good, limited and not published. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.
Estimated hourly wage
in Québec (2016-2018)
Minimum Not published
Median Not published
Maximum Not published
Job prospect
(2017-2021)
Employment in 2016
1,500
Skill level
Intermediate (generally a secondary school diploma)

Occupation targeted by the Workplace Apprenticeship Program

Please note that detailed information for each of the occupations under the Workplace Apprenticeship Program is only available in French.

Significant seasonality

Nature of work

Chain saw and skidder operators operate chain saws to fell, delimb and buck trees, and operate skidders to move or yard the felled trees from the logging site to the landing area for processing and transportation. They are employed by logging companies and contractors.

Main duties

  • Chain saw and skidder operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Operate chain saw to fell, delimb and buck trees at the logging site and loading area
  • - Operate cable, or grapple skidder to move or yard the felled trees from the logging site to the landing area for processing and transportation
  • - Assess site, terrain and weather conditions before felling and yarding trees
  • - Continued…
  • - May work as member of a team rotating between chain saw operation and skidder operation
  • - May maintain and perform minor repairs on skidders, chain saws and other equipment.

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of secondary school may be required.
  • * Completion of a college program for forest workers may be required.
  • * Formal training in chain saw operation and maintenance and several months of on-the-job training are usually provided.
  • * Previous experience as a logging and forestry labourer or logging machine operator may be required. Experience requirements vary depending on the type and location of woodlands operations.
  • * Provincial certification or a forest worker program certificate is required in some provinces.
  • * Trade certification for fallers is available, but voluntary in Quebec.
  • * Workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) and first aid certificates may be required.

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