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Log Grader or Scaler

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Life As a Log Grader or Scaler

Career Description Grade logs or estimate the marketable content or value of logs or pulpwood in sorting yards, millpond, log deck, or similar locations. Inspect logs for defects or measure logs to determine volume.

Log Grader or Scaler Responsibilities

  • Measure felled logs or loads of pulpwood to calculate volume, weight, dimensions, and marketable value, using measuring devices and conversion tables.
  • Saw felled trees into lengths.
  • Arrange for hauling of logs to appropriate mill sites.
  • Identify logs of substandard or special grade so that they can be returned to shippers, regraded, recut, or transferred for other processing.
  • Record data about individual trees or load volumes into tally books or hand-held collection terminals.
  • Communicate with coworkers by using signals to direct log movement.

What Every Log Grader or Scaler Should Know

Log Graders and Scalers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Deckman
  • Pondman
  • Log Grader
  • Lumber Grader
  • Decker

Job Opportunities for Log Graders and Scalers

There were about 4,200 jobs for Log Grader or Scaler in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Log Grader or Scaler. There will be an estimated 500 positions for Log Grader or Scaler per year.


The states with the most job growth for Log Grader or Scaler are Idaho, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maine, or North Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Log Grader or Scaler Average Salary

Log Graders and Scalers make between $24,610 and $53,230 a year.


Log Graders and Scalers who work in Washington, Oregon, or Wisconsin, make the highest salaries.

How much do Log Graders and Scalers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $39,350
Arkansas $38,100
California $40,480
Florida $30,530
Georgia $37,410
Idaho $43,020
Indiana $46,740
Kentucky $31,410
Louisiana $35,900
Maine $39,170
Michigan $43,390
Mississippi $45,040
Missouri $30,460
Montana $40,560
New Hampshire $40,480
New York $40,060
North Carolina $41,610
Ohio $35,750
Oregon $43,890
Pennsylvania $36,670
South Carolina $39,250
Tennessee $34,330
Texas $32,640
Vermont $41,150
Virginia $35,680
Washington $47,480
West Virginia $35,780
Wisconsin $47,130

Tools & Technologies Used by Log Graders and Scalers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Log Graders and Scalers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word

How do I Become a Log Grader or Scaler?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Log Grader or Scaler?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Log Grader or Scaler?


Who Employs Log Graders and Scalers?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.



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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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