NOC 8421- Chain saw and skidder operators


  • bucker
  • bucker – logging
  • cable skidder operator
  • chain saw operator – logging
  • chaser – logging
  • cordwood cutter
  • cutter – logging
  • faller
  • faller – logging
  • faller and bucker – logging
  • feller
  • feller – logging
  • forest worker – logging
  • grapple skidder operator
  • hardwood faller and bucker
  • horse logger
  • landing bucker – logging
  • landingman/woman
  • landingman/woman – logging
  • log cutter
  • logger
  • logging tractor operator
  • lumberjack
  • pieceworker – logging
  • pole cutter
  • post cutter
  • pulpwood cutter
  • skidder operator
  • skidder operator – logging
  • wood cutter – logging

Job 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
  • 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.

Additional Information

  • There is a trend toward company certification of chain saw operators in larger companies.
  • Chain saw operators often must own and maintain their own chain saw.
  • There is some mobility among jobs within this unit group as chain saw and skidder operators often work in teams and rotate jobs.
  • Mobility may be limited from eastern and central forest zones to western forest zones where tree size or steep terrain may require different cutting and yarding methods.
  • Progression to logging machinery operator positions is possible with experience.
  • Progression to supervisory positions or self-employment as a logging contractor is possible with experience.


  • Logging and forestry labourers (8616)
  • Logging contractors and supervisors (in 8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry)
  • Logging machinery operators (8241)
  • Silviculture and forestry workers (8422)
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