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Log Grader or Scaler

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What is a Log Grader or Scaler?

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Log Grader or Scaler: What Do They Do?

  • Evaluate log characteristics and determine grades, using established criteria.
  • Identify logs of substandard or special grade so that they can be returned to shippers, regraded, recut, or transferred for other processing.
  • Drive to sawmills, wharfs, or skids to inspect logs or pulpwood.
  • Measure felled logs or loads of pulpwood to calculate volume, weight, dimensions, and marketable value, using measuring devices and conversion tables.
  • Arrange for hauling of logs to appropriate mill sites.
  • Paint identification marks of specified colors on logs to identify grades or species, using spray cans, or call out grades to log markers.

Log Grader or Scaler Required Skills

When polled, Log Graders and Scalers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Other Log Grader or Scaler Job Titles

  • Timber Buyer
  • Log Marker
  • Procurement Forester
  • Deckman
  • Log Manager

Is There Job Demand for Log Graders and Scalers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 4,200 jobs in the United States for Log Grader or Scaler. 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

The typical yearly salary for Log Graders and Scalers is somewhere between $24,610 and $53,230.


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

How much do Log Graders and Scalers make in each U.S. state?

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

What Tools & Technology do Log Graders and Scalers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Log Graders and Scalers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word

How to 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?


Where do Log Graders and Scalers Work?


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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