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Tree Cutters

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This is a Demand OccupationA Demand Occupation is defined as follows.

The hierarchy for qualification is the Regional Demand
(the occupation had a entry wage equal to or greater
than 90% of the Economic Development Region (EDR) negotiated
wage as an average of all LWIA’s in the EDR AND at
least 25 annual average job openings in the EDR);
State Wide (the occupation qualified for at least
5 of the Regional Demands and thus was added to all
ten EDR lists); Career Cluster (the occupation is
listed on at least one of the six career clusters
Illinois has identified as priority [data is available
under the career clusters on the The National
Association of State Directors of Career Technical
Education Consortium website at ]), and Regional
Request (an LWIA received approval of a request to
add an occupation code to its EDR list based on substantiative
data and information supporting a need in the region).
NOTE: Only those occupations with a Source of Regional
Demand or State Wide will be eligible for incentive
bonus award under the Minimum Training Expenditure
policy requirements.

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Statewide

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Tree Cutters - Occupation Overview

  • Work in teams
  • Use tools such as chain saws, wedges, and axes
  • Some operate tractors and heavy trucks
  • Work outdoors
  • Train on the job
  • Are highly physically active on the job
  • Often have months off at a time
  • About 33 percent are self-employed
  • Earn $46,960 - $53,100 per year (Illinois median)
  • Earn $33,380 - $35,250 per year (national median)

Loggers work in teams to build and repair roads, clear brush, cut and buck trees, and move logs to mills and shipyards.

Loggers inspect standing trees to see if they are useful and safe to cut. They mark trees they do not want cut. They designate a falling area where the trees will be cut and trimmed. They do this by clearing brush away from the trees, using chain saws, axes, and tractors.

Fallers are logging workers who cut down trees. When trees are more than two feet in diameter, fallers cut them down by hand using axes and chainsaws. With smaller trees, they may use equipment to fell, move, and load them. Fallers decide how to direct the falling trees. They make their cuts and position wedges and jacks to control the fall.

Fallers start the felling process by using axes to score cutting lines onto trees. They cut along these lines with chainsaws. They make back cuts, being sure to leave enough wood to control the tree. Fallers insert jacks and drive wedges behind the chainsaw. This keeps the saws from getting stuck and starts the trees falling. As the tree falls, they stop the saw, remove it, and move to a safe location to avoid injury. Fallers put limbs or poles under felled trees to protect the trees from splitting on the underside and to keep them from rolling.

Once trees are felled, buckers trim the tops and branches and cut trees using chainsaws and axes. Choker setters fasten cables to logs that are ready to be moved. Logging tractor operators drag or skid logs to the landing area. Yarder operators load logs into trucks or rail cars, or stack them for pickup by helicopters. They may use radios to talk to truck drivers or helicopter pilots.

Some loggers operate heavy-duty equipment. For example, they sometimes operate logging tractors to build or repair logging roads. They also use this equipment to pull stumps and clear brush. Some loggers use horses to pack their equipment in and drag logs out of cutting areas. Other loggers may travel to cutting sites by helicopter and use helicopters to haul the logs out.


    

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