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How to become a Timber Yard Operative

timber yard operative careers

What does a Timber Yard Operative do?

The work of a timber yard operative varies depending on the employer but is likely to include some of the following tasks:

  • loading, unloading, moving and stacking timber, either manually or with a forklift truck
  • sorting and labelling timber into sizes or wood types
  • transferring timber to the sawmill or workshop
  • treating timber
  • updating paper- and computer-based records
  • making deliveries.
In some yards operatives also deal with customers, giving advice on products and processing orders.

While most of the timber cutting is done by trained and qualified wood machinists in the sawmill, timber yard operatives may occasionally use basic cutting and sawing tools to cut timber to size. See the Wood Machinist profile.

What's the working environment like working as a Timber Yard Operative?

Timber yard operatives normally work a 40-hour week, Monday-Friday, with some Saturday mornings and occasional overtime.

Yard operatives work outside in all weathers. Mill or warehouse work can be noisy and dusty. Safety boots are usually worn, and it is often necessary to wear safety clothing or overalls.

What does it take to become a Timber Yard Operative?

To be a timber yard operative you should:

  • be physically fit
  • have good communication skills for dealing with customers
  • be numerate for calculating quantities and measurements
  • have good practical skills
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be able to follow health and safety regulations when moving and handling timber.

Timber Yard Operative Career Opportunities

Timber yard operatives may move into supervisory work in the yard, mill or shop. Opportunities also exist in management, training and assessing, sales and marketing and timber importing.

There are limited opportunities for self-employment or for work exporting timber from abroad.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Timber Yard Operative that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Timber Trade Federation
Clareville House
26/27 Oxendon Street

The Doorway

Builders Merchants Federation
15 Soho Square
Tel: 0870 901 3380

Institute of Wood Science
Stocking Lane
Hughenden Valley
High Wycombe
HP14 4NU

Courses to help you become a Timber Yard Operative