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Timber yard worker

Timber yard workers sort and label timber stock, cut wood to size, and make up and deliver orders for customers.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,000 to £20,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Up to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but some employers may ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent in subjects like English, maths and design and technology, or a level 1 college qualification in construction.

It’ll help you find work if you have some experience of warehouse or manual work. Experience in operating a forklift truck would also be useful.

If your job includes deliveries to customers, you’ll need a standard driving licence to use a van, or a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence for a delivery wagon.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • maths skills to work out quantities and make accurate measurements
  • practical ability
  • customer care skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • loading and unloading timber supplies by hand or using a forklift truck
  • moving and stacking timber
  • sorting and labelling wood into sizes and types
  • transferring timber to the sawmill or workshop
  • trimming the timber to size using basic cutting and sawing tools
  • treating timber, for example with preservatives
  • updating paper and computer records
  • making deliveries
  • advising customers and processing orders

4. Salary

Starter: £13,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £20,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week, Monday to Saturday. Overtime may be possible.

Most of your time would be spent outdoors in the yard.

Working in a sawmill or warehouse can get very noisy and dusty.

The work could be physically demanding with some heavy lifting at times.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisory work in the yard, mill or shop. 

You could also move into related areas like training and assessing, sales and marketing, or timber importing.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017