Lumber grader

Description

Lumber graders inspect lumber, or wood cut into planks. They test the lumber, look for irregularities and grade the wood based on quality and desirability of the pattern.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to lumber grader:

head lumber grader
lumber proofer
lumber quality tester
head lumber quality grader
head lumber proofer
head lumber tester
lumber quality grader
head lumber quality tester
lumber tester

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally the minimum required to work as a lumber grader.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Lumber grader is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Lumber grader career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to lumber grader.

engineered wood board grader
veneer grader
pulp grader
product grader
product quality controller

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of lumber grader. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of lumber grader with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

welding inspector
wood production supervisor
material testing technician
wood assembly supervisor
quality engineering technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of lumber grader.

  • Timber products: Key features, advantages and limitations of the different timbers and timber based products sold at a company and where to access this information.
  • Manufacturing processes: The steps required through which a material is transformed into a product, its development and full-scale manufacturing.
  • Grading systems: The features of several grading systems such as FAS (Firsts and Seconds) and various forms of SEL (Select) and Common, which are used to buy and sell lumber worldwide.
  • Construction products: The offered construction materials, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
  • Quality assurance methodologies: Quality assurance principles, standard requirements, and the set of processes and activities used for measuring, controlling and ensuring the quality of products and processes.
  • Wood products: The various wood products such as lumber and furniture, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Types of wood: Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of lumber grader.

  • Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
  • Record survey measurements: Gather and process descriptive data by using documents such as sketches, drawings and notes.
  • Mark lumber: The process of marking lumber to indicate grade and processing instructions. For this purpose lumber graders use markers to indicate several grade marks, such as the moisture content, lumber species or grade, and the trademark or logo.
  • Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
  • Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
  • Monitor manufacturing quality standards: Monitor quality standards in manufacturing and finishing process.
  • Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
  • Ensure public safety and security: Implement the relevant procedures, strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities for the protection of data, people, institutions, and property.
  • Define data quality criteria: Specify the criteria by which data quality is measured for business purposes, such as inconsistencies, incompleteness, usability for purpose and accuracy.
  • Report test findings: Report test results with a focus on findings and recommendations, differentiating results by levels of severity. Include relevant information from the test plan and outline the test methodologies, using metrics, tables, and visual methods to clarify where needed.
  • Examine lumber: The process of examining lumber on tables, moving belts, and chain conveyors to visually check for knots, holes, splits, and other possible defects.
  • Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
  • Define quality standards: Define, in collaboration with managers and quality experts, a set of quality standards to ensure compliance with regulations and help achieve customers’ requirements.
  • Distinguish lumber categories: Distinguish grade marks for each piece of lumber. These are based on its several possible strengths and defects. It allows grouping lumber into different size categories.
  • Use non-destructive testing equipment: Use specific non-destructive testing methods and equipment that do not cause any damage to the product, such as X-rays, ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle inspection, industrial CT scanning and others, in order to find defects in and assure quality of a manufactured and a repaired product.
  • Maintain test equipment: Maintain equipment used for testing the quality of systems and products.
  • Apply safety management: Apply and supervise measures and regulations concerning security and safety in order to maintain a safe environment in the workplace.
  • Grade lumber: Grade the quality of milled or rough-sawed lumber for irregularities, to ensure specified dimensions.
  • Prepare technical reports: Prepare technical reports that describe results and processes of scientific or technical research, or assess its progress. These reports help researchers to keep up to date with recent findings.
  • Distinguish wood quality: Distinguish different types of wood quality schemes, grading rules, and standards. See how quality differs between certain kinds of wood, such as hardwoods and softwoods.
  • Tally lumber: Keep a tally of specified grades and board footage of checked lumber required to fill an order.
  • Perform sample testing: Examine and perform tests on prepared samples; avoid any possibility of accidental or deliberate contamination during the testing phase. Operate sampling equipment in line with design parameters.
  • Conduct performance tests: Conduct experimental, environmental and operational tests on models, prototypes or on the systems and equipment itself in order to test their strength and capabilities under normal and extreme conditions.
  • Prepare samples for testing: Take and prepare samples for testing, verify their representability; avoid bias and any possibility of accidental or deliberate contamination. Provide clear numbering, labelling and recording of the sample details, in order to make sure that the results can be accurately matched to the original material.
  • Apply health and safety standards: Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.
  • Lead inspections: Lead inspections and the protocol involved, such as introducing the inspection team, explaining the purpose of the inspection, performing the inspection, requesting documents, asking appropriate questions, and maintaining a high level of professionalism when investigating subjects.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of lumber grader. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Woodworking processes: Steps in the processing of wood for the manufacturing of wooden articles and types of machines used for these processes such as drying, shaping, assembling and surface finishing.
  • Woodworking tools: The various tools used to process wood, such as planers, chisels and lathes.
  • Manufacturer’s recommended price: The estimated price the manufacturer suggests the retailer to apply to a product or service and the pricing method through which it is calculated.
  • Wood cuts: Different ways of cutting wood, across the grain or parallel with it, and radial or tangential to the core. The behaviour of cuts of wood under different circumstances and the optimal cut for a given purpose. Influence of special attributes of the wood, like knots or defects.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of lumber grader. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Manage supplies: Monitor and control the flow of supplies that includes the purchase, storage and movement of the required quality of raw materials, and also work-in-progress inventory. Manage supply chain activities and synchronise supply with demand of production and customer.
  • Set quality assurance objectives: Define quality assurance targets and procedures and see to their maintenance and continued improvement by reviewing targets, protocols, supplies, processes, equipment and technologies for quality standards.
  • Record production data for quality control: Keep records of the machine’s faults, interventions and irregularities for quality control.
  • Define manufacturing quality criteria: Define and describe the criteria by which data quality is measured for manufacturing purposes, such as international standards and manufacturing regulations.
  • Work safely with machines: Check and safely operate machines and equipment required for your work according to manuals and instructions.
  • Meet contract specifications: Meet contract specifications, schedules and manufacturers’ information. Check that the work can be carried out in the estimated and allocated time.
  • Assess felled timber volume: Measure the amount of timber felled using appropriate equipment. Take care of the equipment. Record the measured data.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
  • Revise quality control systems documentation: Revise quality control documents. Read through the documents, editing them, and revise items in the documentation like the numbering scheme, process to create new documents, revision and follow up process, closure of non-conformities, methods for tracking documents, etc.
  • Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
  • Negotiate price: Arrange an agreement on price of products or services provided or offered.
  • Inspect trees: Carry out tree inspections and surveys.
  • Handle timber-based products: Identify the main types of timber based products to be received at your company. Stack and store timber based products safely and in compliance with company procedures.
  • Check quality of raw materials: Check the quality of basic materials used for the production of semi-finished and finished goods by assessing some of its characteristics and, if needed, select samples to be analysed.
  • Recommend product improvements: Recommend product modifications and process improvements.
  • Handle timber: Identify the main types of timber to be received at your company. Stack and store timber safely and in compliance with company procedures.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
  • Assess felled timber quality: Evaluate the quality of the felled timber.

ISCO group and title

7543 – Product graders and testers (excluding foods and beverages)


References
  1. Lumber grader – ESCO
Last updated on October 22, 2022

What do you want to do with this job?

You will be brought to the forum page

Requires a business account

Requires a business account

Thinking about your next career move?

Answer a few questions about your jobs and education, and we’ll give you suggestions about your best possible career move. It’s completely free!