Timber trader


Timber traders assess the quality, quantity and market value of timber and timber products for trade. They organise the selling process of new timber and purchase stocks of timber.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to timber trader:

timber merchant
timber seller
wood merchant
lumber merchant
trader of timber

Minimum qualifications

Associate’s degree is generally required to work as timber trader. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

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.

Timber trader is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Timber trader career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to timber trader.

forestry technician
hospitality entertainment manager
department store manager
accommodation manager
travel agency manager

Long term prospects

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

forestry adviser
wood factory manager
technical sales representative in agricultural machinery and equipment
technical sales representative in chemical products

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of timber trader.

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.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of timber trader.

Sell processed timber in a commercial environment: Check that the sales area is in a suitable condition for customers and that the stock and materials are in a suitable condition to be sold.
Process returned timber products: Confirm the type, quantity, and condition of the goods being returned. Ask the client for the reason why the goods are being returned. Provide all relevant details and update the stock control system. Inspect returned goods to confirm the reason for returning the goods. Take the goods to the correct location, and ensure they are kept separately from normal stock.
Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
Manage timber orders: Ensure that goods are in stock and accessible so that they can be dispatched. Identify any special loading or transportation requirements relating to the assembly of orders. Check and confirm any requirements to maintain the condition of the goods while the order is being assembled. Assemble the orders with the correct type and quantity of goods. Label orders following organisational procedures.
Study prices of wood products: Be aware of current market studies and forecasts concerning supply, demand, trade and prices of wood and related products.
Advise on timber-based products: Use appropriate questioning techniques to get information from customers, advising the customers on the suitable uses for the different products in the organisation. Advise customers on the types of adhesives to use. Explain the limitations of products to customers.
Inspect timber: Inspect timber sale sites and reforestation activities for compliance with permits and regulations.
Write technical reports related to trees: Compose written adequate reports about tree-realted issues for parties such as engineers, solicitors, or mortgage and insurance companies, for example if tree roots are causing problems to the integrity of buildings and infrastructure.
Negotiate price: Arrange an agreement on price of products or services provided or offered.
Inspect trees: Carry out tree inspections and surveys.
Carry out purchasing operations in the timber business: Carry out purchasing operations within the scope of personal responsibility and with due regard to production efficiency and business objectives.
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.
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.
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.
Manage timber stocks: Inspect the stock to find out how much is left. Identify any damaged, faulty, or out of date items and move them to the appropriate location. Follow stock rotation methods to ensure stock is used effectively. Handle goods using safe and approved handling methods.
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.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

Optional skills and competences

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

Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Monitor logging operations: Ensure that logging operation follow the contractually agreed terms and specified procedures. Strive to solve any problems that arise during the operation. Improve on existing methods and ensure compliance with safety, company, and government regulations.
Implement marketing strategies: Implement strategies which aim to promote a specific product or service, using the developed marketing strategies.
Manage logs segregation and stacking: Stack and segregate logs to enable ease of extraction, including placement of brash clear of timber zone.
Coordinate timber sales: Efficiently coordinate timber selling in a profitable way. Assist companies in reaching timber production goals by managing timber sales. Takes lead role in timber sale layout and road location activities including clearing and posting timber sale boundaries, cruising timber to determine volumes and grade and marking trees to be removed in commercial thinning operations.
Read maps: Read maps effectively.
Monitor forest health: Monitor forest health to make sure all necessary actions are taken by the forestry workers team.
Conduct land surveys: Conduct surveys to determine the location and features of natural and man-made structures, on surface level as well as underground and underwater. Operate electronic distance-measuring equipment and digital measuring instruments.
Manage forests: Develop forestry management plans by applying business methods and forestry principles in order to efficiently manage forest resources.
Work in a forestry team: Collaborate with other forest workers in a team in service of forestry or forest related operations.
Pack timber products: Ensure that the timber and the timber goods are wrapped or packed conforming to the provide specifications and the schedule agreed upon. Make sure the goods are not damaged during the packing or wrapping process.
Comply with timber trade code of conduct: Promote consumer confidence in the workplace by watching over provided wood products and comply with their related legislation. Conduct business in a professional and transparent manner towards customers.
Process collected survey data: Analyse and interpret survey data acquired from a wide variety of sources e.g. satellite surveys, aerial photography and laser measurement systems.
Monitor forest productivity: Monitor and improve forest productivity by organising growing, timber harvesting, and health measures.
Advise on timber harvest: Provide guidance on how to apply the most appropriate timber harvesting method: clearcut, shelterwood, seed tree, group selection or single-tree selection.
Implement sales strategies: Carry out the plan to gain competitive advantage on the market by positioning the company’s brand or product and by targeting the right audience to sell this brand or product to.
Identify market niches: Analyse the composition of the markets, segment these into groups, and highlight the opportunities that each one of these niches represent in terms of new products.
Operate forestry machinery: Operate machinery on and off road for harvesting, forwarding and transportation of wood.
Report the results of treatment: Analyse and process information and data, and subsequently formulate the results in a written report.

ISCO group and title

3323 – Buyers





  1. Timber trader – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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