Log Scaler

Carefully measure the length and circumference of chopped down trees.
picture of Log Scaler

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $48,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Log Scalers do?

The feel of lumber on your hands, the smell of sap and wood, the fresh air enlivening your skin—as a Log Scaler, you spend each day immersed in these elements of nature. That’s because you work outdoors, measuring and evaluating logs. Being a professional Log Scaler requires an understanding of market values, tree species, and basic mathematical skills.

As a Log Scaler, you go to work each day, but your workplace might be in a different location with each assignment. One day, you might be balancing on logs while they float in a pond. Another day might see you scaling the peak of a log mound, bound for transport on a semi-truck. Other days might see you in the mill yard or at the logging site.

Regardless of where you are, your job is to carefully measure each log. You run a tape measure down the length, and measure the circumference at both ends. Then you run those numbers through a hand-held calculator or computer program to figure the volume of the log. You also calculate the weight and evaluate the quality.

In other words, you must know exactly what kind of tree you’re dealing with. While some trees weigh a lot, they may actually have knots, splits, and rot. These unusable areas must be factored into your calculations. All of this information gives you a clear picture of what’s underneath the bark, and you use it to calculate a market value for the log. Of course, you keep precise records, in case anyone needs to reference them down the line.


Should I be a Log Scaler?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Deck Scaler, Landing Scaler, Log Check Scaler, Pond Scaler, Pulpwood Scaler

    How to become a Log Scaler

    Most Log Scalers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9lkcaa&chl=no+college+%2855%25%29|certificate+%2833%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|bachelor%27s+%282%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,55,55
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