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NOC Code: NOC Code: 9436 Occupation: Lumber graders and other wood processing inspectors and graders
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Lumber graders and other wood processing inspectors and graders inspect and grade lumber, shingles, veneer, waferboard and similar wood products to identify defects, ensure conformance to company specifications and classify products according to industry standards. They are employed by sawmills, planing mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing companies. Lumber graders and other wood processing inspectors and graders inspect and grade lumber, shingles, veneer, waferboard and similar wood products to identify defects, ensure conformance to company specifications and classify products according to industry standards. They are employed by sawmills, planing mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants and other wood processing companies.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read memos outlining orders, including numbers and sizes. (1)
  • Read company procedures when problems arise or instructions must be clarified. (2)
  • Read company memos or bulletins about changes to grading procedures. (2)
  • Read machine manuals to troubleshoot or set up machines and equipment. (3)
  • Read reports from lumber grading inspectors. (3)
  • Read grading manuals or standards booklets published by lumber grading associations, explaining grading characteristics and specifications. (3)
  • Read textbooks to research new products when grading a new type of wood. (3)
  • Read texts and manuals published by the forest industry to understand regulations and to instruct new employees. (4)
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  • Write reminder notes about tasks to be completed. (1)
  • Complete written records for supervisors, indicating how much lumber is cut, how much is ready for shipping and noting machine malfunctions or problems with runs. (1)
  • Complete operator production reports including formatted sections for production statistics and larger writing areas for other information, such as the reasons for downtime. (2)
  • Write report forms to lumber associations, when sawmills continually fall below grade. (2)
  • Write letters to inform sawmills of your accreditation status. (2)
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Document Use
  • Read bar code labels affixed to each board to check that products are correctly labelled. (1)
  • Mark wood materials with letters or codes with special crayons when grading, such as "C" meaning clear, "P" meaning premium knotting, or codes indicating how much scrap should be cut off the end of the piece of lumber. (1)
  • Read grading stamps and parts lists. (1)
  • Read signs and posters about the safe operation of saws. (1)
  • Read labels on client and broker files. (1)
  • Read monthly inspection reports. (2)
  • Refer to sketches and pictures in handbooks and manuals displaying defects such as knots, machine bites and torn grain. (2)
  • Read tables giving specifications and tolerances for various grades of wood products. (2)
  • Read computer screens or printouts listing how many products have been graded and the average number of mistakes made in grading different types of lumber. (2)
  • Read shipping forms. (2)
  • Read forms detailing grade statistics by category and volume. (2)
  • Read work orders which specify product quantities and dimensions. (2)
  • Complete operator production reports, including downtime, the number of products in each grade, length of time to grade them, numbers of boards downgraded and stock numbers. (3)
  • Refer to schematic drawings of machinery to troubleshoot mechanical problems. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use computer applications. For example, enter and read tallies on computerized counters. (1)
  • Use a database. For example, access quality control information on a database. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Speak with shippers or truck drivers to clarify orders or to determine when their services are needed. (1)
  • Inform co-workers when starting up trimming machines so that they will stand clear. (1)
  • Tell assistants which grades to put into the various bins and which lumber goes into which pile. (1)
  • Co-ordinate work with office staff, employees at planing mills, forklift drivers and other graders. (2)
  • Discuss work schedules with co-workers. (2)
  • Discuss mechanical problems with millwrights and electricians. (2)
  • Discuss priorities, quality control measures and borderline grades with foremen. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to discuss grades and production and safety issues, and to establish work priorities and procedures. (2)
  • Explain work procedures to trainee graders. (2)
  • Exchange opinions on grading decisions with co-workers and foremen. (2)
  • Take orders from customers and help them select wood to suit their purposes, when sales staff are unavailable. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule work crews, taking into account the amount of time it will take to finish runs. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure the length, width and thickness of wood products such as veneer sheets or pieces of lumber to see that they meet grade specifications. (1)
  • Measure knot holes and other irregularities appearing on the lumber to determine how they will affect the grade. (1)
  • Total the number of board feet graded during each quarter of a shift and the total number of board feet at the end of each shift. (1)
  • Use callipers to take precise measurements when checking machinery to ensure it is cutting to the correct size. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Calculate the average number of units of each grade produced per shift. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate how many pieces of good wood can be salvaged from a piece with one major defect. (2)
  • Estimate measurements of wood products to ensure they fit grade specifications. (2)
  • Estimate the number and size of defects such as worm holes to decide how to grade the wood. (2)
  • Estimate the number of boards that can be sanded and graded on a shift. (2)
  • Estimate the number and size of defects on veneer sheets in order to grade them. Make estimates of up to ten categories for each of eight different grades. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Lumber graders and other wood processing inspectors and graders follow production schedules set by their foremen. They may help to formulate these schedules by participating in meetings with other staff. Their tasks are dictated by the speed of production line belts or grading tables and the speed of co-workers, such as lathe operators who feed sheets to sections of the line and assistants who tend to the bins where the sheets are fed. Tasks are repetitive and require intense concentration. Work can be interrupted by equipment malfunctions, inspectors needing to provide training or running out of stock. Planning and organizing of job tasks is short-term, focusing primarily on grading high volume loads quickly and reacting to problems. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether substandard pieces of wood can be made acceptable to grade standards if they are sectioned into several smaller pieces. (2)
  • Decide whether to refuse a delivery which does not conform to standards, and what penalties should be imposed for fraudulent deliveries. (2)
  • Make instant decisions on how to grade and trim boards, on how the number and size of defects affect grades and whether to scrap products or sell them to reduce wastage. Grade decisions must fall within a 5 percent error tolerance, and can significantly affect production quality and profit margins. This decision making is at the core of the job with thousands of decisions being made during a shift. (3)
  • Decide whether work priorities set by the supervisors need to be adjusted in view of urgent orders or orders of large volume. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Deal with machine malfunctions such as sorter machine jams. Stop the machine, lock it out and make necessary adjustments or call for service help. (1)
  • The moisture levels are so high in the wood that it has set off moisture alarms. Wait until the wood is dry before grading it. The kiln temperature may be raised in order to dry wood faster. (1)
  • Deadlines are tight. Consider ways to speed production. Adjusting roller bars on the line, changing saws or repositioning wood are ways of increasing production. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Call trucking companies to verify shipments. (1)
  • Refer to grading manuals, pocket guides and consult with other graders or supervisors if unsure how products should be graded. (2)
  • Refer to training manuals and charts in textbooks from past training courses. (2)
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