Fallers
45-4021.00

Use axes or chainsaws to fell trees using knowledge of tree characteristics and cutting techniques to control direction of fall and minimize tree damage.

Sample of reported job titles: Cutter Operator, Logger, Sawyer, Timber Cutter, Timber Faller, Tree Faller, Tree Feller, Tree Topper

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Stop saw engines, pull cutting bars from cuts, and run to safety as tree falls.
  • Appraise trees for certain characteristics, such as twist, rot, and heavy limb growth, and gauge amount and direction of lean, to determine how to control the direction of a tree's fall with the least damage.
  • Saw back-cuts, leaving sufficient sound wood to control direction of fall.
  • Clear brush from work areas and escape routes, and cut saplings and other trees from direction of falls, using axes, chainsaws, or bulldozers.
  • Measure felled trees and cut them into specified log lengths, using chain saws and axes.
  • Assess logs after cutting to ensure that the quality and length are correct.
  • Determine position, direction, and depth of cuts to be made, and placement of wedges or jacks.
  • Control the direction of a tree's fall by scoring cutting lines with axes, sawing undercuts along scored lines with chainsaws, knocking slabs from cuts with single-bit axes, and driving wedges.
  • Trim off the tops and limbs of trees, using chainsaws, delimbers, or axes.
  • Select trees to be cut down, assessing factors such as site, terrain, and weather conditions before beginning work.
  • Maintain and repair chainsaws and other equipment, cleaning, oiling, and greasing equipment, and sharpening equipment properly.
  • Insert jacks or drive wedges behind saws to prevent binding of saws and to start trees falling.
  • Tag unsafe trees with high-visibility ribbons.
  • Secure steel cables or chains to logs for dragging by tractors or for pulling by cable yarding systems.
  • Load logs or wood onto trucks, trailers, or railroad cars, by hand or using loaders or winches.
  • Mark logs for identification.
  • Work as a member of a team, rotating between chain saw operation and skidder operation.
  • Place supporting limbs or poles under felled trees to avoid splitting undersides, and to prevent logs from rolling.
  • Split logs, using axes, wedges, and mauls, and stack wood in ricks or cord lots.

back to top

Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 97% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 82% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 85% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 72% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 42% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 52% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 37% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Spend Time Keeping or Regaining Balance — 61% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 34% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 28% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 24% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 32% responded “Highly competitive.”

back to top

Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education
Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, sewing machine operators, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
SVP Range
Up to 3 months of preparation (Below 4.0)

back to top

Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

back to top

Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

back to top

Knowledge

No knowledge met the minimum score.

back to top

Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 56%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 44%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info

back to top

Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Speed of Limb Movement — The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

back to top

Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

back to top

Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

back to top

Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$22.94 hourly, $47,700 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
5,600 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Decline (-1% or lower)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
800
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

back to top

More Information

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top