Soli wood

Solid wood

It takes nearly three decades for a radiata pine tree to grow to maturity in the forest, so raw logs need to be processed with great care and accuracy to extract the maximum timber – and value – out of each one.

Timber Machinists

Careers Information

What do they do?

Timber machinists are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of timber machining plant and equipment. They are also responsible for maintenance and are capable of troubleshooting and making decisions to maintain productivity.

Typical day

Typically, 8-10 hour days. Weekend work may be required. Grind knives to specification, operate specialised equipment, set up and operate planers and other timber machines, make, grind, joint and hone cutters to specification and identify and diagnose machined defects.

Does this sound like you?

Study areas

• Maths or Accounting or Economics 

• Computing / ICT / Information Management


• Confident communicator

• Good literacy and numeracy

• Confidence with IT, computers, technology

• Good work habits/time

Helpful experience

• Customer service or helping people

• Working with machinery

Preferred work environments

• Inside (workshop or plant)

• Different places from time to time

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$35k - $50k

Career Pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs

NCEA Level 2 is ideal

Timber Machinists

Team Leader

Unit/Achievement standards in schools Traineeship or Apprenticeship Higher learning Higher learning

What do we offer?

  • We partner with industry associations and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.
  • We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.
  • When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need.