wood panels

Wood panels

From the first cut in the log to the end result, producing top quality wood panels depends on people with knowledge, technical skills and good judgement.

Careers information

What do they do?

Wood panel workers process chip or logs into various different types of manufactured products by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibres, veneers or boards of wood together with adhesives. These products are engineered to precise design specifications which are tested to meet national or international standards.

For more information about careers in wood panel manufacturing click here to visit the Competenz Wood Careers website.

Typical day

Typically, an 8-hour day or shift work. Prepare logs, wood chips and other raw materials for production. Monitor and control computerised panel pressing machinery, operate sanding and stacking lines and grade product to specification.

Does this sound like you?

Study areas

• English or Media Studies or History

• Maths or Accounting or Economics 

• Food or Nutrition 

• Computing / ICT / Information Management


• Good at precision work

• Good literacy and numeracy

• Confidence with IT, computers, technology

• Good at problem solving/creative

Helpful experience

• Working with facts and figures

• Analysing, researching or problem solving

• Working with machinery

• Working with computers

Preferred work environments

• Inside (workshop or plant)

• One place every day

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$40k - $65k

Career Pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs

NCEA Level 2 is ideal

Wood Panel Worker

Team Leader

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

What do we offer?

  • We partner with industry associations like the Wood Processors Manufacturing Association 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 to gain.

What's changing?

New Zealand Certificates are replacing National Certificates. The industry and New Zealand Qualifications Authority will recognise all New Zealand and National Certificates as valid, relevant qualifications. Our Competenz account managers will work with companies and learners to help learners complete the appropriate qualifications.

How has the industry been involved?

Members of the industry have recommended the structure and content of the new qualifications.

The New Zealand Certificates are now available for learners to study towards. They will replace the National Certificates over the next few years.

If learners...


Are part way through a National Certificate

Our Competenz account managers will review learners’ progress and confirm the appropriate way forward for each learner.

Have not yet started their qualification 

They will enrol in the New Zealand Certificate.

Have completed  a National Certificate 

They will not need to enrol in the new qualification. The industry continues to recognise National Certificates as valid, relevant qualifications.

 Our Competenz account managers will work with companies and learners to help them understand what they need to do to complete the appropriate qualification.

National Certificates

In some cases two programme options exist for each qualification. A shorter duration option may be chosen if the trainee already holds some of the required units and will therefore complete the qualification in a shorter time.