How to Become a

Timber Buyer

The complete career guide to be a Timber Buyer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $37,420
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

A timber buyer is in charge of purchasing wood chips, industrial round-wood, wood waste fuel and any other residuals for the company or facility they may be working for. This role also involves providing assistance with securing the appropriate buyers and selling excess supplies.

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What is a Timber Buyer?


As a timber buyer, you are expected to complete the following tasks as highlighted below:

  • Assess timber requirements to be purchased from and sold to different third parties for every fiscal year with detailed descriptions on diameter class species and other volumes.
  • Keep track of log flows from the respective company facilities and purchase suppliers, to maintain quality requirements in accordance with compliance guidelines.
  • Undertake extensive research on various suppliers in the industry with the purpose of shortlisting them based on optimal pricing, reputation, quality, production and distribution capacity, service and reliability.
  • Coordinate with other staff like the Director of Solid Wood Resource Procurement, to ensure that purchase goals and other allocation success indicators are met through the fiscal year.
  • Maintain either computerized or manual records of items that were purchased, costs involved, inventory stock and product quality.

Day In The Life

Anyone aspiring to be a timber buyer will be in charge of day to day activities relating to procuring various types of timber or wood products. In this position, most of your time would be spent administering timber purchase contracts and keeping strong relationships with dependable and qualified professionals in the field, forestry consultants, landowners, log suppliers and often the public.

On a daily basis, some of the other tasks you will focus on include purchasing logs in accordance with the buying standards of your company, defining and monitoring the purchasing goals and objectives through the fiscal year, accurately reporting every purchase, supplier interaction and territory management responsibilities as applicable, and working constantly with senior management to track prospective suppliers for potential opportunities in a professional and ethical manner.

Work Schedule

A timber buyer must be comfortable with the prospect of traveling often, from and to different work sites to maintain work logs. The travel can take one to remote locations in parts of the state. Typically, you can expect to work a five day, 40 hours work week and overtime or working on the weekends is not unusual when deadlines emerge. Some timber buyers work on a seasonal basis, since layoffs may occur during high demand periods in summer or the fall.

Growth Of The Job

The industry demand for logging professionals like timber buyers is expected to rise with approximately 3000 new job opportunities to be filled by year 2018. With older workers retiring or existing employees choosing more lucrative offers, positions will also open up for aspiring timber buyers.

Typical Employers

There are several options for employment as a timber buyer. You could work with either private companies, government departments or forest companies. Some veer out to maintaining an independent business once they have accumulated sufficient experience in the industry. To excel in the field, one must demonstrate superior physical stamina and good health for long periods of fieldwork at different work sites.

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How To Become a Timber Buyer

To join such a timber procurement role, you must at least complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry, Forest Resource Management or a related field. At the high school level, you should take relevant coursework in mathematics and science. In terms of skills, a solid numerical ability combined with spatial perception is essential to make quick calculations when assessing the market value of different types of timber products. A comfort level with computers and operating automated machinery is very handy. Finally, having an adaptive and flexible personality is helpful since there may be unforeseen circumstances and delays regarding logging operations and distribution due to bad weather during the spring and winter seasons.

Gaining an early exposure to the industry through work experience or internships is crucial to acquaint yourself with the principles of sustainable forestry. Since the role requires you to spend long periods of time outdoors, you must be comfortable working outside a standard office environment while being able to communicate well across various audiences e.g. suppliers, loggers, timber scalers and other timber buyers. You have to be able to work well as part of a team, while also being effective spending time without close supervision when necessary.

Timber Buyer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Timber Buyer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Timber Buyer's can make an average annual salary of $37,420, or $18 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $28,990 or $14 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #577 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Timber Buyers

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 0.1%   Masters
  • 2.4%   Bachelors
  • 2.6%   Associates
  • 12.3%   College
  • 47.3%   High School
  • 35.4%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Timber Buyer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 3,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #594 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Timber Buyers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Sawmills and wood preservation 1,600 --- ---
Self-employed workers 900 --- 0%
Other wood product manufacturing 400 --- ---

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