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If you love exercise and working outdoors, being a lumberjack might be the right career path for you. Lumberjacks work long days with heavy equipment, cutting the timber that ends up in homes and buildings around the world. Although the career is not for everyone, being a lumberjack comes with many benefits.
Lumberjacks typically spend long hours working with heavy equipment. This kind of work provides an excellent muscular and cardiovascular workout. For example, a logger will usually work an eight- to 10-hour day outdoors, wielding a chainsaw to chop down the trees in the area. This work requires heavy lifting, and builds up a lot of muscular strength. This is part of why "lumberjack competitions" have arisen as a popular sport in many parts of North America.
Lumberjacks typically work outdoors in the wilderness. That may appeal to some outdoor enthusiasts. But if you're an environmentalist, being a lumberjack might seem repulsive since the logging industry is known for destroying large areas of wilderness. Today many lumberjacks work with forestry officials on conservation areas, meaning that loggers are responsible for the environmental effects of their work. For loggers with a conscience, this can be an advantage.
Being a logger has its financial advantages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, logging workers earn between $30,000 and $80,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Economic Research, loggers' average personal income in the United States was $40,000 in 2010. Thus, with an upper range of $80,000, logging has an earnings potential that exceeds the average for the population. This is especially noteworthy when considering that loggers do not require any post-secondary education.
Many loggers are members of unions, guilds and trade associations. Membership in these groups comes with considerable advantages. Members of Associated Oregon Loggers, for example, get group insurance options and opportunities for input into government forestry policy. This is also an important benefit for the families of loggers. Because logging is a dangerous profession, families might want to know that their loved one has health coverage and life insurance. With union membership, loggers have both.