Profession wood drying kiln operator

Wood drying kiln operators control the process of applying heat to moist or 'green' wood in order to obtain usable dry wood. Depending on the type of kiln, the drying operator will be responsible for moving the wood into and out of the kiln, temperature control, and ventilation.

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Personality Type


  • Kiln types

    Kiln characteristics, operation and types such as periodic kilns, updraft kilns, downdraft kilns, sprung arch kilns, or catenary arch kilns.

  • Construction products

    The offered construction materials, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.

  • Wood moisture content

    The amount of water contained in wood materials. The effect of wood moisture on the size and physical characteristics of the wood. Suitable moisture contents for different uses.

  • Wood products

    The various wood products such as lumber and furniture, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.

  • Timber products

    Key features, advantages and limitations of the different timbers and timber based products sold at a company and where to access this information.


  • Measure furnace temperature

    Monitor the product temperature using the available tools and measuring instruments and adjust furnace temperature if needed.

  • Handle timber

    Identify the main types of timber to be received at your company. Stack and store timber safely and in compliance with company procedures.

  • Handle timber-based products

    Identify the main types of timber based products to be received at your company. Stack and store timber based products safely and in compliance with company procedures.

  • Dry wood

    Adjust machine settings to adapt drying processes, drying times, and special treatments to the requirements of the requested wood to be dried.

  • Prepare kiln schedules

    Prepare kiln schedules, which consist of predetermining a set of temperatures and humidity conditions for different periods or stages of drying.

  • Load materials into furnace

    Load materials in furnace with correct positioning, fastening and levelling when needed.

  • Control kiln firing

    Control and monitor the kiln so that it fires ware (greenware or decorations) according to specified thickness and hardness.

  • Heat materials

    Put the materials in an oven and heat them for a certain amount of time and to a specific temperature to shape or cure the material.

  • Identify drying defects

    Identify a range of possible drying defects and their mutual causes.

  • Manage kiln ventilation

    Managing a product specific and energy efficient kiln ventilation.

  • Apply wood kiln drying technologies

    Dry timber stacks with modern and dated kiln technologies, such as dehumidification, solar, vacuum and conventional drying.

  • Acclimatise timber

    Acclimatise wooden materials to make sure they will not change size after installation, which may cause damage or produce an otherwise inadequate result. Leave the material in climatic circumstances very similar to those in the location where they will be used. Allow several days for the wood to acclimatise, depending on the type and circumstances.

  • Wear appropriate protective gear

    Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.

  • Stack timber

    Stack and align timber in neat and separate layers to make it ready for kiln drying.

Optional knowledge and skills

report defective manufacturing materials operate forklift carry out measurements of parts prepare production reports monitor storage space monitor gauge work as a team in a hazardous environment distinguish wood quality manage timber stocks move treated wood inspect quality of products identify hazards in the workplace assess felled timber volume drive timber piles keep records of work progress perform kiln maintenance methods of drying timber assess felled timber quality record production data for quality control industrial heating systems ventilation systems clean equipment operate grappler

Source: Sisyphus ODB