New Forestry Trade Certifications – an important accomplishment for the sector

In October 2022, Forestry Equipment Operator (Harvester, V190.1) and Forestry Equipment Operator (Forwarder, V189.1) became designated occupations under the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certificate Act. Harvester operator, Mike Mills, and forwarder operator, Tory Baker, became the first successful operators certified by the province after completing a 3.5-hour practical assessment and documenting more than the required operating hours. We congratulate Mike and Tory for being the first of many to earn this distinction! 

These new certified occupations represent a significant step towards their recognition as rewarding and prosperous careers in the New Brunswick forest sector. Collaboration with Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, J.D. Irving Ltd. and Forest NB have successfully advocated to have mechanized forestry equipment operators recognized as trades in New Brunswick, recognizing their importance for the sector. The thorough practical exam assesses operator skill and knowledge of key operational tasks. Candidates are required to demonstrate competency in 5 areas of regular duties: safe operating procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental protections, tree species identification & species-product specifications, mechanical checks & repairs, and properly performing major work activity.  Harvester and forwarder operators can apply for this voluntary certification through local Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification offices.  

The establishment of new trade certifications for forestry equipment operators as a designated trade in New Brunswick is a significant accomplishment for the sector. Recognized as a missing link in promoting a sustainable and prosperous career as forest equipment operator, the addition of these occupations as certified trades will not only benefit those established in an operator career but will allow for youth and new talent to view these occupations as a good career choice. The development of credentials and creation of upskilling and promotion opportunities benefit a healthy and sustainable workforce by providing current and prospective employees with tangible career accomplishments and opportunities for professional and personal growth.   

Forest NB is very pleased to highlight this important milestone in forest sector career development and recognize the efforts of those who have championed its creation. We look forward to seeing many more operators achieve this certification in the province!  

For more information on each certification, see the links below.

Forestry Equipment Operator (Harvester, V190.1) Forestry Equipment Operator (Harvester) (

Forestry Equipment Operator (Forwarder, V189.1) Forestry Equipemnt Operator (Forwarder) (

Local Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification offices Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification (