​70 S Val Vista Dr, Suite ​A3-186

Gilbert, Arizona 852​96


Interesting in representing ACTC & the arboriculture profession at a High School Career Day?  Click here to volunteer

Tree Careers

Want a career working around trees?  Great news!  There are hundreds of opportunities to make a good living doing good work involving trees.  Some of the careers require a college degree and some do not so no matter what your education path may be, there is something for you here.  

Do you like to work outdoors?  Do you like to work with your hands?  Do you want to help the environment?  If you can answer "Yes" to these questions, then you should think about a career as an arborist.  You could plant and care for trees that people will enjoy for generations to come.  You could truly help protect the environment and improve your community.

Arborists combine physical skills, technical knowledge, and a sincere interest in trees to gain personal satisfaction and earn a good living.

The skills of the professional arborist are more valuable than ever because of the increased recognition of the environmental, economic, and social benefits of trees.  

Many career opportunities are waiting for you in the tree care industry.  If you become an arborist, you can help improve the quality of life in our urban environment.

How to Prepare

If you are looking for academic training in this field, you'll find that many schools offer associate degree programs in arboriculture. Bachelor's and master's degrees in forestry and urban forestry (the care of trees in city parks and landscapes) are also available. You may also find some graduate-level urban forestry courses in natural resource development programs.

Fundamental courses in an arboriculture associate degree program include horticulture equipment operation and repair, arboriculture techniques, plant pest control, landscape drafting and tree surgery. Some associate degree programs will even include internships and fieldwork so you can get an idea of how you may apply course concepts in a practical way.

A bachelor's degree program in urban forestry is likely to include a broader range of classes that cover tree identification, forest ecology, soil science and forest health. A master's degree program in forestry will offer you advanced courses in areas like tree nutrition and tree physiology. 

If you are seeking on-the-job training and advancement, there are many options for you as well!

Arborists can receive on-the-job training from tree care companies, landscaping companies, nurseries, municipalities and utilities. They may be required to interact with clients, identify trees and clear debris by pruning trees and shrubs. Entry-level arborists can also learn how to use tree maintenance tools. Examples of entry-level positions include those of commercial, municipal and utility groundworkers.

Become Certified

In some cases, employers prefer arborists that are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). To qualify for the ISA's Certified Arborist credentialing exam, candidates need at least three years of experience. However, those who hold an associate's degree only need two years of experience; one year of experience is required for applicants who have a bachelor's degree. Additional areas of certification are available for utility specialists, municipal specialists, tree worker-climber specialists and tree worker aerial-lift specialists. The ISA offers a Master Arborist designation as well.

Earn continuing education units. The Certified Arborist credential must be renewed every three years. To qualify for re-certification, individuals must obtain 30 continuing education units and pay a fee.

Potential Employers

Commercial tree service companies

Public utility companies

City, county, and other government agencies

Landscape maintenance firms, nurseries, and garden centers

Arboriculture equipment and chemical manufacturers

Cooperative Extension Service, universities, and community colleges

Industrial complexes, private estates, theme parks, and resorts

Arboreta, botanical gardens, and tree research centers

Landscape architectural planning and development firms

Professional associations and publishers of trade magazines

Careers working with trees part 1

Careers working with trees part 2

A career field that spans the globe!

A great career

Interesting in representing ACTC & the arboriculture profession at a High School Career Day?  Click here to volunteer

 Arizona Community Tree Council  * 70 S Val Vista Dr, Ste A3-186  *  Gilbert, AZ  *  602-354-3023     Contact Us

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software