How to Be an Arborist 2024 Guide: Education and Career Roadmap


Have you seen public parks full of beautiful trees so well maintained? How many times did you need to trim the trees in your yard or garden? Of course, no one can do this job like professionals, and these are arborists. Maybe some of you have thought about choosing this kind of career. Therefore, in our 2024 Guide, see how to become an arborist and how to roadmap your education and future career.

What do Arborists Do?

Most of us remember our childhood through memories of adventurous tree climbing. However, some people continue with this activity even as adults. They are arborists. These are nature lovers and, as some call them, tree surgeons. However, just as surgery can also be aesthetic – tree surgeons are not there just to trim branches. It is a profession that can encourage you to create real works of art. In addition, arborists are very often necessary, especially in populated and urban areas, where trees can sometimes make a problem. Also, crown shaping, tree care, and aesthetic pruning are part of this job in which you have to be both an artist and a hero – but above all, a doctor for trees.

What Else is in the Domain of This Job?


An arborist is somewhere between a scientist and an adrenaline junkie. Namely, this job is a combination of scientific tasks and full psycho-physical readiness. Arborists have their scientific part of the job in which they take samples from trees or the soil where the trees are growing. The goal is to keep the trees healthy and beautiful. Hand skills are also required because the trees need to be properly pruned – or the crowns should be shaped in the way it was intended. Also, arborists must be able to chemically treat plants to destroy the harmful substances that attack them. You can click here to see what it takes to become an arborist and how long it takes. Ultimately, this job requires physical strength and fitness because arborist works outdoors and often at heights.

The Challenges of This Job


Few would dare to do a job similar to an adrenaline sport. However, professional arborists can take on such challenges. Their workplace is sometimes at heights of over 40-50 meters, in the crowns of tall trees. With a belt around their waist, a chainsaw, and gloves, you will often see them rescuing endangered trees in areas inaccessible to most of us. Arborists do tree pruning and removal of dry branches that can pose a danger to the environment. Likewise, they deal with the “treatment” of trees, and reluctantly, when they have to – they remove the trees. And no matter how simple it sounds, it is a complicated and dangerous job. The very fact that you often work at great heights tells you that this is a job where there is no room for mistakes.

Are You Interested In Making a Career As an Arborist? Here’s What You Should Do


If you are one of those lovers of nature and “green design” and at the same time you like working outdoors and are not afraid of heights – then, this could be the right job for you. However, the problem is that there are no specialist studies or anything similar for arborists. So how do you start doing this business? Here’s what you need to do.

● Finish secondary education first

The vast majority of employers for this job require that you have at least a high school diploma, and it is desirable that you also have a GED. For example, a diploma in ecology, horticulture, forestry, or biology can help you develop a successful career working as an arborist in the future.

● Work on getting your license

As we said, there is no specific school for this job, but there are different types of training. However, to work as an arborist, you need to have a license. Depending on the state, the license will be approved by state ministries such as those for environmental protection or the ministries of ecology, energy, or similar. Before you start working, inquire whether you need a license and who issues it.

● Train yourself for work by doing an internship


The best way to improve your knowledge and skills in this area is to do an internship at companies that deal with tree care and pruning. With this kind of practice, you will learn a lot about the trees, and tree care, but also about the tools used in this work. You will have the opportunity to learn or improve your knowledge in the diagnostics of plant and tree diseases, which is very important in this job.

● Learning about security measures

This s very important in the work of arborists because their work is very risky. Namely, these experts often find themselves in dangerous situations when climbing heights, felling large trees, etc. Therefore, it is very important to know all the safety measures you must take – but also to have practice in the field of first aid. Also, working with machines and tools in this business can be complicated for many – and therefore, you must have good practice within which you will overcome obstacles and learn to complete the work without endangering safety.

● Look for more responsibilities

Once you have already gained an experience in this business, you can specialize as an arborist in a certain area. It can be taking care of trees or diagnosing tree diseases. Also, arborists who have sufficient experience in logistics are highly valued by employers, so some of you may be specialists in that as well.

● Certificate

Without any doubt, this will be extremely important to you when hiring. Although some employers do not insist on a certified arborist – this is still very important if you want to do this job seriously and professionally. Countries such as Australia, the USA, and Canada require a certificate when hiring a professional arborist. Their salary is higher and more secure when they have a certificate.


Since this is a complex occupation that requires both knowledge and skills, you should consider it well before you start this career. Keep in mind that you will have one part of the season free because winters are less ideal weather conditions for performing tree care. So, in every way, think good before you decide on a career like this. This is a wonderful job – but also it can be very physically demanding.