Interested in a Career in Arboriculture?
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Interested in a Career in Arboriculture?

What you need to know.....

Opportunities in arboriculture and being an arborist are vast. There is a demand for arboriculture jobs. North Carolina employers are looking for arborists to fill jobs in forestry, municipalities, utilities, landscape contracting, sales, and much more!

You don't have to have a college degree to become an arborist. The career is built around learning on the job and gaining experience and knowledge first hand. You just need to be motivated and dedicated on the job.

Types of Jobs in Arboriculture

Commercial Arborist: A commercial arborist typically works for a private tree care company. Common duties include pruning trees, fertilizing them and planting new ones. You will also spend a portion of your job diagnosing and treating trees for damage caused by poor environmental conditions, insects, or fungus. Some arborists work with construction and development companies to preserve existing trees on construction sites.

Municipal Arborist:  A municipal arborist supervises the activities of crews involved in the planting, maintenance, and removal of City trees. The municipal arborist may also:

  • Review and evaluate tree maintenance needs by reviewing complaints, and determine work priorities and assign work as necessary.
  • Provide procedural and policy information regarding tree pruning and removal.
  • Provide advice on proper care of trees and possible remedies for disease or pest problems; prepare tree damage and claim reports.
  • Prepare, maintain, update, and review a street tree master plan.

Utility Arborist: A utility arborist specializes in the maintenance and removal of trees and other vegetation to ensure the proper functioning of electric power lines and equipment without interference. In addition to working for private and public electrical companies, utility arborists may also be employed as consultants by such clients as homeowners, insurance firms, architects, and legal professionals, advising on correct methods of tree maintenance, tree diagnoses, and other forestry-related issues. 

Climber: A tree climber is a skilled position within a tree company responsible for tree maintenance, pruning and removals on residential and commercial properties​​ using ropes, harness, saddle, and/or bucket truck in accordance with company policy, ANSI Z133 and A300 standards. It is usually important for the climber to understand proper pruning practices, as well as be familiar with cabling, bracing, bolting, guying trees, and branches. The job may also include operating equipment such as a chipper, stump grinder, and chainsaw.

Other jobs in arboriculture include:

  • Grounds Crew Supervisor
  • Urban Forester

How to Become an ISA Certified Arborist

Becoming a certified arborist requires 3-years of work experience related to tree care, which includes any work related to tree planting and establishment, pruning, fertilization, disease and insect management, climbing, etc. You can also use a combination of work experience and education to meet this qualification. A two-year degree in arboriculture or related field plus two years of work experience or a four-year degree in arboriculture or related field and one year of work experience will qualify.

You will need to fill out the application through ISA and supply a letter of reference from your curent and former emplorer. You can access the application here.

You will be notified by an email from ISA when you are approved to take the exam at which time you will need to enroll to take the paper-based exam. You can find exam dates and locations here. You will get a confirmation packet from ISA confirming your test date and location. You can also take the exam as a computer-based exam at qualifying Pearson VUE facilities. There is an additional fee to take the computer-based exam.

Interested in getting a degree or certificate in arboriculture? Try these NC schools that have arboriculture education programs:

  •  Alamance Community College
  •  Cawtaba College
  •  Duke University
  •  Haywood Community College
  •  Montgomery Community College
  •  Mt. Olive University
  •  N.C. State University
  •  Southeastern Community College
  •  Wayne Community College

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