Maryland Arborist Apprenticeship


TCIA has an Arborist Apprenticeship Program in the State of Maryland. This program provides you with the opportunity to earn a salary while also learning a skilled trade in the tree care industry. The program includes a combination of job-related classroom instruction and hands-on training at the job site. Successful completion of the program leads to a State Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship.

The objective of the Arborist Apprenticeship Program is to train you to be a tree climber that can train others to climb. Apprenticeship is not to be confused with an internship – you will be an employee of the tree care company who hires and trains you.

It will take approximately 3 years for you to complete the apprenticeship. However, the time it takes to complete the apprenticeship can be shortened based on any relevant education or work experience, if applicable, as well as any overtime you work (there will definitely be overtime!).

This program is available to aspiring arborists who are able to work in the State of Maryland.


Will I get paid?

Yes, you will be an employee, and will earn wages for the time you spend doing on-the-job learning, as well as time spent in the classroom.

Apprentices are paid a progressively-increasing schedule of wages based on hitting certain milestones in on-the-job competencies and in related classroom instruction.

Who pays for the related instruction?

Each employer offers different benefits to their employees. You may or may not be required to pay for the related instruction – this will be discussed between you and your employer once an offer of employment is made.

I’m a veteran. Can I use my GI Bill benefits?

If you are eligible for GI Bill benefits, you may use those benefits while training in an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship program participants receive wages from an employer and GI Bill benefits at the same time. For more information, click here.

I have some college credits. Are they transferable?

TCIA will review your college transcripts to determine which credits may be transferred into the program.

What kind of work experience is transferable?

Your employer may grant credit of previous work experience based on demonstration of skills or knowledge equivalent to those identified as on-the-job learning (OJL) competencies.

What is the hiring process like?

Once you have completed the application process as outlined above, TCIA will provide you with job postings to employers who are actively seeking to hire an apprentice.

At this point, proceed with applying for open apprentice positions with the employers who are accepting applications.

Each employer has their own standard hiring practices. They will clarify what their hiring process is.

What can I expect once I am hired?

Once employed and enrolled in the Arborist Apprenticeship Program, you will be at-will employee, subject to your employer’s onboarding, mentoring and disciplinary procedures. Your employer will provide you with continuous employment sufficient to provide the opportunity for completion of your apprenticeship.

Each applicant selected for apprenticeship will serve a probationary period. The probationary period cannot exceed 25 percent of the length of the program or one year, whichever is shorter.