Career Opportunities

How You Can Enter the Field

No matter where life takes you, whether it be New York City or a small town in Iowa, wherever there are trees, there are jobs for arborists.

Tree care companies hire people who like to work hard and want a career for a lifetime. You can earn good wages from the start and benefit from on-the-job training and classes that will help grow your career. There is no wrong time to get started!

Earn While You Learn

Learn everything on the job! Many employers offer on-the-job training for the techniques and equipment you will use on a regular basis. Ready to start applying? Start your job hunt on the TCIA JobBoard.

Or, consider an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship programs for tree climbers are being created in partnership with tree care companies and higher educational institutions across the country, right now. Day-one, you’re an employee on the payroll and will benefit from structured, one-on-one training right in the field.

Register for an Arborist Short Course or Certificate Program

Some colleges and universities have extension schools that offer short courses ranging from four days to a few weeks, and certificates programs that last several months. These programs teach the basics of arboriculture, including tree biology, tree risk assessment, tree planting and other topics. These short courses perfect if you’re looking to formalize skills gained in the workplace or build upon your qualifications.

Pursue a Degree

If you want to start your career armed with a degree, there are many colleges and universities with 2- and 4-year programs in arboriculture or urban forestry. These programs delve into planting, pruning, fertilizing, cabling and removing trees, as well as plant health care (PHC) and pest management. You will also learn the science behind how trees grow, how they interact with their environment and how they react to environmental and man-made stressors. Degree programs will prepare you for an arborist certification exam.

Need help paying for school?

TREE Fund offers several scholarships for undergraduate students who aspire to careers in arboriculture, urban forestry and related fields. Get details at