Careers in Arboriculture

An arborist is a professional who cares for trees and other woody plants by pruning, fertilizing, monitoring for insects and diseases, consulting on tree related issues, and occasionally planting, transplanting and removing trees.

There are number of different types of work for arborists:

Commercial Arboriculture

Commercial arborists, plant, prune, cable, fertilize, inspect, protect during construction, reduce impacts of pest damage, and remove trees. Potential employers include: commercial tree service companies

Municipal Arboriculture

Municipal, or “urban” foresters manage trees and green spaces owned by cities. This aspect of arboriculture deals mainly with trees along streets and boulevards, city parks and around public buildings. Urban foresters provide services similar to those provided by commercial arborists but also develop and enforce tree ordinances. Potential employers include: government agencies

Utility Arboriculture

Utility arboriculture is more than just electrical line clearance to prevent power outages. It also involves planning tree maintenance, awarding contracts, and inspecting the work performed. Utility arborists work with property owners to teach them about the need for proper tree maintenance near utility lines. They also advise customers on tree species that are suitable for planting near power lines. Potential employers include: public utility companies

Private Consulting

Consulting arborists provide clients with information on diagnosing plant health, appraising plants for value, and other issues. As a consulting arborist, you may be contracted by homeowners, insurance companies, municipalities, lawyers, planners, developers, landscape architects, or others. Potential employers include:


There are opportunities in many aspects of arboricultural research. Universities, arboreta, and larger companies are the main employers of tree care researchers.

Potential employers include:

  • commercial tree service companies
  • public utility companies
  • government agencies
  • landscape maintenance firms, nurseries or garden centers
  • arboriculture equipment or chemical manufacturers
  • universities, community colleges or Extension Services
  • arboreta and botanical gardens
  • landscape architecture firms
  • private estates or complexes
  • and more!

To learn more about starting, or advancing, your career in arboriculture, review TCIA’s resources below:

Post-Secondary Arboriculture & Forestry Programs

College and university programs that focus on arboriculture, urban forestry or forestry feature the coursework and experience that turn out strong employees that are better prepared to move ahead in their careers. Many companies are eager to hire employees with an academic background, as well as experience in internships and on campus.  These employees offer the promise that they will someday grow into supervisory roles, sales jobs, or even start their own companies.

Review TCIA’s complete list of Post-Secondary Arboriculture & Forestry Programs

10 thoughts on “Careers in Arboriculture

  • Hi Guys. Thanks for putting together such a useful article for those looking to become an arborist – or tree surgeon as we more often refer to them in this part of the woods!

    I believe it’s a great career for youngsters who love the outdoors and nature. What could be better than looking after our environment and giving nature a helping hand?

    Of course we do sometimes have to remove trees when we’d much rather leave them be. We see beauty in almost every tree so our preference is to work around mature trees wherever possible. But in the main it’s a rewarding and wonderful profession and I hope more young people will decide to join our ranks

  • Thanks for the great article. I’ve been in the business of tree care for decades and am now getting my sons involved. I was unaware of Arboriculture & Forestry Programs, especially if there are any in my area. Please share the names/websites of any if you have them. That’d be a huge help. Thanks again! -Janette

  • I wish I would have gotten involved in arboriculture earlier but am glad I did. Great article with important tips that ahyone interested in going into the field will enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wonderful information. I’ve been involved with arboriculture for the last few years.. there’s always an opportunity for people who want to get involved.

    I’m hoping my son will join a forestry program of some sort and learn more about it in the future. I’ll refer him to this article for further persuasion. Thank you for the read!

  • Hi guys great article I want to study to be an arborist soon. I love working with trees and this is a great read.

  • It is about caring for individual trees and shrubs, or removing them if they become dangerous. Arborists are called Tree Surgeon. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info.

  • Romero Tree Service

    Amazing article more people have to know the benefits of tree care, without tree we wouldn’t be able to live on this planet, I am looking forward to becoming an arborist even more after reading this article, I highly recommend to read this article.

  • Very informative article. Many people don’t even know that someone’s got to take care of all these trees especially in the urban areas. We need trees to have oxygen, so as long as people will have to breath there will be a need for professional arboists who knows how to make sure that trees are around us are in good shape.

    Also if someone is looking for a job that will allow him to spend time outdoors and be close to nature than Arboist should definitely be on the list.

  • Very useful and informative article, everyone should know how to take care of a Tree. As these are very important assets for Human Beings.
    Thanks for sharing this article on Arboriculture-Study of trees.


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