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:
  • Research

    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
  • TCIAF’s Student Career Days

    Student Career Days is the student component of TCI EXPO, the world’s largest tree industry trade show and conference. Hosted by Tree Care Industry Association Foundation, Student Career Days is open to students enrolled in arboriculture, horticulture, forestry and related programs at all levels, this annual event is the largest FREE career development event for students in the industry.

    Students have multiple opportunities to meet and network with potential employers, including a students-only job fair and several casual receptions. Events also include student climbing, investigative and diagnostic skills competitions for which great prizes will be awarded. Students are also given free access to TCI EXPO, which is a valuable opportunity for students to get an inside look at the field they’re studying.
  • TCIA’s Training Center

    A comprehensive list of upcoming TCIA training events, the Training Center is the perfect place to get your career moving forward in the tree care industry.
  • Industry Calendar 

    TCIA maintains a list of upcoming industry seminars, training sessions, trade shows and other tree care events from around the country. Check out what’s happening near you!