How To Become An Arborist
An arborist is also known as a groundskeeper, a tree trimmer, or a pruner. They are responsible for maintaining trees and shrubs that are found along public properties. Arborists ensure public safety, making sure that trees do not interfere with power lines and roads. They also help preserve the health and appearance of trees. This position requires on-the-job training.
Why Become An Arborist
Arborists help to maintain the trees, shrubs and plants that we find in our cities and towns. Trees are beautiful and can help to enhance any neighborhood. They require routine care to keep their appearance in top shape.
Arborists are most often employed by the local government of a city or town. They may also work for a power company or an arborist company. In this position, an arborist trims and prunes trees and plants, making sure that they do not interfere with roads, sidewalks and power lines. It is important that the local town ensures the safety of its residents by keeping trees and shrubs maintained. They use a variety of equipment, including trucks, ladders, tractors, and power tools in order to accomplish their tasks.
Beyond safety, arborists are also interested in the aesthetic aspects of their job. Trees and shrubs may be planted in local parks or neighborhoods in order to beautify the area. Arborists maintain these trees in order to improve their appearance and health. They may shape them and clear away dead parts of the plant.
Arborists should have the following qualities and skills:
- Loves working outdoors
- Physically fit
- Attention to detail
- Work with equipment
- Risk involved
- Manual dexterity
Arborist Work Environment
Arborists work outdoors, maintaining trees, shrubs and other kinds of plants. They use specialized equipment such as trucks, ladders, and power tools in order to do their work. An arborist must not have any fear of heights, since they will often be going high up into the trees in order to trim and prune. There is always a degree of risk involved when working with equipment such as chainsaws and other power tools.
It is important for arborists to wear protective gear and use caution on the job. This is a physically demanding job. Arborists spend much of the day standing and lifting heavy objects. Much of the work in this field is seasonal, with arborists carrying out much of their work in the spring and summer. There is not much maintenance during the winter months.
Arborists tend to be paid in hourly wages, rather than annual salary. The median hourly wage was $12.90 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is approximately $26,832 as an annual salary.
Many factors determine the salary of an arborist. First it is important to note that many arborists are seasonal workers. This means that they work more hours during the spring and summer than they do during the winter. There is not much need for tree and plant maintenance during the winter. A person in this field would need to find other forms of income during times of the year when there is less work.
There are many industries in which an arborist can be employed. Many are employed by the local government. The hourly wages offered by local governments tend to be significantly higher, and you may be able to be flexible in your position, finding other groundskeeping duties for the city off season.
Arborist Career Outlook
Employment opportunities for arborists are expected to increase by 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is about the same rate of growth compared to other jobs in the United States.
Trees are an integral part of our communities. They give us beautiful parks and gardens to play in. Arborists will continue to be needed in order to create these green spaces for area residents. Arborists are needed to keep roads and sidewalks clear for citizens. Local governments are the largest employers of arborists. Because of the lack of government funding and budgetary restrictions, there may not be many positions available in this field. Job seekers may need to travel to other municipalities to find a position.
There is no specific degree required to become an arborist. Most arborists get hired into their position, then receive on-the-job training. This training involves how to plant and maintain areas. They teach arborists how to use mowers, trimmers, trucks, power tools, ladders, and other equipment. They teach safety on the job.
Most states require workers who apply fertilizers and pesticides to have a license in their field. In order to obtain a landscaping license, arborists must pass a test on the proper use of pesticides and other chemicals. The National Association of Landscape Professionals, and the Tree Care Industry Association, are two organizations that offer certifications in this field. Certifications are highly encouraged, as they help a person stand out in their field, as somebody who has gone above and beyond to receive additional knowledge.