Thinking about a career in Arboriculture?

Here are some key points to consider and some useful links to help you decide whether Arboriculture is for you and if so which areas you might want to focus on.

The Nature of the work

Arboriculture involves, planting, preserving, protecting and felling trees and shrubs.  Areas you could specialise in include:

  • tree climbing and maintenance
  • tree preservation and conservation
  • parks and gardens
  • planning
  • tree survey and inspection

There are employment opportunities in both rural and urban areas.

There is scope to be your own boss and work as a self employed person, small business or contractor as a tree climber or a consultant if you have developed the skill set and experience.  If you prefer to work as an employee for a larger organisation there are also career opportunities with local authorities and conservation organisations, utility companies and of course the larger arboricultural service providers.

It is traditionally a male dominated profession but the number of female entrants is increasing and opportunities are improving, so please don’t let this put you off if you are a woman considering aboriculture as a career.

The work is physically demanding and high risk, insurance costs can be high for the self employed.  Frequent travel is required, you have to go to the trees!  Sometimes it is necessary to stay overnight away from home.

Employment opportunities are good for well qualified and skilled people, especially if you have the ability to communicate and work alongside other professions like environmental consultants, planners and landscape architects.

Salary and Working Hours

The hours will vary from job to job, sometimes work will be necessary in the evenings or on weekends.

Arborists and Craftspersons (those who perform hands on work only) will earn between £15,000 and £22,000.  Sometimes entry level employees are paid on a day or project based rate.

Skilled Arboriculturalists will earn a salary of between £22,000 and £32,000

Supervisory and management level roles attract salaries of £26,000 to £35,000

Salaries will vary based on the job and location with highest salaries in the South East.

Qualifications and Career Paths

It is not necessary to have a degree but if you do have a degree in agriculture, aboriculture, ecology, forestry, horticulture, land management or similar it will help with career development and employment prospects.

If you do not have a degree you can start and develop your career by successfully completing several of the NPTC assessment units (many of them are available here on our website) and building experience in the field.

You will need a good level of fitness, a clean driving license and the ability to enjoy working outdoors and at heights.

If you are able to identify different tree types and shrubs that is also a good start.

Overtime, as you develop your skills, gain experience and vocational and/or academic training you could move from being a hands on arborist working with a commercial tree care company or local authority to a aboricultural officer maintaining and managing trees for councils or contractors or supervising aboricultural work for larger contractors.  Progressing from there could involve running your on contracting business or consultancy or working a senior management level for a professional tree surgery company – for example.

Where to from here?

TKF Training offer a 4 week fast track basic Arborist training package which will get you off to a great start here>>

If you are a Miltitary service leaver we have some funded Arboricultural career training packages here>>

Countryside Jobs Service is a great source if you are looking for employment in the Arboricultural Sector

CTC recruitment is also a good place for job opportunities here>>

Green Jobs is a specialist recruitment website>>

For more information on the industry and training courses available see:

The Aboricultural Association here>>

Lantra Awards – for the range of courses offered by the awarding body “Lantra”.

and

City and Guilds NPTC range of courses can be viewed here.

TKF training offer a comprehensive range of Aboricultural courses from both the Lantra and NPTC awarding bodies and can provide you with advice on an appropriate course program to start your aboricultural career – contact us here>>

Specialised Vehicle Driving Accreditation – Tips and Guidance

Why do I need accreditation to drive special vehicles?

Workers must be adequately trained and competent to carry out their job safely. The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places general duties on employers and the self-employed. It may also negate your Public Liability Insurance if you’re not deemed competent and proficient when carrying out works. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)also requires users of equipment to receive adequate training. Further information can be found at: http://ukfisa.com/assets/files/safetyLibrary/FISA%20805%20Training%20and%20Certs.pdf

What sort of course should I do?

Depending on the type of vehicle you are driving there is usually a course to provide specific training for the kind of vehicle whether it is a fork lift truck or a tractor or a quad.  So the type of training is easy to determine but what may not be so obvious is the level of training you may require.  For example, you can take a standard 4×4 Off Road Training Course or, if you already have some training in 4×4 driving an course for experienced 4×4 off road drivers may be more appropriate.  Similarly, if you are learning to use a Sit Astride ATV and have no experience a 2 or 3 day course may be appropriate or, if you are already experienced a 1 day course could suit.  The same applies for Dump truck up to 50 Tonne Rigid body courses and Tractor Training Courses.

Where can I do it? Who should I choose to train me?

Always choose an established company and preferably one that is able to offer facilities for you to train in. There are some companies that don’t have their own site and you can find yourself travelling some distance to get to site each day; this will eat in to your training time. Be certain that the providers are accredited with appropriate awarding bodies, usually City & Guilds or Lantra Awards for these types of courses. TKF Training ticks all of these boxes!

How long does it take?

Most courses are 1 to 2 days but Tractor Driving and Dumper Driving courses can take 4 and 5 days of training with a full day of assessment, sp up to 6 full days in total. See the range of Vehicle Training Courses here>>.

What equipment do I need?

In most cases you will need a current driving license and appropriate PPE gear.

Is it hard? (what is our pass rate?)

The pass rate is in the mid to high 90% for candidates training with TKF. As the courses are mainly practical there isn’t a huge amount of classroom based time and most assessments are practical based.

Physical Requirements?

There are no specific fitness requirements but you must also be free from medication or conditions that could affect your safety.

How much does it cost?

The ground Based Operator is £798.95 inc vat
Accessing a Tree, Aerial Rescue and Aerial Cutting – £993.95 inc vat
TKF Basic Arborist – £3341.97 inc vat

TKF run a multitude of training courses please feel free to call or email for more information and prices.

Contact TKF Training

View Our Vehicle Training Courses

Funding for Tree Surgery Courses

TKF Training is fortunate to be an approved provider to ELCAS and is therefore able to offer a range of ELC funded Arborist and chainsaw courses to service leavers.

Courses include:

  • TKF Basic Arborist – (Cutting Trees with a Chainsaw, Accessing and felling Trees, Aerial tree Pruning and Emergency Tree Work)
  • TKF Advanced Groundsperson – (Felling and Processing trees over 380mm, Assisted Felling, user of a powered pole pruner)
  • Advanced Arborist – (Safe use of a stumpgrinder, Use of a Chainsaw from MEWP, Aerial Tree pruning and rigging)

The ELC scheme is an initiative to develop lifelong learning opportunities for members of the armed forces and now provides a great opportunity for a career in Arboriculture.

More information on the funded courses can be found here>>

Chainsaw Certificate – Tips and Guidance

Chainsaw Certificate Guide

Why do I need a Chainsaw Ticket?

Workers must be adequately trained and competent to carry out their job safely. The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places general duties on employers and the self-employed. It may also negate your Public Liability Insurance if you’re not deemed competent and proficient when carrying out works. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)also requires users of equipment to receive adequate training. Further information can be found at: http://ukfisa.com/assets/files/safetyLibrary/FISA%20805%20Training%20and%20Certs.pdf

What sort of course should I do?

Presuming that you are needing to use a chainsaw to fell trees the best place to start is with the City & Guilds Ground Based Operator. This will then allow you to go on and either train to fell larger trees or train in the aerial cutting of trees although you do need to take the Accessing a Tree and Aerial Rescue training for this first. Your decision will be whether you want to stay on the ground or if you want to climb. You can take the Accessing a Tree and Aerial Rescue training without the need for a chainsaw licence and you can complete a Chainsaw Maintenance & Cross-cutting course if you don’t need to fell trees.

Where can I do it? Who should I choose to train me?

Always choose an established company and preferably one that is able to offer facilities for you to train in. There are some companies that don’t have their own site and you can find yourself travelling some distance to get to site each day; this will eat in to your training time. Be certain that the providers are accredited with appropriate awarding bodies, usually City & Guilds or Lantra Awards for these types of courses. TKF Training ticks all of these boxes!

How long does it take?

The Ground Based Operator and the Accessing a Tree and Aerial Rescue course is 5 days of training with a full day of assessment, 6 full days in total. If you want to take the Accessing a Tree, Aerial Rescue and Aerial Cutting this is 6 days of training with 1 full assessment day – 7 days in total. To become a more skilled arborist TKF offer a 23 day course which includes additional aerial courses and Emergency Tree Work, see the Basic Arborist information here>>.

However it doesn’t end there, you may have a need to use a woodchipper, survey trees or become LOLER qualified. If you’re dealing more in landscaping you might want brushcutter training or pesticides. There are also options for Mowers and Off Road Vehicles.

What equipment do I need?

You will need a Chainsaw and PPE, (personal protective equipment) which TKF have available for hire if needed. All of the TKF Open courses have a hire option if the equipment isn’t already included, for example the ropes, harnesses, top handled chainsaw etc are included in the Accessing a Tree, Aerial Rescue and Aerial Cutting courses.

Is it hard? (what is our pass rate?)

The pass rate is in the mid to high 90% for candidates training with TKF. As the courses are mainly practical there isn’t a huge amount of classroom based time and most assessments are practical based.

Physical Requirements?

All of the chainsaw courses and climbing course do require a reasonable level of fitness. For the climbing courses learners should be aware that to take this course, you must be physically fit and not suffering from vertigo or similar conditions. You must also be free from medication that could affect your safety.

How much does it cost?

The ground Based Operator is £798.95 inc vat
Accessing a Tree, Aerial Rescue and Aerial Cutting – £993.95 inc vat
TKF Basic Arborist – £3341.97 inc vat

TKF run a multitude of training courses please feel free to call or email for more information and prices.

Contact TKF Training

View Our Chainsaw Courses

HSE Compliance forestry and conservation

It has never been more important for organisations in the Forestry and Conservation sector to be able to prove competency and proficiency, especially when dealing with the HSE. It is becoming a common issue to ensure men and women working in the areas of forestry and arboriculture are properly trained.

It can be difficult to keep up to date with, training requirements to ensure competency and proficiency across a large team of staff, especially when many of those staff may be moving between job roles and or projects that require different skills.

TKF training have developed a FREE White paper ‘Ten Steps (A guide) for HSE compliance for Forestry and Conservation organisations.’

This is the first of a range of documents and tools we will be making available over the next few weeks which we hope will be of value to organisations in the Forestry and Conservation industry seeking to get their ‘house in order’ in terms of being up to date with training, training plans and documentation for dealing with the HSE.

To download the Guide for HSE compliance for Forestry and Conservation organisations click here >>

In addition to this we have put together a some typical Arboriculture and Tree Surgery training packages for those operating in Forestry and Conservation based on our experience of the courses generally required.

Please visit our Chainsaw Courses and Grounds Maintenance training – Forestry & Conservation page for more information and downloads.

Grounds Maintenance Local Authorities HSE Compliance

It has never been more important for Local Authorities to be able to prove competency and proficiency, especially when dealing with the HSE. It is becoming a common issue to ensure men and women working on ground maintenance and in tree surgery are properly trained.

It can be difficult to keep up to date with, training requirements to ensure competency and proficiency across a large team of staff, especially when many of those staff may be moving between job roles and or projects that require different skills.

TKF training have developed a FREE White paper ‘Ten Steps (A guide) for HSE compliance for Local Authorities in the areas of Ground Maintenance and Tree Surgery.’

This is the first of a range of documents and tools we will be making available over the next few weeks which we hope will be of value to Local Authorities seeking to get their ‘house in order’ in terms of being up to date with training, training plans and documentation for dealing with the HSE.

To download the Guide for HSE compliance for Local Authorities click here >>

In addition to this we have put together a some typical Ground Maintenance and Tree Surgery training packages for Local Authorities based on our experience of the courses generally required.

Please visit our Ground Maintenance and Tree Surgery for Local Authorities page for more information and downloads.