Is Arborist a Good Career Choice? Pros and Cons Explained

Have you ever found yourself staring out of your window and admiring the beautiful shade and symmetry of trees? Have you ever wondered about the people who scale these towering giants, pruning them to perfection and keeping them healthy? Well, look no further, because an arborist might just be the perfect career for you. This little known profession is becoming increasingly popular and for good reason – it’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding jobs out there.

But what is an arborist, you may ask? Think of them as tree surgeons, but with a lot more knowledge and skills. They’re the ones who ensure that trees not only look beautiful but are also healthy and safe for the surrounding environment. Their job responsibilities include everything from soil analysis to tree planting and everything in between. Not only that, but they get to work outdoors and with nature, making it a job that provides physical activity, beautiful scenery, and a sense of environmental responsibility.

So why is arborist a good career? For starters, it’s a job that’s always in demand, so you’ll never have to worry about a lack of job opportunities. Not only that, the job can pay well, with some arborists making over $100,000 a year. Plus, with the increasing concerns over climate change and deforestation, the need for arborists will only continue to grow. With environmental advocacy in the forefront of people’s thinking, becoming an arborist could be the perfect career choice for those who care about the planet and its future.

Job Prospects as an Arborist

Arboriculture, the study of trees and woody plants, is a field of work that has increased in demand over the past decade. As cities become more populated, the need for arborists to maintain and care for urban trees has become a necessity. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of arborists and grounds maintenance workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

  • Increased Demand: With an increase in the development of commercial and residential properties, the demand for professional arborists is steadily increasing. Cities require the expertise of certified arborists to prune, maintain, and diagnose any issues with urban trees.
  • Specialized Skill Set: Arborists have specialized knowledge of trees and plants, which is in high demand. Cities across the country are in need of professional arborists who can maintain the health and structural integrity of their trees while working around power lines, buildings, and pedestrians.
  • Competitive Compensation: As the demand for arborists increases, so does the compensation. Arborists have the potential to earn a comfortable living wage with benefits. The average salary of an arborist in the United States is $51,371, according to Glassdoor.

Arborists that specialize in caring for trees on public property, such as on college campuses or in public parks, have job security due to the long-term nature of these projects. For example, planting young trees in a public park can require the expertise of arborists, as well as years of ongoing maintenance. As trees grow, they require pruning and maintenance to maintain their overall health and safety. This provides long-term job security for certified arborists.

In summary, arboriculture offers an exceptional career choice for people who are passionate about nature and willing to work outdoors, have a specialized set of skills, and are looking for competitive compensation.

Required Education and Training for Arborists

Arboriculture, the study and management of trees, is a specialized field that requires a combination of education and hands-on training. Arborists are responsible for the proper care and maintenance of trees, being knowledgeable in tree biology, pathology, and maintenance practices. Becoming an arborist requires a combination of academic and practical training.

  • Academic Education: Some arborists begin their careers with a degree in arboriculture or forestry, which can be obtained from universities and colleges that offer related programs. A degree in a related field such as environmental science, landscape architecture, or horticulture can also be beneficial to gaining knowledge and experience in the field. A degree is not always a requirement, but it is strongly recommended as it provides a solid foundation of knowledge about trees and arboriculture, and exposes students to the latest research and techniques.
  • Practical Training: Along with academic education, aspiring arborists need practical training and hands-on experience to develop their skills. Apprenticeships, internships, and on-the-job training programs provide aspiring arborists with the opportunity to work with experienced professionals and gain practical knowledge and skills. In addition, many organizations offer workshops, training sessions, and certification courses to expand knowledge and skills, which can be beneficial to a career in arboriculture.

To become a certified arborist, one must have three years of experience in the field, in addition to passing an exam. Certification is not a requirement, but it can provide additional qualifications and credibility in the field.

Arborists who specialize in certain areas such as disease management, pest control, or tree pruning may require additional education and training. The arboriculture industry is constantly evolving, and arborists must keep up with new information and innovations to remain competitive in the field and provide the best care for trees.

Type of Education/Training Description
University Degrees Degrees in arboriculture, forestry, environmental science, horticulture or other related fields
Apprenticeships/Internships/On-the-job Training Programs Hands-on experience working with experienced professionals
Workshops/Training Sessions/Certification Courses Continuing education to expand knowledge and skills in the field

Education and training are critical to becoming a successful and competent arborist. Combined with passion for the field and love for trees, arboriculture can be a fulfilling and rewarding career choice.

Tools and equipment used by arborists

Being an arborist involves intensive work, and it requires having the right set of expertise and tools to excel in this field. Arboriculture also involves working in high-risk situations, which implies that these professionals may need specialized equipment and accessories to ensure their safety and efficiency while at work.

Here are some common tools and equipment used by arborists:

Climbing equipment

  • Saddle and harness
  • Climbing ropes and lines
  • Safety helmets and accessories
  • Climbing spikes and irons
  • Lanyards and climbing gear

Climbing equipment is vital equipment for arborists. Most arborists climb trees to cut and remove dead or overgrown branches or prune trees to promote new growth. The climbing equipment helps them scale up and down trees and provide vital support to work safely while at height.

Tree removal equipment

  • Chainsaws and chainsaw accessories
  • Pruning shears, saws, and loppers
  • Log splitters and chippers
  • Rigs and pulleys
  • Wood chippers and stump grinders

Tree removal is one of the most significant tasks carried out by arborists. They remove dead or overgrown trees, stumps, and roots to free up the space and make room for new trees or plants. The equipment used in tree removal tasks is often hazardous, and operators must work with care to avoid accidents.

Safety gear

Arborists work in risky and challenging situations all the time, and they need to have the right safety gear to ensure their safety and well-being. All of these safety gears should meet the safety standards while being comfortable to use:

  • Eye protection goggles and glasses
  • Ear muffs and earplugs
  • Steel-toe boots and shoes
  • Hand gloves
  • Full-body protective gear

Maintenance equipment

Arborists also need equipment to maintain tree health and preserve the aesthetics of trees and plants. Tools used in maintaining trees need to be in good condition to maximize their benefits. The commonly used maintenance tools are:

Equipment Task
Pruning saws and shears To prune and shape the tree
Hedge trimmers To trim overgrown hedges and bushes
Air spades To remove the soil without damaging the root system.
Soil aeration tools To stimulate the soil and nourish the trees and plants
Fertilizer spreaders To ensure that the trees get the right nutrients and grow healthy

Arborists need specialized equipment to do their job safely and effectively. They are responsible for maintaining the health of trees and plants, keeping them from harming property and humans, and enhancing their natural beauty. The quality and efficiency of their work depend on the tools they use, which must be of high quality, durable and reliable.

Safety Measures for Arborists

Being an arborist can be a thrilling and fulfilling career, but it also has its risks. As a result, it is essential for arborists to take measures to protect themselves and others while they work. Here are some safety measures that arborists should follow:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Wear a hard hat to protect your head from falling branches and other debris.
  • Wear eye protection to prevent debris from getting into your eyes.
  • Wear hearing protection to protect your ears from loud equipment noises.
  • Wear cut-resistant gloves to protect your hands from injuries while using chainsaws and other sharp tools.
  • Wear sturdy boots with good traction to prevent slipping and falling on slippery surfaces such as tree trunks and branches.

Safe Tree Climbing Practices

Climbing a tree can be dangerous if proper techniques are not used. As a result, arborists need to follow safe tree climbing practices to reduce the risk of injuries:

  • Inspect the tree for hazards, like dead tree limbs, before climbing it.
  • Use a secure harness or other climbing equipment.
  • Use a climbing line that is at least as long as the tree.
  • Always maintain three points of contact with the tree while climbing.
  • Use proper knots and anchors to secure the climbing line.

Equipment Maintenance and Inspection

Proper maintenance and inspection of arborist equipment is essential to prevent accidents and ensure that the equipment is in good working condition. Arborists should:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and inspection of equipment.
  • Inspect all equipment before using, including ropes, anchors, harnesses, and tools.
  • Replace or repair damaged equipment before using it.
  • Follow proper chainsaw maintenance and safety practices, including using sharp chains and proper fuel mixtures.

Emergency Preparedness

Even with the best safety measures in place, accidents can and do happen. Tree care professionals need to be prepared to respond to emergencies quickly:

Emergency Response Plan: Actions to Take:
Electrocution Call 911 and turn off power if possible.
Severe injuries on worksite Call 911 and administer first aid if necessary.
Person stuck in tree Call 911 and assess the situation to determine appropriate rescue techniques.

By following these safety measures, arborists can protect themselves and others while doing what they love.

Advantages of being an arborist

Choosing a career can be overwhelming, but being an arborist comes with many advantages that make it an excellent career choice for those who love working outdoors and with nature. Here are five advantages of being an arborist:

  • Job Security: Trees are everywhere, and they are always growing, which means that there is a continuous need for professional arborists. As a result, arborists enjoy job security, which is vital in today’s uncertain economy.
  • Physical activity: Arborists must climb trees, prune branches, and remove limbs, which involves physical exertion. This type of work is an excellent way to stay in shape, and it also helps to develop strength, coordination, and balance.
  • Appreciation for nature: Arborists work directly with trees and the environment, which can be really fulfilling. By being an arborist, you get to make a difference by helping to preserve nature and the environment.
  • Flexibility: If you are an arborist, you have the flexibility to choose to work with an organization, start your own business, or even work part-time. This provides an excellent opportunity to balance work with personal time and also work on your terms.
  • Good Income and Benefits: Arboreal services are always in high demand, and professional arborists are paid well for their knowledge and skills. Moreover, many arborist jobs come with benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

Overall, an arborist is an excellent career choice that offers many benefits, including job security, appreciation for nature, physical activity, flexibility, good income, and benefits. These advantages come together and make arboriculture an exciting and fulfilling career path for those interested in maintaining and developing our natural world.

Challenges Faced by Arborists

As much as being an arborist can be an exciting career, it comes with its share of challenges. Being a physically demanding job, arborists must be fit and strong to perform their duties. Here, we highlight some of the challenges arborists face in their line of work.

  • Working at heights: Arborists work at tall heights, which can be dangerous if proper safety protocols are not followed. Falling from a tall tree can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities.
  • Exposure to hazardous materials: Arborists handle chainsaws, tree felling equipment, and other tools that can cause physical harm if not appropriately used. Additionally, they may come in contact with poisonous plants, insects, and other hazardous materials when working in the field.
  • Working in extreme weather: Arborists work outside, which means they are exposed to all types of weather conditions. They work in scorching summers and freezing winter temperatures, which can be physically challenging.

Moreover, arborists may face additional challenges, such as:

Meeting customer expectations: Arborists work with different clients, each with unique expectations. Meeting these expectations can be a challenge, especially when dealing with tree removal or pruning requests that may not be in line with ethical arboricultural practices.

Table: Common challenges experienced by arborists

Challenge Possible Solution
Working in hazardous materials Proper protective gear including gloves, safety goggles, and respirators. Regular safety training and toolbox meetings.
Meeting customer expectations Communication. Explain any deviations from standard practices and why they might be necessary for the safety and well-being of trees, property, and persons.
Working at heights Proper use of harnesses, safety ropes, and lanyards. Consulting with certified arborists for guidance and training.
Working in extreme weather Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Take regular breaks to rest and stay hydrated.

In conclusion, arborists face various challenges in their line of work, from handling hazardous materials to dealing with challenging customers, and working in extreme weather conditions. However, with proper training, safety protocols, and protective gear, arborists can overcome these challenges and continue to provide the necessary services to clients.

Future of Arboriculture as a Profession

Arboriculture, the cultivation, management, and study of trees, is certainly a growing field in today’s world. As more people become aware of the benefits that trees provide, such as carbon sequestration and improved air quality, the need for professional arborists will only continue to increase. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of tree trimmers and pruners is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

  • Increased Awareness: As society becomes more conscious of the environment, individuals and businesses will turn to certified arborists for help with tree care, preservation and maintenance. Arborists can expect a rise in clients demanding high-quality and reliable services.
  • Climate Change: As climate change continues to impact the world’s weather patterns, arborists will be needed to help manage the risks posed by extreme weather events. Arboriculture professionals will play an important role in assessing, preserving and managing trees in the aftermath of natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.
  • Technological Advancements: The increasing use of technology is changing the way arborists approach their work. Advancements such as drones, 3D modeling, and tree-climbing robots are already being used to make tree care safer and more efficient. These futuristic tools and techniques will continue to evolve, and could revolutionize the field in years to come.

Arboriculture is not only a rewarding job, but it is a career with growth potential. As the importance of trees in our world becomes more apparent, the role of arborists in society will only continue to grow. Professionals who constantly upskill themselves, and stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, will have a promising future in the field of arboriculture. To sum up, arborist is not only a good, but a lucrative and sustainable career.

Is Arborist a Good Career? FAQs

1) What is an arborist?

An arborist is a trained professional who specializes in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees.

2) Is arborist a good career?

Yes, arborist is a great career choice for those who love working outdoors, have a passion for nature, and are interested in a fulfilling and rewarding occupation.

3) What are the benefits of being an arborist?

Some of the benefits of being an arborist include job security, opportunities for career advancement, the chance to work with nature, and the satisfaction of seeing your efforts come to life.

4) What skills do I need to become an arborist?

To become an arborist, you will need to have good physical stamina, a keen eye for detail, excellent communication skills, and an understanding of the principles of tree care and maintenance.

5) What kind of education or training is needed to become an arborist?

To become an arborist, you will need to complete a formal arboriculture program, which can range from a two-year associate’s degree to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

6) What is the job outlook for arborists?

The job outlook for arborists is very positive, as demand for their services is projected to rise in the coming years due to increased awareness of the benefits of trees and the need to maintain green spaces in urban areas.

7) How much can I expect to earn as an arborist?

The salary for arborists can vary depending on their level of experience, location, and the type of work they do, but on average, arborists earn around $50,000 to $70,000 per year.

A Friendly Thank You

We hope this article has helped you understand why arborist is a great career choice and answered any questions you may have had. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an arborist, we wish you the best of luck! Thanks for reading and please come back again soon to learn more about what makes this world an amazing place.