An arborist, tree surgeon or arboriculturist works in the cultivation, management and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines and other woody plants

Training, qualifications and skills Minimum requirements: Level 3 City and Guilds Diploma in General Horticulture; Level 3 City and Guilds Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture; Level 3 City and Guilds Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture; Specialist Certificate in Arboriculture; work-based/on-the-job training; (for a climber) C&G/NPTC or Lantra Awards ‘Licence to Practise’ Level 2 qualifications (commonly known as ‘tickets’)
Career progression opportunities Managerial role; tree officer: either ‘planning based’ or ‘parks based’; surveyor; arboricultural consultant; arboricultural contractor
Useful links Arboriculture Association
Qualifications and careers in arboriculture
Countryside Jobs Service

Focus on: Arborist (climber)

Georgi Ennis
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Full time, salary up to £25k

I’ve been working in the arboriculture industry for four years. While working as a travelling sub-contractor, I have become competent at different elements of the role because I've had the opportunity to work with many different teams, all with many years of work experience. I have attended the annual Women’s Arb Camp, which is held in a different country each year. For the past year I have been working as a climbing arborist in the RBG Kew in the arboriculture team.

There is so much more to arboriculture than just ‘cutting trees’ – it’s such a flexible sector that anyone could find their niche within this industry and be happy for life – I know I have.

I like the fact that everyone in this career path loves to teach or learn new skills. IIt’s always nice trying something new. I have found that the community of women arborists, tree officers and scientists is amazing.
The specialist set of skills needed to undertake tree work of any kind demands mental and physical agility as well as team work and good communication. In my line of work, I have an ever-changing ‘office’ with a great view and an awesome workforce.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.