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After seeing trained arborists and arboriculture contractors from reputable businesses take such good care of your trees, you may be wondering what it takes to reach their level of skill and become so highly regarded in their line of work.
It may not be of much surprise to you to learn that being able to offer arborist services, landscape tree services, emergency tree services, and more requires several years of experience and on-the-job training.
If you’re ready for a challenge or a change of career, the following information may provide some insight into what you can expect.
What Do Arborists Do?
Upon becoming qualified for arborist services and gaining on-the-job training, arborists are tasked with many tree-related tasks, such as these below:
- Identifying, inspecting, maintaining, pruning, planting, and moving trees
- Identifying and removing tree-related hazards
- Performing tree risk assessments
- Using and maintaining abseiling equipment for tree climbing
- Operating chippers, chainsaws, trucks, and elevated work platforms
- Giving advice on tree removal, planting, general tree care, and pest and disease treatment
- Carrying out pest and disease management
Arborists can work on private and public property, in bad weather, dangerous conditions, and at height. They may also be required for on-call work, weekend work, and night work.
What Are the Entry Requirements to Become an Arborist?
To become a trained arborist, you must have a New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Arboriculture). Alternatively, you can gain your New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills by completing an apprenticeship.
Many educational institutions throughout New Zealand offer arborist certification, such as Manukau Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology, and Primary Industry Training Organisation. It may also help to have a first aid certificate and a Class 2 truck licence.
If you’re considering becoming an arborist straight out of high school, some subjects can prove more valuable than others. A minimum of three years of secondary education is helpful and taking biology, horticulture, and agriculture subjects.
Alongside having the necessary skills, being an arborist requires you to have a set of personal skills. These make you stand out in the industry while helping customers put their complete faith and trust in you.
You must be able to follow and give instructions, be practical and responsible, and safety-conscious. It also helps if you can keep calm in risky or dangerous situations, communicate well, be observant and alert, and be excellent at planning and organising.
Who Do Arborists Work For?
Most commonly, trained arborists in Auckland and throughout New Zealand work for councils, power companies, and arborist companies. Sometimes, instead of working for councils and power companies, arborist companies are contracted to those companies and councils to provide a wide variety of contract tree services.
They may also work for schools, early childhood centres, and other businesses in need of ongoing contract tree work.
Is There Room for Advancement With a Career in Arboriculture?
If you’re worried about stagnating in a role with no room for growth or improvement, there’s every reason to consider a career as an arborist in the tree care sector.
No two days are the same, with a wide variety of services required in the private and public sectors. However, even with daily variety, there is still room to advance your career within the industry.
You can specialise in various in-demand services, such as climbing, elevated work platform operation, utility arboriculture, and diagnostics. Each of these specialties requires a unique set of skills that are in demand by most arborist businesses in NZ.
What Are the Chances of Securing Work As an Arborist?
There tends to be a shortage of skilled arborists with climbing skills in New Zealand. As a result, arborists appear on the regional skill shortage list. Demand for arborists to perform tree care and maintenance could mean you’re able to pick up employment reasonably easily in some parts of the country.
Where Do I Find More Information On Becoming a Qualified Arborist?
There is a wealth of information relating to how to become a qualified arborist on the ProClimb website. Here, you can find out how to become eligible to work around powerlines in NZ, what arborist safety training is, what CEUs are, how to find work as an arborist in NZ, and more.
Are You Ready to Become an Arborist?
With trained, qualified arborists in hot demand, there might be no better time than now to start looking at your arborist career options. There are many training institutes to provide the training you need, along with companies willing to provide apprenticeships and further training.
Your passion for trees, love for the outdoors, and willingness to work as part of a team could make you a perfect fit for this new and exciting career path.