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Career profile Arborist

Also known as Arborist, Climber, Ground Worker, Groundsman, Laborer, Plant Health Care Technician, Tree Climber, Tree Trimmer, Trimmer

Arborist

Also known as Arborist, Climber, Ground Worker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$27,510 - $64,520 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mechanical
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Operate shredding and chipping equipment, and feed limbs and brush into the machines.
  • Operate boom trucks, loaders, stump chippers, brush chippers, tractors, power saws, trucks, sprayers, and other equipment and tools.
  • Cut away dead and excess branches from trees, or clear branches around power lines, using climbing equipment or buckets of extended truck booms, or chainsaws, hooks, handsaws, shears, and clippers.
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What does an Arborist do?

Arborists using sophisticated climbing and rigging techniques, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to maintain right-of-way for roads, sidewalks, or utilities, or to improve appearance, health, and value of tree.

In addition, Arborists

  • prune or treat trees or shrubs using handsaws, hand pruners, clippers, and power pruners,
  • works off the ground in the tree canopy and may use truck-mounted lifts.

What kind of tasks does an Arborist perform regularly?

Arborists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Operate shredding and chipping equipment, and feed limbs and brush into the machines.
  • Operate boom trucks, loaders, stump chippers, brush chippers, tractors, power saws, trucks, sprayers, and other equipment and tools.
  • Cut away dead and excess branches from trees, or clear branches around power lines, using climbing equipment or buckets of extended truck booms, or chainsaws, hooks, handsaws, shears, and clippers.
  • Clean, sharpen, and lubricate tools and equipment.
  • Hoist tools and equipment to tree trimmers, and lower branches with ropes or block and tackle.
  • Climb trees, using climbing hooks and belts, or climb ladders to gain access to work areas.
  • Trim, top, and reshape trees to achieve attractive shapes or to remove low-hanging branches.
  • Supervise others engaged in tree trimming work and train lower-level employees.
  • Inspect trees to determine if they have diseases or pest problems.
  • Load debris and refuse onto trucks and haul it away for disposal.
  • Provide information to the public regarding trees, such as advice on tree care.
  • Trim jagged stumps, using saws or pruning shears.
  • Clear sites, streets, and grounds of woody and herbaceous materials, such as tree stumps and fallen trees and limbs.
  • Collect debris and refuse from tree trimming and removal operations into piles, using shovels, rakes, or other tools.
  • Cable, brace, tie, bolt, stake, and guy trees and branches to provide support.

The above responsibilities are specific to Arborists. More generally, Arborists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

What is an Arborist salary?

The median salary for an Arborist is $41,340, and the average salary is $44,040. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Arborist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Arborists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Arborists earn less than $27,510 per year, 25% earn less than $33,390, 75% earn less than $52,520, and 90% earn less than $64,520.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Arborists is expected to change by 6.2%, and there should be roughly 9,200 open positions for Arborists every year.

Median annual salary
$41,340
Typical salary range
$27,510 - $64,520
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
6.2%

What personality traits are common among Arborists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Arborist are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Arborists typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Arborist tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Arborists moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Arborists moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Arborists moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Arborists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, cooperation, and concern for others.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Arborists, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Arborists need?

Working as an Arborist usually requires a high school diploma.

Arborists need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Arborists

  • 32.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 40.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 12.3% completed some college coursework
  • 5.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Arborists

Arborists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, mechanical, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Arborists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Arborists

Arborists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Arborists need abilities such as control precision, reaction time, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Arborists, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Critical Skills needed by Arborists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Arborists frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Arborists, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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