Arboricultural officer

Alternative titles for this job include Tree officer

Arboricultural officers maintain and manage trees for local councils or arboricultural contractors.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays occasionally

How to become an arboricultural officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by private training providers


It may help if you have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a relevant subject, like:

  • forestry
  • arboriculture
  • countryside management
  • forest management
  • woodland ecology and conservation

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Trees and Timber
  • Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Trees and Timber

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You could work your way up from an assistant tree surgeon or ground worker if you've got the right qualifications, certificates of competence and experience.

Volunteering and experience

You could try to arrange relevant work experience through local authority parks departments, landscapers, gardeners, tree surgeons, forestry contractors or conservation bodies like National Trust.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become an arboricultural officer. You'll usually need:

  • experience of working in an arboriculture role, like a tree surgeon or arboricultural assistant
  • a nationally recognised arboricultural qualification like the Certificate in Arboriculture

Other routes

You could take courses through The Horticultural Correspondence College, for example Level 2 Certificates in Arboriculture and Forestry. This may help when looking for work.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in arboriculture from The Arboricultural Association and the National Land Based College.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • administration skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • advising on planning applications, to take account of tree protection laws
  • managing trees in parks, open areas and at the side of roads, organising tree surveys, recording tree locations
  • planning tree planting schemes
  • supervising tree care and tree planting contracts with site visits
  • giving demonstrations and talks on arboriculture and woodlands to schools and other community groups
  • training junior colleagues and volunteers

Working environment

You could work in woods, forests or gardens or in an office.

Your working environment may be at height and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

You could become self-employed.

With qualifications you could teach as a lecturer at a college or university.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Tree Surgeon

  • Wage : £250.00 Weekly
  • Location: Reading RG4 9QX

Apprentice Arborist

  • Wage : £200.00 Weekly
  • Location: High Wycombe HP12 4EX

Courses In England

Level 3 - 10-Week Tree Surgery

  • Provider: Easton & Otley College
  • Start date: 02 September 2020
  • Location: Ipswich

Fungi and the Management of Trees of all Ages

  • Start date: 01 May 2020
  • Location: Guildford

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