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Arboricultural officer

Alternative titles for this job include Tree officer, forest officer

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

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

on call occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an arboricultural officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You could take a course at an agricultural college to learn some of the skills and knowledge you need for this job.

Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Arboriculture
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


The following apprenticeships may help you get into this role:

  • Arborist Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Arboriculturist Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Professional Arboriculturist Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship

These apprenticeships typically take 24 to 30 months to complete and are a mix of on-the-job training and some study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could join an organisation, like a local authority or landscaping firm, as an assistant arboricultural officer. You'll need some qualifications or experience, for example as a tree surgeon or groundworker.


You may find it useful when looking for jobs to have some relevant practical experience. You can find volunteering opportunities with conservation bodies like:

Direct Application

You could apply directly to become an arboricultural officer.

You'll usually need:

  • experience of working in a related job, like an arboricultural assistant, tree surgeon, ecologist or landscape architect
  • a nationally recognised arboricultural qualification like the Level 4 Certificate in Arboriculture

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Chartered Foresters for professional development.

Further information

You can find out more about working in arboriculture from The Arboricultural Association and the Royal Forestry Society.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of geography
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • administration skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • advise on tree preservation orders in planning applications
  • manage trees in parks, on housing estates and at the roadside
  • assess tree damage after storms
  • train new staff and volunteers
  • give talks on arboriculture and woodlands to schools and other groups
  • carry out tree surveys, monitor numbers and organise tree planting schemes

Working environment

You could work in woodland, in an office, in parks and gardens or on the streets.

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

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • manage a team of arboricultural officers and co-ordinate work with outside contractors
  • work as a consultant, advising organisations on tree management, conservation and safety
  • find teaching opportunities with training providers who offer courses in arboriculture

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Arborist level 2 (Tree Surgery) Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £12,629.76 Annually

Arboricultural Apprentice

  • Wage: £10,982.40 to £21,673.60 Annually
  • Location: Pigeon House Farm, Common Road, Dorney, WINDSOR

Courses In England

Arboriculture & Forestry

  • Start date: 12 September 2023
  • Location: Ipswich

Forestry & Arboriculture Level 3 Diploma

  • Start date: 19 September 2023
  • Location: Pulborough

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