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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 Arboricultural officer

You can get into this job through:

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


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:

  • arboriculture
  • forestry and arboriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


You could apply for a place on an apprenticeship to get into this career. These include:

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

These apprenticeships take from 2 to 3 years 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

Other Routes

If you have a degree in a relevant subject, you can apply for a graduate training scheme place with Forestry England. Check with them for application dates.

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

Green job

As an arboricultural officer, you can manage tree planting in cities. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, trap harmful pollutants and improve air quality. This can have a positive impact on the environment.

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

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

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

Apprentice Arborist

  • Wage: £13,312 to £23,795.20 a year Annually
  • Location: Chudleigh, Newton Abbot, Devon

Arborist apprenticeship

  • Wage: £15,600 a year Annually

Courses In England

Level 2 Forestry and Arboriculture

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: YORK

Level 2 Technical Certificate in Forestry & Arboriculture

  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: NANTWICH

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