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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)

£20,000 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 do a course at an agricultural college to learn some of the skills and knowledge you need.

Relevant subjects 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:

  • intermediate arborist
  • intermediate forest operative
  • higher arboriculturist
  • professional arboriculturist degree apprenticeship

These apprenticeships typically take 24 to 30 months to complete as a mix on the job learning 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 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 applying for jobs if you have some relevant work experience. You can get this through working with local authority departments, landscaping firms, tree surgeons and forestry contractors.

You can also find volunteering opportunities with conservation bodies like Trees for Cities, The Tree Council and the Woodland Trust.

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 completed a degree in a relevant subject, you can apply for a graduate training scheme with Forestry England.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You could apply for membership of the The Institute of Chartered Foresters.

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

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

Apprentice Arborist

  • Wage: £11,700.00 Annually

Arborist Apprentice

  • Wage: £10,004.80 Annually
  • Location: Escot Park, Ottery St. Mary, Devon

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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