Career Profile: Arborist

Career Profile: Arborist

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Trees are an important part of parks, forests, and many other parts of the natural world. Taking care of them can be a complicated job, trying to keep trees healthy and growing properly. Arborists plant and take care of all kinds of trees, treating diseases and making sure that they have the best possible chance to thrive.

Suppose that a tree starts to lose its leaves in the middle of summer or showed signs of insects. An arborist would go up in a machine called a cherry picker to see what was wrong. Then the arborist would find a way to cure the disease if possible. Sometimes, arborists plant trees, use sticks and other materials to prop up trees that are falling over, and prune branches that need to be removed. The job of an arborist can involve many different tasks, depending on where they work.

Arborists can work in many different places, such as tree nurseries, landscaping companies, golf courses, and city parks. Job prospects might be limited in small towns, but people who are willing to climb to the top of trees are likely to be able to find work almost everywhere they go. Generally, arborists earn from just over $32,000 to $64,400 per year, or $16 to $30 per hour.

To some extent, the work of an arborist is seasonal since many trees in Canada are dormant and stop growing in winter. Still, arborists can use that time to research new treatments and to make plans for the next year. Arborists need to be able to work in all kinds of conditions like rain or hot sun and sometimes to work long hours. This job generally requires a basic level of physical fitness but not necessarily much strength.

Educational requirements for arborists depend on where they work, but generally a technical diploma or a degree in an area like botany or forestry is necessary. If you want to become an arborist, you should take sciences such as biology and chemistry in high school to prepare for your post-secondary studies.

Some colleges and universities have programs in arboriculture. Courses in these programs include outdoor work as well as studies in the theory of how to take care of plants. If you take one of these programs, you will learn many of the things you need to know to do your job.

The most important part of being an arborist is knowing about trees. Canada has many different types of trees, such as birch, maple, cherry, fir, and spruce. Knowing how the seasons and weather affect trees is also important. Trees in northern Canada, for example, have to survive very harsh winters, while trees on the west coast have to live with large amounts of rain.

If you become an arborist, you could choose to specialize in a certain type of tree or work with many different kinds. Your choice could affect the availability of jobs, but you are quite likely to find work in most parts of Canada.

Trees are important for many reasons, and arborists have an important job. If you choose this career, you will have a very useful role in your community.


ALIS Alberta. “Arborist.” https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/occupations-in-alberta/occupation-profiles/arborist/.

Eco Canada. “Career Profiles: Arborist.” https://www.eco.ca/career-profiles/arborist/.

Ontario Colleges. “Arboriculture.” https://www.ontariocolleges.ca/en/programs/energy-environmental-and-natural-resources/arboriculture.

Payscale.com. “Arborist: Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Arborist/Hourly_Rate.

Leave a comment!