Guide to Becoming a Certified Arborist: Education and Certification

Guide to Becoming a Certified Arborist: Education and Certification

If you have a passion for trees and the environment, becoming a certified arborist could be the perfect career path for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the education and certification requirements needed to become a successful arborist. From tree biology to tree care techniques, this article will provide you with all the information you need to kickstart your career in arboriculture.

Education Requirements for Becoming a Certified Arborist

High School Diploma or Equivalent

In order to become a certified arborist, the first step is to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. This provides the foundational knowledge and skills needed to pursue further education in the field of arboriculture.

Associate’s Degree in Arboriculture or related field

For those looking to specialize in arboriculture, obtaining an associate’s degree in arboriculture or a related field is highly beneficial. This level of education provides a more in-depth understanding of tree care practices, plant biology, and soil science.

Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry or Horticulture

To further advance in the field of arboriculture and become a certified arborist, a bachelor’s degree in forestry or horticulture is recommended. This higher level of education offers a comprehensive study of tree biology, tree identification, pest management, and tree risk assessment. It also provides hands-on experience through internships or practical training programs.

Certification Process for Arborists

Becoming a certified arborist involves completing a series of steps to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in tree care and maintenance. The certification process typically includes formal education, hands-on experience, and passing a certification exam.

Arborist Certification Exam

One of the key components of becoming a certified arborist is passing the arborist certification exam. This exam tests your understanding of tree biology, tree identification, proper pruning techniques, tree risk assessment, and other essential arboricultural topics. It is important to study and prepare thoroughly for this exam to ensure success.

Continuing Education Requirements

After obtaining your arborist certification, it is important to stay current with the latest industry trends and best practices. Most certifying organizations require arborists to complete continuing education credits to maintain their certification. This may involve attending workshops, seminars, or conferences related to arboriculture.

Specialized Certifications

In addition to the standard arborist certification, there are also specialized certifications available for arborists who want to focus on specific areas of tree care. These specialized certifications may include tree risk assessment, tree climbing, urban forestry, or plant health care. Obtaining a specialized certification can help you stand out in the field and expand your career opportunities.


Becoming a certified arborist is a rewarding and fulfilling career path for those passionate about trees and the environment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, individuals can obtain the necessary education and certification to excel in this field. From gaining relevant experience to passing the ISA certification exam, aspiring arborists have a clear roadmap to achieve their goals. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing learning, anyone can become a successful certified arborist and make a positive impact on the world around them.