Arborist Salaries Report 2018-2023

Arborist Salaries Report 2018-2023

The last few years have been full of changes, and our economy has reflected every twist and turn. In this article, we take an in-depth look at how arborist salaries have changed over the past 6 years (2018-2023), and how the industry has responded to the economic challenges and changes of recent years. 

As the leading job board in the arb industry, we are uniquely positioned to monitor the salaries and benefits employers have offered over the past six years. We have collected salary data from the verified jobs posted on our site and collated this data to monitor changes in pay at both national and regional levels.

This Comprehensive Arborist Salaries Report covers salary data for 2018-2023. 

About the Data

  • Our data is based on the published salaries for verified tree surgeon and arborist jobs advertised on the job board.
  • Each job advert asks the posting employer to include a salary range for their offer. The salary levels we are using in this report are an average of the minimum and maximum ends of that range.
  • This data set contains a total of 2344 salaries, across a variety of job titles.
  • Unless specifically mentioned, this data excludes apprentice salaries in order to avoid discrepancies, as apprenticeship yearly salaries fall outside the norm. 

National Trends Between 2018 and 2023

When looking at the trends in salary growth over the past six years, we see some clear variability between roles. Below, we look at the average year-on-year salary growth data across the industry.

What we find is that arborist salaries broadly followed similar patterns to those seen across national averages, with perhaps less variability when measured as an average across the industry. 


Between 2018 and 2019, arborist salaries grew by a modest 1.4%. In the following year, this growth slowed down slightly to just 1.2% between 2019 and 2020. 

While all wages across the UK did see a decrease across the first half of 2020, median UK annual earnings actually saw an increase in 2020 in relation to 2019.

Moving into 2021, the industry regained some momentum, and arborist salaries saw an average increase of 1.7% in relation to 2020, despite the fact that the annual growth in median earnings across the UK saw a decrease of 0.6% that same year.

2022  saw better year-on-year growth of 3.57%. Similarly, in 2023 arborist salaries grew by 3.83% in relation to the previous year. This growth came as domestic tree work boomed and employers more tree work opportunities became available across the UK. 

Salary growth in the arboriculture industry, however, was lower than the national average, which came to 5.9% and 5.8% in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

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Have Arborist Salaries Kept Up with Inflation?

While salaries did see better year-on-year growth across 2022 and 2023, the arboriculture industry, like most industries, has not kept up with inflation. Salaries grew by just 3.57% and 3.83% in relation to the 9.07% and 7.66% inflation metrics in 2022 and 2023 respectively. 

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National Trends by Role

With the average metrics in mind, let’s look at how different roles compare in terms of salary growth between 2018 and 2023.  To provide a better overview, we have consolidated the various job roles listed on into key specialisations. 

Management/LeadershipArborist ClimbersInspectors & SurveyorsTree SurgeonsGround Staff

As we can see, management and leadership roles are on average considerably higher-paid positions in arboriculture. In our data, this includes manager, team leader and supervisor roles. In 2023, the national average salary for these roles was £37,315

The gap in salary levels between management and leadership roles and the next best-paid positions is explained by the higher employment requirements of these roles. A review of the team leader and manager roles currently available on shows us that tree workers in these positions are expected to hold a range of chainsaw, safety, first aid, machine and even software use qualifications alongside a breadth of experience and practical knowledge. 

Across 2022 and 2023, Tree surgeons, arborist climbers, and surveyor salaries have been, on average, close in pay. However, tree surgeon roles are consistently the lowest paid of the three. The national salary average for tree surgeons was £32,017 in 2023. 

Groundworker roles are generally the lowest-paid roles within our data set. In 2023, the average national salary for ground staff was £30,228.

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Arborist Salaries by Region

Across the UK, salaries can vary greatly depending on the region, as does the cost of living in different areas of the country. Based on the reported location for the jobs posted on, we have broken down our data into 7 general regions.

London and Greater LondonSouth EastMidlandsEast of EnglandScotlandSouth WestNorthern Counties

This sample includes the regions for which we had the most data. Certain regions, like Wales, the South Coast, and the Isle of Man have been excluded due to insufficient data to provide a reliable average.

Highest and Lowest Paying UK Regions for Arborists

Based on our data, arborist salaries are highest in London and Greater London, followed closely by the South East. This coincides with the regional earning metrics at a national level; full-time employees in London and the South are the highest paid across all industries, on average. 

Looking at the latest data, we know that salaries across the UK averaged £33,102 per year. Salaries across London and Greater London averaged £35,730 in 2023, around 7.6% higher than the national average

On the other hand, the northern counties and the South West feature in our data as the regions with the lowest average salaries for arborists, followed closely by Scotland. 

In 2023, the average arborist salary for the Northern Counties (which in our data include the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber) came to £31,047, which is 6.4% below the national average

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Key Takeaways

  • Salary growth across the arborist industry slowed down in 2020 because of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • Between 2020 and 2021 arborist salaries grew by 1.76%, despite the fact that median earnings across the UK saw a decrease of 0.6% that same year.
  • 2022 and 2023 saw better growth, with 3.5% and 3.8% year-on-year growth respectively.
  • The average arborist salary in 2023 across the UK was  £33,102.
  • London is the highest-paying region of the country for arborists.
  • The Northern Counties are the lowest paying region of the country for arborists.
  • Manager and team leader roles are generally the highest-paying arborist roles in our data set. In 2023, the national average salary for these roles was £37,315 

What Can Employers Do to Attract Better Candidates?

While salaries have seen some growth over the past couple of years, we know that both within and outside the industry, salary growth is failing to keep up with inflation. In this economic context, employers need to think not only of financial remuneration but also of other benefits when competing for employees. These may include:

  • Opportunities for continued professional development and progression
  • Good work-life balance
  • Competitive pension scheme
  • Car and transportation allowance or schemes
  • Health schemes and insurance

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