Tree Surgery jobs form part of the Arboricultural industry the activity of pruning, cutting and felling trees is commonly called tree surgery. Staff with wider experience and qualifications covering plant care, health and law are more commonly referred to as arborists.

1. Entry requirement

There are currently no set requirements to enter the industry with many tree surgeons gaining initial experience assisting as a ground worker. Ground workers support tree surgeons. You would normally require additional training and assessment before being insured as part of the team. 

Experience is highly valued yet entry to gain this experience can be difficult. You may be able to approach conservation organisations and local companies to work on an add hock or voluntary basis to get started.

At arbjobs we have two main sectors covering the industry Craft arboriculture covers the hands on practice of tree surgery/arboricultural works. Utility covers tree work relating to tree and vegetation management relating to electricity, highway, waterway and rail networks.

 2. Skills

You'll need:

·        To be physically fit this job can be very strenuous

·        Be competent in the use or ropes, work position harnesses and other climbing equipment

·        Be able to understand plans, maps, method statements and risk assessments

·        Be willing to undertake ongoing training relating to a wide spectrum of knowledge including, health and safety, plant health, pest and disease, mycology, bio mechanics and planning law.

NOTE: Training is expensive and many employers are reluctant to invest in additional training due to the transient nature of the tree surgery staff. If you wish to advance your career within the industry you would be advised to pay for your own training.


3. What you'll be doing

Your day-to-day duties may include:

·        Moving large volumes of brash and timber

·        Assessing site hazards posed by equipment, P.P.E, trees, environment and the location

·        Learn to assess tree health and treatment

·        Learn how to correctly prune or remove branches

·        Plant and felling trees safely

·        Other duties may be required so be prepared to be flexible within your role

·        You will carry out physically demanding, potentially hazardous work in all weather.

4. Salary

Starter salaries can be as low as: £10,000* per annum

Most experienced climbers and ground staff will expect to can earn around £24,000* per annum

Highly skilled experienced proactive and freelance climbers can earn up to £35,000*+

*These figures are a guide salaries will vary depending on location, experience and qualifications.


5. Working hours, patterns and environment

As a full-time tree surgeon working for an employer, you'll usually work Monday to Friday, hours often need to be flexible to fit in the work on the day. Start times can be as early as 6 AM if travel is required. Often you may need to work some weekends and you may be called out of hours to deal with emergencies. There are often self-employed free-lance and consultancy positions available for the more experienced tree surgeons and arborists.

Depending on the areas you cover, you may need to travel between different sites. Most tree surgeons will need their own transport to get to site. Travelling between sites normally requires drivers with experience and a current UK licence. If you have points you need to declare these to your employer as these may affect his fleet policy.

6. Career path and progression

With qualifications and experience, you may be able to progress from ground staff to climber, lead climber/team leader, supervisor, sales manager surveyor, depot manager or consultant or even move on to run your own business.

Tree work can be physically very hard on your body so look to the future and develop skills that will help you when you no longer wish to carry out the physical side of the work.

7. Application for work

Via Arbjobs you are applying directly to the employer so take time to ensure your application is of a suitable quality. Opening a jobseeker account with Arbjobs is free of charge it helps you define your application and also allows you to request job alerts informing you when a suitable position is posted. When logged in you can also save time on each application simply clicking to add your CV and covering letter to any job you select.