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Arborist Job Description: How to Write Your Own [+ Free Template]

April 27, 2023 11 min. read
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Is your arborist business ready to branch out and start hiring employees? Then you need a detailed arborist job description that attracts qualified tree experts.

Download our arborist job description template, or jump ahead for our guide on writing a job description of your own. You’ll be interviewing and hiring tree service professionals in no time.

1. Role summary

Start your arborist job description with a role summary. This is a brief overview of the arborist position you’re hiring for. Make sure to include details like:

Quickly describe what the role is and what kind of person would do well in that role. Be accurate so qualified candidates know they’re the right fit—and unqualified candidates know they aren’t.

Here’s a sample of what an arborist role summary could look like:

2. Job responsibilities

Put together a list of arborist job responsibilities and day-to-day duties. To make sure you don’t forget any important tasks, take the time to answer questions like:

  • What types of trees do your employees normally work on?
  • What tools and equipment do they use (e.g., chainsaw, stump grinder)?
  • What are your most requested arborist services (e.g., pruning trees, applying specialized tree fertilizers)?
  • Will this person be doing any non-arboreal tasks (e.g., customer service, scheduling tree work, invoicing clients)?

An arborist’s job responsibilities could include:

3. Qualifications and skills

An arborist needs a solid working knowledge of different types of trees, as well as the ability to climb those trees. But that’s not all—you should also consider arborist qualifications and skills like:

  • Years of arborist experience
  • Arborist license, if required in your state
  • College or university degree in a field related to tree care (e.g., horticulture, landscape design)
  • Physical demands (e.g., working at heights, lifting and moving heavy equipment)
  • Soft skills (e.g., customer service, communication, problem-solving)
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driver’s record, if they’ll be required to drive company vehicles

If you’d like, you can add extra skills that aren’t necessary but might give a candidate an edge, like having climbing safety certification or experience with tree care software.

READ MORE: 10 best arborist apps to run your business

4. Working hours

Include working hours or shift choices in your arborist job description. You’re more likely to hire an employee who stays long-term if they already know your schedule works for their needs.

You should also state whether the arborist role is full-time or part-time, seasonal or year-round, and permanent or temporary. This sets expectations for candidates early in the hiring process.

Pro Tip: If you have slower periods during the year that don’t require full-time hours, tell applicants about any other work that might be available. Running a seasonal business is a great way to keep your employees busy (and keep them around) all year long.

5. Role compensation

Be up-front about how much the arborist job pays. This keeps you from getting to the final interview with a candidate, only to learn that they’re out of your budget.

Your tree cutter job description should include other compensation that isn’t part of their wages, like an employee bonus program, paid time off, health insurance, or retirement plan matching.

6. Company overview

Applicants may not have heard of your business before. Include a company overview to introduce your tree service business and explain why candidates should work for you.

Focus on details like:

  • How many years you’ve been in business
  • Company mission, vision, and values
  • What kind of employee experience you offer
  • Why your employees work with you
  • Professional development and long-term career opportunities

Here’s an example of what your tree care company overview could look like:

Pro Tip: Save your tree care company overview and reuse it for future job postings.

READ MORE: How to build a business where employees want to work

Share instructions for applying to your arborist job posting, like emailing an application or applying online on a job board like Indeed.

Include the application deadline and whether you need an arborist resume, cover letter, and list of references.

Frequently asked questions

What arborist job title should you use in a job description?

Arborists are known by lots of different titles, including tree specialist, tree surgeon, tree cutter, and tree trimmer/pruner.

All of these titles mean the same thing—someone who maintains trees in private and public spaces to keep them safe, healthy, and looking great.

However, depending on where you live, the job title “arborist” may require extra certification. Check your state’s arborist licensing guidelines to see the rules in your area.

READ MORE: 5 lessons from a master arborist

How much to pay an arborist

The mean annual wage for arborists is $47,450/year (USD). This amount can vary depending on factors like:

  • What industry they work in (e.g., government, energy, home services)
  • Experience level
  • Geographic area
  • Local service demand and competition

What experience or training does an arborist need?

To legally offer tree care services, arborists typically need to earn a post-secondary degree or diploma in forestry, horticulture, botany, biology, landscape design, or a similar program.

Tree service businesses tend to hire arborists with 2–3 years of previous experience. Some areas may also require arborists to have an arborist’s license to operate.

Extra certification is also available through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA).

READ MORE: How to become an arborist

What does an arborist do?

Arborists determine which trees will thrive in a specific environment, plant and maintain trees and woody plants, and remove dead or unwanted trees as needed.

Arborists can work as independent contractors, at tree care service companies, for private grounds and institutions, and for parks and urban forestry departments.

What are the duties and responsibilities of an arborist?

Arborists advise clients on which new trees to plant, examine and treat existing trees for disease, remove dead or unneeded trees, and deal with fallen or damaged trees after a storm.

Depending on the business’s needs, an arborist may also need to estimate tree trimming and pruning jobs, send tree service invoices, and collect payment from clients.

READ MORE: How the Climbing Arborist does more of what he loves with Jobber

What makes a good arborist?

Good arborists know a lot about tree anatomy, types of trees, and soil biology. They’re comfortable using a variety of tools and heavy machinery for planting, maintaining, and removing trees.

Arborists should be physically strong enough to climb trees and cut through large limbs. They spend most of their time up in trees, so they should be comfortable working at heights.

They also understand the risks of the job and follow workplace safety standards.

What to look for in an arborist resume

Look for applicants with post-secondary education and previous experience as an ASCA or ISA certified arborist.

They’ll also need to prove their skill with tree climbing equipment and tree maintenance tools. To reduce training time, they should already know how to work with the trees you normally service.

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