Skip to content


Tree surgeon Green Job

Tree surgeons work in towns and the countryside, assessing tree health, removing branches, planting new stock and felling unsafe trees.

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £34,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 a week

You could work: weekends; at short notice

Future employment

There will be 1.8% more Tree surgeon jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a tree surgeon, you'll:

  • identify hazards caused by trees
  • climb trees to cut back or remove branches
  • cut down and remove trees and stumps
  • plant trees and assess their health
  • work with clients to produce tree survey reports

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in parks and gardens, on the streets, in woodland or on rail tracks.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, at height, dusty and physically demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • forestry
  • arboriculture
  • countryside management
  • forest management
  • woodland ecology and conservation

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could do a college course to get some of the skills and knowledge you need as a tree surgeon.

Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture
  • Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information

You could begin your career by doing an apprenticeship.

For example:

  • Arborist Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Forest Craftsperson Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These usually take a minimum of 2 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

You may be able to start as a forest labourer or groundworker, helping a qualified tree surgeon. You could then complete further training on the job in the use of chainsaws, ropes, ladders and harnesses.

These types of courses are offered by private training providers and further education colleges.

Volunteering and work experience

You might find it useful to get some experience of tree work before applying for jobs.

You can contact organisations like The Tree Council, Forestry England and the Woodland Trust about volunteering opportunities.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You may need a driving licence and access to a vehicle to travel to jobs.
  • be able to cope with working at height
  • have a Certificate of Competence, if you carry out hazardous tasks using a chainsaw

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the The Arboricultural Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find more details about working with trees through The Arboricultural Association and the Royal Forestry Society.

Showing jobs in:
View all vacancies in this region

With experience you could:become a supervisor or manager; train to be an arboricultural officer; start your own business; move into recreational tree climbing and take people into treetops as an outdoor activity

You can find more details about working with trees through The Arboricultural Association.

How does this job help to address the impacts of climate change and protect wildlife and nature in the West of England?

Tree Surgeons are needed specifically to work with the local authority, businesses and residents to help plant, protect and maintain trees, helping to improve and create new spaces for nature and wildlife across the West of England.

There are several different routes you can take to get into working as an tree surgeon which you can explore further in the 'Routes into this job' section above. 

Click here for an explanation of the different course and apprenticeship levels.

Examples of post-16 courses you could study at local schools or colleges

  • Biology, Geography or Environmental Science A-levels
  • Level 2-3 Forestry and Arboriculture at Bridgwater and Taunton College

Click here to find a local provider

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 2 Arborist

Click here to search for a local apprenticeship

Local employers 

  • The National Trust
  • Woodland Trust
  • Forestry England

As a tree surgeon you could work for one of the many small landscaping companies in the West of England region, or you might set yourself up to work as a self employed contractor. For more local employment opportunities see the 'Live job vacancies by region' section above.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • physical skills like movement and co-ordination
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
My top 5 skills
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register