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Arboricultural officer Green Job

Arboricultural officers manage and maintain trees for local councils and arboricultural contractors.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £40,000

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

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: on call; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 1.8% more Arboricultural officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • advise on tree preservation orders in planning applications
  • manage trees in parks, on housing estates and at the roadside
  • assess tree damage after storms
  • train new staff and volunteers
  • give talks on arboriculture and woodlands to schools and other groups
  • carry out tree surveys, monitor numbers and organise tree planting schemes

Green job

As an arboricultural officer, you can manage tree planting in cities. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, trap harmful pollutants and improve air quality. This can have a positive impact on the environment.

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

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

You could work on the streets, in parks and gardens, in woodland or in an office.

Your working environment may be at height and outdoors in all weathers.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • 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 take a course at an agricultural college to learn some of the skills and knowledge you need for this job.

Relevant courses include:

  • arboriculture
  • forestry and arboriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 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 apply for a place on an apprenticeship to get into this career. These include:

  • Arborist Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Arboriculturist Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Professional Arboriculturist Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship

These apprenticeships take from 2 to 3 years to complete and are a mix of on-the-job training and some study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

You could join an organisation, like a local authority or landscaping firm, as an assistant arboricultural officer. You'll need some qualifications or experience, for example as a tree surgeon or groundworker.

Volunteering and work experience

You may find it useful when looking for jobs to have some relevant practical experience. You can find volunteering opportunities with conservation bodies like:

Direct application

You could apply directly to become an arboricultural officer.

You'll usually need:

  • experience of working in a related job, like an arboricultural assistant, tree surgeon, ecologist or landscape architect
  • a nationally recognised arboricultural qualification like the Level 4 Certificate in Arboriculture

Other routes

If you have a degree in a relevant subject, you can apply for a graduate training scheme place with Forestry England. Check with them for application dates.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Chartered Foresters for professional development.

Further information

You can find out more about working in arboriculture from The Arboricultural Association and the Royal Forestry Society.

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With experience, you could:manage a team of arboricultural officers and co-ordinate work with outside contractors; work as a consultant, advising organisations on tree management, conservation and safety; find teaching opportunities with training providers who offer courses in arboriculture

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

Arboricultural officers manage and protect trees in the local environment, getting involved in tree planting initiatives, organising tree surveys and monitoring.

There are several different routes you can take to get into working in forestry 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
  • Level 3 Countryside Management

Click here to find a local provider

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 2 Arborist
  • Level 4 Arboriculturist
  • Level 6 Professional Arboriculturist

Click here to search for a local apprenticeship

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at local higher education providers 

Click here to search for other university courses

Local employers 

  • The National Trust
  • Woodland Trust
  • Forestry England
  • Bristol Council

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:

  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of geography
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • administration skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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