Property management

Tree surgeon

Tree surgeons carry out all kinds of tree work including planting, felling, care and maintenance, and hazard assessments.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

40

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% more Tree surgeon jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing hazards posed by trees
  • assessing tree health and treatment
  • pruning or removing branches
  • planting and felling trees

University

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

Relevant courses include:

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

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Trees and Timber

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through an arborist intermediate apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Other Routes

There are no set requirements but many tree surgeons gain experience in a closely related job like ground worker. Ground workers support tree surgeons and learn how to use chainsaws, ropes, ladders and harnesses.

Experience is highly valued. You can approach conservation organisations, horticulture groups, the National Trust or the Woodland Trust to find voluntary work.

£16,000 to £30,000

Starter salary: £16,000

Experienced salary: £24,000

These figures are a guide.

40

As a full-time tree surgeon working for an employer, you'll usually work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You may need to work some weekends and you may be called out of hours to deal with emergencies. There are often self-employment and consultancy opportunities available for experienced tree surgeons.

Depending on the areas you cover, you may need to travel between different sites. Most tree surgeons will have their own vehicle for work.

You'll carry out physically demanding, potentially hazardous work that may take place in all weathers.

With qualifications and experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager. You could also start your own business.

You could move into recreational tree climbing, taking people into treetops as an outdoor activity.

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

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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to use ropes, harnesses and equipment
  • the ability to understand plans and maps
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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