Tree Trimming Certification and Training Facts

Tree trimmers may be qualified with just on-the-job training, though landscape technician and arboriculture certificate programs are available. Read on for information about tree trimming training, coursework and employment prospects. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Training and Certification Opportunities Are Available in Tree Trimming?

Training to become a tree trimmer is typically offered through on-the-job training or through a landscape technician or arboriculture certificate program. A certificate program will teach you proper tree trimming methods, as well as fertilization, planting, watering and pruning skills. You'll learn how to care for residential yards, industrial outdoor areas and public parks.

You may also find training available through certification programs offered through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association. You may become a certified tree worker with a specialization in climbing, aerial lifting and utility. Certification requirements vary, but typically include knowledge and skills exams.

Training OverviewMostly on-the-job, but certifications are available; learn to care for yards, industrial outdoor areas and parks
Common Courses and TopicsSoil science, turf maintenance, botany, electrical hazards, tree sciences
Average Annual Salary (2014)$26,720 for landscaping and grounds keeping workers; $35,150 for tree trimmers and pruners*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Coursework is Available?

Landscape certificate programs emphasize leadership and teamwork skills since landscapers often must work in groups. Certificate programs take about one year to complete and might include a laboratory component and hands-on gardening practice. Online landscape technician programs are very limited due to the need for on-site practice with gardening tools and equipment, although you may be able to find a landscape design diploma online. Common topics that you'll explore during a landscape technician program include:

  • Botany
  • Soil science
  • Turf maintenance
  • Tree trimming equipment operation
  • Common plant diseases

Certification organizations may provide study material, as well as training seminars or workshops. Additionally, online learning opportunities may be available through podcasts and an online learning center offered through the ISA. Subject areas covered include:

  • Electrical hazards
  • Rigging
  • Tree Sciences
  • Pruning
  • Removal

What Jobs Are There?

With advanced training in tree trimming or landscaping, you can work as a landscaping and grounds keeping worker or a tree trimmer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, landscaping and grounds keeping workers earned a mean wage of $26,720 as of May 2014, while tree trimmers and pruners made approximately $35,150 per year as of May 2014 (

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