The licensed arborist credential denotes professionals who possess a minimum of three (3) years of professional arborist experience working in the public arborist industry and who are duly qualified to perform arboreal services on behalf of clients. A License is an individual’s certification that demonstrates their dedication to the profession and that they have undertaken specific training to prepare them to safely, effectively and ethically complete arboreal services and other arboricultural tasks within a commercial arboretum setting.
A Certified Arborist certificate can be obtained by taking a state approved course or through online courses that have been specially designed for arborist certification. In the event that you do not possess the necessary knowledge, experience or skills required to become an arborist, you may take a one-year associate’s course at an accredited institution. Upon successful completion of the associate’s course, an individual will be issued a Certificate. The certificate is effective only if the individual has successfully completed their state-mandated arborist training and passed their exam.
There are a number of institutions and schools throughout the nation which offer arborist certification. When searching for a training facility or school, ensure to ask about their certified arbortist program. This program should provide an individual with both hands-on and theoretical training to effectively perform arboreal services. Certification programs are offered at many community colleges, universities and arboretum centers. In addition, there are several training programs offered through professional organizations such as Professional Arborists International (PAI), American Arborist Society (AAS), International Arborist Examiners (IAE) and International Association of Arborists (IAA).
Certification courses are taught in many types of settings including a classroom, laboratory, or arboretum environment. An individual interested in pursuing an arborist certification should take a comprehensive exam prior to beginning certification courses so that they will be prepared to successfully complete the courses in an accredited institution.
Certification requires that an individual be tested on a variety of skills which include; the ability to properly recognize tree species, know how to identify their unique characteristics, know how to preserve them, use various tools, and equipment, assess trees based upon their specific needs and the overall appearance of the arboretum, create a landscape plan, and properly evaluate the performance of an arborist on an arboretum. A candidate will also have to demonstrate knowledge and/or experience of how to maintain the arboretum for a period of time after the certification process. Once certified, an individual will be given a license.
It is essential to note that while arborist certification may not necessarily be required for employment in certain arboretum settings, it is highly desirable. Certified arborists are often offered at a higher pay rate and more varied compensation package than those individuals without certification. Certified arbortists tend to have a higher degree of job security and enjoy a variety of benefits. Certification can open doors to a lucrative, rewarding and satisfying career within arboretum care, as well as to arboretum care firms, arboretum maintenance and upkeep companies and private landscaping companies that offer arborist services.