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Ep 4 - Arborist

Job description

An arborist, or (less commonly) arboriculturist, is a professional in the practice of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. Arborists generally focus on the health and safety of urban trees.

Qualifications required

NZQA level 4 is the preferred qualification refer to the NZQA for the qualification structure.

Training costs

A two year full time course will cost $6000, some companies provide training as part of their employment contract but it would take longer to complete.

Career path

A school leaver will work as a trainee and build up experience whilst working with a qualified tree crew. Senior crew will be looking at leader ship roles to a foreman. In a large company there are project and business managers, these roles focus on business management skills.

Salary range

Trainees would start on $14 per hour.

An experienced and qualified arborist up to $25 per hour.

Managers range from $55,000 – 80,000, there would be a range of company benefits including vehicle use.

Other careers this profession could lead to


How to increase the chances of successfully entering this industry

Work experience and an interest in the environment and sports.

Other places to source information about this job

Otago Polytechnic and WINTEC

Other relevant points

In NZ there is a shortage of qualified people so there are plenty of opportunities. It’s much the same story in Australia and Europe.