Climbing Arborist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

climbing arborist job description

In the world of horticulture, the importance of climbing arborists has never been more significant.

As urbanization progresses, so does the need for skilled professionals who can manage, preserve, and nurture our green spaces, particularly those hard-to-reach trees.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a climbing arborist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker aiming to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager drafting the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricate work of arboriculture,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a customizable climbing arborist job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s get straight to it.

Climbing Arborist Duties and Responsibilities

Climbing Arborists specialize in the planting, health, maintenance, and removal of trees.

They work with various tools and machinery to climb and access trees, perform tree pruning and removals, and assist in mitigating tree hazards.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Perform tree assessments to identify unhealthy or hazardous conditions
  • Carry out tree pruning and removal tasks using climbing equipment and machinery
  • Assist in the planting of new trees and shrubs
  • Apply fertilizers and other treatments to help enhance tree health
  • Operate heavy machinery and equipment such as chainsaws, wood chippers, and aerial lifts
  • Adhere to safety regulations and procedures to ensure a safe working environment
  • Maintain all tools and equipment, ensuring they are safe and in good working order
  • Communicate effectively with clients about their tree care needs and concerns
  • Produce reports and records of tree care activities
  • Participate in training and professional development opportunities to improve skills and knowledge


Climbing Arborist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a skilled Climbing Arborist to join our team.

The Climbing Arborist will be responsible for climbing, pruning, and removing trees on residential and commercial properties.

The ideal candidate will have knowledge of different tree species, safety procedures, and the use of various climbing and pruning equipment.



  • Perform tree trimming, pruning, and removals at various heights safely.
  • Identify and treat various tree and shrub related problems.
  • Operate and maintain all necessary tools and equipment.
  • Adhere to all safety standards and procedures.
  • Communicate effectively with clients to understand their needs and provide excellent customer service.
  • Perform cleanup and debris disposal after job completion.
  • Cooperate and communicate with other team members to ensure job completion.
  • Assess risks associated with tree climbing and removal.
  • Participate in ongoing training and maintain relevant certifications.



  • Previous experience as a Climbing Arborist or similar role.
  • Knowledge of different tree species and proper tree care techniques.
  • Familiarity with safety procedures and best practices in tree climbing and removal.
  • Ability to operate and maintain various tools and equipment.
  • Physically fit and able to carry heavy loads as needed.
  • Good communication skills and customer-oriented approach.
  • Certification in Arboriculture or related field is a plus.



  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Paid time off
  • Opportunities for ongoing training and development


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Climbing Arborist
  • Work Environment: Outdoor work in various weather conditions. Physical activity is a significant part of the role.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Tree Service Manager or Operations Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $35,000 minimum to $52,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and any relevant certifications to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Climbing Arborist Do?

Climbing Arborists, also known as tree surgeons, are specialized professionals who focus on the health and safety of individual plants and trees.

The core of their work involves climbing and moving through trees to perform inspections, assessments, and necessary tree care operations.

This includes pruning, trimming, and removing branches, or even entire trees that are posing a threat to the environment or property.

Climbing Arborists are proficient in using a variety of equipment like chainsaws, pruning shears, rigging equipment, and safety harnesses.

They use these tools not only to execute their tasks but also to ensure their safety while climbing and working at varying heights.

In addition to this, Climbing Arborists diagnose and treat tree diseases and pest infestations, often working in consultation with other environmental professionals.

They might also be involved in planting new trees, providing advice on tree species selection, and implementing care plans to maintain or improve tree health.

Their duties might also encompass emergency storm work, where they are required to remove fallen, split or dangerously leaning trees to prevent or mitigate property damage.

Climbing Arborists may work for tree care companies, landscaping firms, or government bodies and often work outdoors, in all kinds of weather conditions.

They also have a responsibility to follow and promote environmentally sustainable practices in all their work.


Climbing Arborist Qualifications and Skills

A proficient climbing arborist should possess a variety of skills and qualifications that suit this physically demanding and technical role, including:

  • Physical fitness and stamina to be able to perform strenuous labor and climbing tasks for extended periods of time.
  • Proficiency in climbing techniques and use of associated equipment, such as ropes, harnesses, and pulleys, to safely and efficiently scale trees of various sizes and shapes.
  • Expert knowledge of tree physiology and ability to identify different types of trees, as well as understanding their growth patterns and potential diseases or pests.
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery and power tools, such as chainsaws, stump grinders, and wood chippers, safely and efficiently.
  • Strong problem-solving skills to evaluate tree health and structure, assess potential risks, and devise effective pruning or removal strategies.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills for interacting with clients, explaining job details, and addressing any concerns or inquiries they may have.
  • Attention to detail and safety-conscious mindset to ensure that all tasks are carried out safely and in accordance with industry regulations and standards.
  • Environmental awareness to conduct operations in a manner that minimizes impact on surrounding vegetation and wildlife.


Climbing Arborist Experience Requirements

Becoming a climbing arborist typically requires at least 2-3 years of practical experience in tree care and climbing.

This experience can be gained through internships, part-time roles, or work-study programs in arboriculture or related fields.

Entry-level climbing arborists are often expected to have some hands-on experience in tree climbing, using climbing equipment and practicing safety standards, often acquired through training courses or on-the-job training.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience are likely to have developed their skills in advanced climbing techniques, pruning, removal of trees and tree health diagnosis.

They may also have experience in operating specialized equipment like aerial lifts, chainsaws, and wood chippers.

Those with more than 5 years of experience in the industry may have moved into more specialized roles, such as lead climbing arborist or tree care supervisor.

At this level, experience in team management, equipment maintenance, and advanced arboriculture techniques is usually required.

Additionally, many employers prefer candidates with certifications from recognized bodies such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), which require both theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the field.


Climbing Arborist Education and Training Requirements

A Climbing Arborist typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent and a solid understanding of tree biology, tree identification, and pruning techniques.

Many arborists learn their trade on the job, while others may pursue a degree or certification in arboriculture, forestry, or horticulture from a recognized institution.

This training can offer a deeper understanding of tree care and the science behind it.

Additionally, arborists can earn professional certifications through organizations like the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

To be certified, an individual must pass an exam that covers all aspects of arboriculture and must maintain their certification through continuing education.

For those specializing in climbing, there are additional training courses offered by various organizations to ensure safe and efficient climbing techniques.

These can include training in areas like aerial rescue, equipment usage, tree climbing methods and techniques, and safety protocols.

To work in some environments, like power lines, an arborist might need to be a Certified Line-Clearance Arborist.

This certification focuses on safety around high voltage electrical equipment.

Overall, a successful Climbing Arborist combines practical training, formal education, and professional certification to ensure safe and effective tree care.


Climbing Arborist Salary Expectations

The average wage for a Climbing Arborist is $20.97 (USD) per hour.

This equates to an annual salary of approximately $43,610 (USD).

However, the actual earnings can differ based on the arborist’s experience, the location of the job, and the company for which they work.


Climbing Arborist Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Climbing Arborist need?

Climbing Arborists require physical fitness and agility for climbing and working at heights.

They also need knowledge of different tree species and understanding of tree biology and care.

In addition, they should be skilled in using various arborist tools and equipment like chainsaws, pruning saws, pole pruners, and loppers.

Safety skills, including risk assessment and use of protective gear, are also crucial in this role.


Do Climbing Arborists need any specific qualifications?

While a degree is not required, Climbing Arborists need to have specific certifications related to tree care and safety, such as Certified Arborist or Tree Worker Climber Specialist from the International Society of Arboriculture.

Moreover, they must have a valid driver’s license and often need to pass a physical examination to prove they are physically fit for the job.


What should you look for in a Climbing Arborist’s resume?

Look for evidence of qualifications such as Certified Arborist or Tree Worker Climber Specialist.

They should also demonstrate experience in tree care, including pruning, removal, cabling, and planting.

Knowledge of tree species and diseases, proficiency in using arborist tools, and a commitment to safety should be evident in their resume.


What qualities make a good Climbing Arborist?

A good Climbing Arborist has excellent physical strength, balance, and stamina.

They should be comfortable working at heights and in various weather conditions.

Attention to detail is crucial for identifying tree health issues.

Good communication skills are also essential as they often work in teams and need to explain their work to clients.

Finally, they should show a deep respect for nature and a commitment to tree health and preservation.


Is it difficult to hire a Climbing Arborist?

Hiring a Climbing Arborist can be challenging as the job requires a unique skill set, including physical fitness, tree care knowledge, and comfort with heights.

It can be especially difficult to find candidates with the necessary certifications.

Offering competitive salaries and continuous training opportunities can help attract qualified candidates.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve scaled the heights of what it genuinely entails to be a climbing arborist.

And guess what?

It’s not just about climbing trees.

It’s about protecting and conserving the natural beauty, one tree at a time.

With our handy climbing arborist job description template and real-world examples, you’re all set to make your next career move.

But why stop there?

Dig deeper with our job description generator. It’s your next step to creating precise job listings or perfecting your resume.


Every tree you climb is part of a larger ecosystem.

Let’s protect that ecosystem. Together.

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