Relevant degree and HND subjects include life sciences, agricultural and horticultural sciences, and urban and land studies. In particular, the following subjects may improve your chances:
Apart from arboriculture and forestry courses, the relevance of a degree depends on course content. Graduates from other disciplines can apply if they possess relevant experience, especially at arborist/craft level.
Some forestry or horticultural HNDs and foundation degrees offer options/modules of relevance to arboriculture, such as urban forestry or woodland management.
Specialist institutions, such as Myerscough College , provide a BSc and foundation degree course in arboriculture. The college and other providers also offer the National Diploma in Arboriculture, one of the key recognised qualifications in the field. Myerscough also provides the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) Certificate in Arboriculture for individuals already employed in the industry.
A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not essential, but could be advantageous. Myerscough College offers an MSc/PG Diploma in arboriculture and urban forestry.
The University of Aberdeen runs an MSc course in forestry, and other institutions including Bangor University and the University of Cumbria offer Masters courses and research opportunities specialising in environmental forestry, agroforestry, forest ecosystem management, sustainable tropical forestry, and conservation and forest protection.
The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) provides details of ICF-validated courses on its website. Details of arboriculture qualifications and course providers are available from the Arboricultural Association .
The City & Guilds Land Based Services provides certificates of competence, which are now legally required if you are to practise skills such as operating a chainsaw.
Pre-entry experience in areas such as project work (landscaping and urban reclamation), tree maintenance or planting work is essential. Conservation organisations and charities may offer voluntary work. After gaining some direct or related experience, it is advisable to look for a trainee post as an arboricultural assistant with an employer willing to provide the necessary training, support or additional experience.
Experience in nursery production of trees and shrubs is considered particularly valuable as it means you have learnt to identify the different types.
Candidates will need a good level of physical fitness, a clean driving licence and confidence working at heights. An aptitude for outdoor pursuits is desirable. Specialist climbing work is sometimes necessary.
The need for environmental awareness and an increased demand for outdoor recreation areas means more professionally trained arboriculturists and foresters are required to manage Britain's woodlands and trees. There are a considerable number of opportunities for arboricultural officers or tree officers within planning departments of local councils but competition is usually strong for these posts.
The increase in environmental awareness and outdoor recreation has highlighted the need for professionally trained arboriculturists and foresters capable of managing Britain's woodlands and trees. Opportunities for arboricultural officers or tree officers within planning departments of local councils are also increasing as a result of the renewed focus on managing the natural environment. There is usually strong competition for these posts.
Further careers information can be found on:
The Arboricultural Association produces A Guide to Qualifications and Careers in Arboriculture , which is free to download from their website.
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