Arborist/assistant/technician level jobs attract starting salaries of around £15,000, possibly rising to £21,000. Some entry-level arborist positions are short term only and may be paid weekly or even on a daily rate.
Skilled aborists can expect a salary in the region of £21,500-£25,000.
Supervisory/managerial level jobs, such as tree preservation officer, can attract salaries of between £22,500 and £30,000. With substantial experience it may be possible to secure an academic job, such as head of school, and this may attract a higher salary.
Salaries vary depending on experience, the type of work and the location. Managerial/consultancy roles offer the highest salaries, as do jobs in the South East.
Hours vary according to the nature of the employer, the contract, location of the job or employer, and whether or not you are self-employed. It is not uncommon to work evenings and weekends.
Self-employment and freelance work are often possible. This is mainly at contractor level, with a high demand for skilled tree climbers, and at consultant level (possible after developing specialist knowledge and gaining adequate experience). Part-time work is more likely in the public sector.
Women are currently under-represented in this profession, although the number of female entrants is increasing, especially at arboriculturist level.
There are good employment opportunities for skilled and qualified people. The arboriculture industry is rapidly expanding, fuelled by both growing awareness of the need for correct tree management and increased current public interest in environmental issues. This has led to a significant increase in demand for arboriculture specialists who can work alongside allied professionals such as planners, landscape architects and environmental consultants. Competition is strong for work within well-established companies.
A good head for heights is required for jobs that require tree climbing. For an arborist, the ability to climb safely is essential, and employers will require proof of this in the form of certification and possibly a climbing test at interview.
The role can be physically demanding, especially in more junior/trainee positions. The high-risk nature of the work means insurance costs can be very high for self-employed arborists and arboriculturists.
There is frequent travel within the working day with occasional overnight absence from home.
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