On this page ...
Did you know?*
Program updates, effective June 1, 2017
To make the program accessible to more sponsors, the State Aborist Apprenticeship Advisory Committee revised the program as follows:
- Sponsors are no longer required to train apprentices in operating a motorized spray rig; it is now optional.
- Sponsors are no longer required to employ a fulltime journeyworker with a valid pesticide applicator license.
- Sponsors now need to employ only one journey worker per apprentice.
- Apprentices may be required by the sponsor to obtain one or more of six applicable credentials from the Tree Care Industry Association
- The required hours of performing plant health care were decreased.
Arborists are highly skilled professionals that provide all aspects of tree care, from planting and pruning to managing diseases and insects. It can be dangerous work.
Using sophisticated climbing and rigging techniques, Arborists ascend trees; cut away dead or excess branches; and lower them to the ground; and spray trees and shrubs to prevent common pests and diseases.
Arborists work outdoors in all kinds of weather. The work is physically demanding and requires dangerous equipment, such as chainsaws. Moreover, the work is often performed at heights, so Arborists use fall protection gear in addition to personal protective equipment.
Arborists strongly emphasize safety measures, because their duties have led to an occupational injury rate that is above the national average.
The program is 7,000 hours, or approximately three-and-a-half years. It includes 6,560 hours of on-the-job learning and 440 hours of paid related instruction.
The employer must train the apprentice in the following mandatory duties:
- Adhere to ANSI and employer safety standards for all work.
- Identify common trees and shrubs in the employer’s region.
- Perform rigging on the ground and aloft.
- Climb trees safely.
- Operate a chain saw on the ground and aloft, and perform field maintenance.
- Operate a chipper.
- Prune trees and shrubs from the ground and aloft, according to ANSI A300.
- Perform plant health care activities.
- Remove trees or shrubs.
The apprentice must also complete the following:
- Obtain First Aid and CPR certifications in the first year of the program and maintain them throughout the program.
- Obtain a State of Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Certification or equivalent.
- Earn the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist credential.
- Complete the Transition-To-Trainer course in the final year of the apprenticeship.
In addition, the employer may require the apprentice to earn the following:
- Certified Arborist credential from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
- One or more of six related credentials from the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)
The apprentice must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a high school diploma or equivalency
- Have a valid driver's license
- Be physically able to perform the work with reasonable accommodations
- Apply directly to the employer
The apprentice may be required by the employer to:
- Undergo drug or alcohol testing at time of selection as an apprentice
- Obtain a commercial driver's license.
The employer must:
- Have been in business for at least one year
- Ensure that the apprentice(s) is trained in the core work processes
- Supervise and/or train the apprentice(s) at all times
- Employ at least one full-time journeyworker with a valid ISA Certified Arborist credential
- Employ at least one full-time journeyworker per apprentice
- Perform general physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body.
- Inspect material and equipment to identify problems, defects, or causes of errors.
- Keep your arm and hand steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions, Bureau of
Labor Statistics, ONET Online