Arborist Apprenticeship Program

Arborist Apprenticeship Program Photo by Mark Malmstrom

The Arborist Apprenticeship Program was created to assist arborists and people interested in becoming certified arborists. The Arborist Apprenticeship Program provides participants with classroom and hands-on training. The apprenticeship program will increase arboricultural knowledge, skills, and abilities of the participants.

The Arborist Apprenticeship Program is open to arborists, foresters, line clearance arborists, and anyone else in the tree care industry. It is preferable for each apprentice to be sponsored by an employer so they can attain the required practical field hours.

Objectives of the Arborist Apprenticeship Program are to:

  1. Improve knowledge of arboriculture and professionalism in Utah's tree care industry.
  2. Create incentives for arborists to continue development of their skills in proper arboriculture.
  3. Increase the pool of qualified applicants in the tree care industry.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that employers certify their employees in all aspects of tree care. The Arborist Apprenticeship Program is designed to give employers a qualified program to meet certification requirements so their employees have received the proper classroom and field training to meet OSHA and ANSI Standards.

Course Tracks

The Arborist Apprenticeship Program is accelerated and requires completion of six semesters in two years. A new two-year apprenticeship group is started each September, and class attendance is required one Saturday per month. Participants may select from one of two program tracks:

  • Track 1: Classroom Training Only – Requires 144 hours per year of classroom and other training.
  • Track 2: Classroom and Field Training – Requires classroom training in addition to 2,000 hours of practical field experience. This track will fulfill all requirements for certification as an Arborist and Line Clearance Arborist.

Areas of training in the Arborist Apprenticeship Program include:

  • Ropes, Knots, & Climbing
  • Tree Biology
  • The Art & Science of Pruning
  • Chain Saw Use, Maintenance & Safety
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Chipper, Stump Grinder & Aerial Bucket Operation, Maintenance, & Safety
  • Line Clearance Pruning Techniques
  • Recognizing Electrical Hazards
  • Electrical Hardware Recognition
  • Pruning & Climbing
  • Roping & Rigging
  • Aerial Tree and Bucket Rescue
  • Tree Felling & Removal
  • Tree Identification
  • Tree Appraisal
  • Hazard Tree Identification
  • Public Relations
  • Traffic Control
  • Pesticide Application
  • Arboriculture Safety Standards

Three basic texts are used for this program: ACRT Line Clearance Certification Manual, International Society of Arboriculture Certification Manual, and Trees of Utah and the Inter-Mountain West by Dr. Mike Kuhns. Cost to participate in the Arborist Apprenticeship Program is $300 per semester. This fee does not include books, ISA Exam and Pesticide Licensing Fees.

To graduate from the program, each apprentice must:

  1. Sign and abide by Apprenticeship Agreement.
  2. Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
  3. Attend all classes for successful completion of the apprenticeship.
  4. Have a combined score of 70% or better for successful completion of the program.

If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding the Arborist Apprenticeship Program contact Scott Bunker, Program Coordinator, at (801) 852-6920.

The Arborist Apprenticeship Program is sponsored by the Utah Community Forest Council, Provo City Power Company, Utah Valley State College, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

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