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Do you need qualifications to be a tree surgeon?

Are you thinking of becoming a tree surgeon? If so, you may be wondering if you’ll need qualifications to get into the profession. The good news is that there are no specific qualifications required to work as a tree surgeon, so although taking a relevant university or college course such as arboriculture or forestry can help, it may not be necessary. You could undertake an apprenticeship or even learn on the job in some cases.

What university and college courses can tree surgeons take?

There are various university and college courses available to help aspiring tree surgeons in Colchester enter the profession. Relevant university courses include forestries, forest management or arboriculture, or college courses such as a Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture or Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture.

For a foundation degree, you’ll usually need one or two A levels or equivalent qualifications and for a higher national diploma or degree, two or three A levels or equivalent will be required. For a level 2 college course, you’ll need two or more GCSEs at grades 9-3 (A* to D) or for a level 3 course, you’ll need to have achieved five GCSEs at grades 9-4 (A* to C).

There is an apprenticeship route to becoming a tree surgeon. You’ll usually need some GCSEs to be accepted onto an apprenticeship, namely English, Maths and Science. You can find opportunities on the Government’s Apprenticeships website.

Consider on-the-job training or volunteering

Since there are no set academic requirements to become a tree surgeon, you may not need to gain qualifications. Becoming a grounds person and learning on the job is a common way to get into the profession. Practical experience is invaluable for understanding what is involved in tree care work and building your knowledge and skills.

One way to gain this is by volunteering at charities, conservation organisations or horticultural groups such as the Woodland Trust or National Trust. Any other relevant work experience such as gardening or farm work can help you become a tree surgeon.

Enhance your expertise with training courses

To work at height or with dangerous machinery like chainsaws, you’ll need to undertake relevant training courses to ensure your competence. You could gain City & Guilds NPTC certificates of competence for attending short courses, for example at a college or with an accredited private training provider. Relevant courses that could be useful for tree surgeons include the Level 2 Certificate of Competence in Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross-cutting (C30 & 201/202), the Level 2 Certificate of Competence in Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue (C38 & 206/306) and the Level 3 Certificate of Competence in Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-fall Techniques (C39 & 308).

At Essex Tree Brothers, our team of tree surgeons are fully qualified and have undertaken all the necessary courses to ensure we carry out our work to the highest possible standards. To discuss your tree care needs, call us on 07429970077 or 01245 955117. You can also reach us by emailing [email protected] or by sending us a message via the website.

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