Apprenticeship Program Overview

The Arborist Apprenticeship Program provides tree care employers with a systematic approach to ensure employees are trained and certified to produce work at the highest skill levels required for the tree care industry. The program includes a combination of job-related classroom instruction and hands-on training at the job site.

The objective of the Arborist Apprenticeship Program is to train employees to be a tree climber that can train others to climb. Apprenticeship is not to be confused with an internship – your apprentice will be a full-time employee. Your apprentice can be a new hire or someone already on your team.

It will take approximately 3 years for your apprentice to complete the program. However, the time it takes to complete the apprenticeship can be shortened based on any relevant education or work experience, if applicable, as well as any overtime that your apprentice works.


In order to provide the best training experience possible for your apprentice, you must satisfy the following requirements for the duration of the apprenticeship:

  • Employ and train apprentice in a 1:1 ratio with a skilled mentor*
  • Release apprentice to attend classroom training
  • Maintain accurate records of training
  • Report apprentice’s progress on the job

The mentor, also known as the journeyworker, is an individual who has completed a registered apprenticeship in a skilled occupation or the equivalent of an apprenticeship in length and content of work experience and all other requirements in the apprenticeship standards for a skilled occupation. For a detailed description of the training that will pre-qualify your journeyworker, visit the Journeyworker Qualification page.

Your company may train more than one apprentice at a time if you have enough staff who qualify to be a journeyworker to maintain the 1:1 ratio requirement.

Your apprentice may train with other experienced staff on the team; however you and your apprentice must maintain records of who helped them complete the work hours so that the assigned journeyworker can approve any training provided by others on the team.