Chipper Operator Specialist

Accidents involving brush chippers are a significant concern for tree care and landscape employers, the employees who operate the equipment and manufacturers alike.

With support from Altec Industries, Bandit Industries, Morbark Inc. and Vermeer Corporation, TCIA has created the Chipper Operator Specialist credentialing course.

Strong anecdotal information from the field tells us that chipper operators receive little or no formal training on chipper operation and field maintenance. TCIA’s Tree Care Academy Chipper Operator Specialist course is designed to train tree care employees in hazards, as well as accepted practices for brush chipper operation and other associated tasks.  The course, which is built for crew members who often do not receive formal training opportunities, will increase employee involvement with overall safety compliance and self-policing.

The course covers:

  • Hazard awareness
  • Procedures for hooking up, transporting, setting up, operating and maintaining a chipper



Interested workers should stay tuned for workshops in their area. Visit our Training Center for a complete list of upcoming workshops.

Once a candidate has completed the workshop and gone through the Chipper Operator Specialist manual, TCIA will grade the exam and issue a certificate of completion, as well as a laminated wallet card, arm patch and helmet decal. 

Candidates’ transcripts are maintained in the TCIA database, and they receive on-demand notification of transcript status via TCIA’s toll free number. 


Use the checklist and optional “permit” form provided in the Chipper Operator Specialist manual to verify and document that the enrollee has learned the required skills to run specific chippers.

Enrollment Fee: 

$34.99 for TCIA members ($49.99 for non-members). Fee includes the Chipper Operator Specialist manual and course enrollment;

Also includes:

  • Test correction by TCIA
  • Transcript storage in TCIA database
  • Helmet Decal, Certificate, Wallet Card upon completion

Continuing Education:

After your employees become Chipper Operator Specialists, they can go on to one of the following training courses if appropriate for their job:

Tree Care Apprentice

Ground Operations Specialist

Tree Climber Specialist

Aerial Lift Specialist

Tree Care Safety Specialist

Tree Care Specialist

PHC Technician

Crew Leader

Aerial Rescue Training Program

For more information about careers in Arboriculture, please visit our Career Center!