Utility Arborist: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Utility Arborist

Published Sep 15, 2009

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Utility companies need arborists to keep utility lines and right-of-ways clear of forestry and brush. Utility arborists may hold an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in forestry, urban forestry or horticulture. Arborists help utility companies maintain forestry growth with conservation and state clearance guidelines in mind.

Utility Arborist Career Summary

Utility arborists help utility companies clear utility lines and regulate forestry growth along power lines as needed. They also work in forestry consulting industries. Utility arborists inspect utility right-of-ways, manage tree and brush control around utility lines and work with line-clearance crews or property owners.

Arborists must be able to identify tree species and have extensive knowledge on tree growth rates. Excellent communication skills are required when dealing with property owners and other clients. The willingness to work in inclement weather is essential for utility arborists.

Education Required to Become a Utility Arborist

Many utility companies require a minimum of an associate's degree in forestry, horticulture, environmental conservation or related field. However, utility arborists holding bachelor's degrees in the same areas may have better employment and advancement opportunities with utility companies and forestry consulting firms. Arborist or forestry degree programs discuss botany, entomology, plant pathology and soil science as well as environmental landscaping and urban forestry.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Utility Arborist

Upon completion of a degree program, utility arborist gain practical hands-on job training through entry-level employment. Utility arborists must comply with state clearance standards and understand property owner rights as well. Professional certification through associations, such as the International Society of Arboriculture, offers additional creditability for utility arborists. Some employers request utility arborists to be a licensed through the state as a utility specialist and commercial pesticide applicator.

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