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How You Can Grow a Career in Tree Care with an Arboriculture Degree

Jul 12, 2023, 12:20 PM by Kirk Fryrear
Do you want to become an arborist? Learn about Clackamas Community College's arboriculture degree, accredited by NALP. Explore your options today!
Student scaling a tree, giving thumbs up

Trees play a vital role in our environment and communities. Caring for them is crucial. Arborists, also known as tree care professionals, are responsible for the cultivation, management and maintenance of trees.

A career in arboriculture can be fulfilling and rewarding, and Clackamas Community College (CCC) offers an arboriculture degree that can help you achieve your career goals. We'll explore what arboriculture is, how to become an arborist and the benefits of earning an arboriculture degree from CCC.

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What is an arborist?

An arborist is a professional who specializes in the care and maintenance of trees. They are trained to identify tree species, diagnose tree diseases and recommend appropriate treatments. Arborists also work to ensure that trees are healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing. They may work for a variety of employers, including government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations.

How do I become an arborist?

To become an arborist, you'll need to have a combination of education and hands-on experience. A good starting point is to earn an arboriculture degree, which provides a comprehensive education in the field of tree care. After completing your degree, you may want to consider obtaining certification from a professional organization, such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Certification can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to potential employers and clients.

Why earn an arboriculture degree?

Earning an arboriculture degree provides numerous benefits, including:

  1. Comprehensive education: An arboriculture degree program provides a thorough education in the principles and practices of tree care. You'll learn about tree biology, pruning techniques, pest management and more.
  2. Professional development: By earning a degree, you demonstrate a commitment to your profession and a desire to improve your skills and knowledge. This can help you stand out in a competitive job market.
  3. Career advancement: An arboriculture degree can help you qualify for more advanced positions within the tree care industry. It can also provide a foundation for pursuing a career in related fields such as forestry or horticulture.

What is an arboriculture degree?

An arboriculture degree is a specialized program of study that focuses on the care and maintenance of trees. The degree program at Clackamas Community College is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful arborists. It includes courses in tree biology, plant pathology, arboriculture equipment and more.

What kind of classes would I take to earn an arboriculture degree?

To earn an arboriculture degree at CCC, you will need to complete a combination of general education courses and arboriculture-specific courses. Some of the arboriculture courses you will take include:

  • Tree Biology
  • Plant Pathology
  • Tree Climbing and Rigging
  • Arboriculture Equipment
  • Tree Pruning
  • Pest Management

Who needs an arboriculture degree?

An arboriculture degree can be valuable for anyone interested in pursuing a career in tree care. This includes:

  • High school graduates who want to pursue a career in arboriculture
  • Professionals in related fields who want to expand their knowledge and skills
  • Experienced arborists who want to advance their careers

What can you do with an arboriculture degree?

An arboriculture degree can open up a variety of career paths in the tree care industry, including:

  • Arborist or Tree Care Professional
  • Urban Forester
  • Tree Inspector

What is the job outlook for careers in arboriculture?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of grounds maintenance workers, including arborists, is projected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected to be driven by the increasing demand for tree care services as well as the need for more sustainable landscaping practices.

You can search related careers, regional data on wages and job outlooks on the Career Coach website. This tool can help you explore different career paths and make informed decisions about your education and career goals.

How do you get an arboriculture associate degree?

To earn an arboriculture associate degree at CCC, you will need to complete a total of 90 credit hours, including general education requirements and arboriculture-specific courses. The program is typically completed over two years, although the length of time it takes to complete the program can vary depending on factors such as part-time or full-time enrollment.

What will I learn when studying for an arboriculture degree?

When studying for an arboriculture degree at CCC, you'll learn a variety of skills and knowledge related to tree care, including:

  • Tree biology and physiology
  • Pruning techniques and methods
  • Pest and disease management
  • Arboriculture equipment and safety practices
  • Tree climbing and rigging techniques
  • Plant identification and selection
  • Soil science and fertility management

You'll also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through lab exercises, field trips and internships.

Is the arboriculture degree program accredited?

Yes, the arboriculture degree at Clackamas Community College (CCC) is accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), formerly known as the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). Accreditation by NALP ensures that the program meets industry standards and provides high-quality education in the field of arboriculture.

This accreditation also demonstrates that the program has been reviewed by an independent organization and has met rigorous standards for curriculum, faculty and student outcomes. Graduating from an accredited program like CCC's arboriculture degree can give you an advantage in the job market and help you stand out to potential employers.

Why should I earn an arboriculture degree at Clackamas Community College?

There are many reasons to consider earning an arboriculture degree at CCC, including:

  • Quality education: The arboriculture degree at CCC is accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, ensuring that you'll receive a high-quality education that meets industry standards.
  • Experienced faculty: The arboriculture faculty at CCC are experienced professionals who are passionate about their field and committed to helping you achieve your career goals.
  • Hands-on experience: The program at CCC emphasizes hands-on learning through lab exercises, field trips and internships, giving you the opportunity to gain practical experience in tree care.
  • Convenient location: CCC is located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, which is home to a diverse range of tree species and tree care professionals.

What are the arboriculture degree outcomes at Clackamas Community College?

The arboriculture degree program at CCC is designed to help you achieve the following program outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of tree biology and physiology
  • Use appropriate pruning techniques and methods
  • Identify and manage common pests and diseases
  • Operate and maintain arboriculture equipment safely and effectively
  • Use climbing and rigging techniques safely and effectively
  • Demonstrate an understanding of plant identification and selection
  • Understand the importance of soil science and fertility management

By achieving these outcomes, you'll be well-prepared to pursue a career in arboriculture and make a positive impact in your community.

Want to learn more about CCC's arboriculture degree?

If you're interested in learning more about the arboriculture degree at CCC, visit their webpage or contact the program coordinator at

You can also explore career opportunities in arboriculture and related fields through the Career Coach website.

With an arboriculture degree from CCC, you can grow a fulfilling and rewarding career in tree care while making a positive impact on the environment and your community.

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