If you have a natural passion for the environment in general, and trees in particular, then you might want to become an arborist. An arborist is a professional who grows, manages, and studies trees, vines, shrubs and other woody vegetation. These are essentially “tree doctors” who are consulted regarding the health and safety of vegetation. Arborists become certified through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Thus, to access more career opportunities in this field, you need to be an I.S.A certified arborist. This requires several years of training and study in order to know how to administer proper tree care.
So, What Does an Arborist Do?
An arborist’s job is different from that of forestry and logging professional. Rather than managing forestry, arborists focus their attention the safety and health of plants. This distinguishes the arborist from the forester or logger, though they somewhat deal with trees. In addition, an arborist is trained to do more than just pruning and removing trees. They are also trained to diagnose and treat tree diseases, culture trees, provide structural support and install lighting protection. Not all arborists do the same job. Different certifications are available that train arborists how to perform specific tasks and functions. Some arborists specialize in consulting while others handle everything from tree planting to pruning.
What It Means to Become ISA Certified
Tree care profession has experienced incredible growth over the years, and you require a significant level of knowledge to perform at the highest level in this field. ISA certification can help consumers identify and contract qualified and knowledgeable arborists for their jobs. While the certification is voluntary, it demonstrates that you have the right knowledge and skills in the profession.
Benefits of Earning an ISA Certification
- The certification builds your self-image as an arborist. By studying and passing the exam, you reaffirm your knowledge and dedication to the field of arboriculture.
- The certification allows policy makers the opportunity to make wise selection of services based on the training and knowledge demonstration by the credential.
- Having an ISA certification can open up the door to plenty of opportunities and for professional development as well as an increase in income
- The certification can help set you apart from the crowd and give you a competitive advantage in the job market.
- The certification, more than asking price, can often mean the difference when bidding for the same job as this will portray you as the right person for the job.
So, How Do You Become ISA Certified?
Pursuing an ISA certification is a worthy quest if you want to advance your career in the arboriculture industry. There are two options available if you want to sit for your certification exam: computer based examination and a paper based examination.
- Paper based examination This is offered by a Chapter or an Affiliate Body. The exam is delivered to a center determined by the local ISA certification Liaison. Thus, you need to identify your preferred exam center before enrolling for the exam. Once you have sat for the exam, you need to wait for 4-6 weeks for your results.
- Computer based exam This is done remotely and can be convenient if you have a tight schedule, or are residing far away from your area’s examination center. With a computer based exam, you get to set your preferred test date as well as location. Better still, you receive your results immediately after completing the test.
Arboriculture is one of the most rewarding career fields. With the right tools and qualifications, you can certainly enjoy great prospects in this growing field. I.S.A certified arborists stand a great chance of accessing a wide range of opportunities in the in tree care.
An article by Sam Moser, a freelance web content writer who graduated from the School of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.” Sam was inspired to help aspiring arborists when he came across the Alberta Arborists website.