Climbing Arborist Apprenticeship

The Arboriculture Trade includes three distinct and progressive Certificates of Qualification. The three are; Arborist Technician, Climbing Arborist and Field Arborist.

The Arboriculturist Apprenticeship program is independent from the Landscape and Production Horticulturist programs.

Watch this video ‘Climbing Arborist Apprenticeship‘ for a quick summary of the Climbing Arborist Apprenticeship Program.

Level Two – Climbing Arborist

  • Climbing Arborist Program
  • Must have your Certificate of Qualification as an Arborist Technician
  • In-school training for 8 weeks
  • Require 1,800 workplace hours with confirmation of hours by your employer
  • Practical Assessment to demonstrate necessary skills to perform the routine tasks of a Climbing Arborist.
  • This level of training will focus on climbing skills and technical skills used while working in trees
  • A Climbing Arborist;
    • performs advanced rigging and cutting
    • structurally support trees
    • select trees for planting
    • identify common pests and diseases
    • capable of performing rescues
  • This will result in a Certificate of Qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship as a Climbing Arborist.

Steps to become a Climbing Arborist Apprentice

  • You must have a Sponsor who is either a Certified Tradesperson or has Sign-Off Authority and has registered with the ITA. Click here for Sponsor information.
  • Complete the Apprentice and Sponsor Registration Form with your sponsor and mail or fax to ITA (contact info is on the form).
    • Use the same TWID number you were assigned as an Arborist Technician.
    • This must be submitted to ITA, to register with the ITA as a Climbing Arborist, so your technical training and work based hours can be logged.
  • Register with Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
  • Track your hours along with your employer by filling out the Work-Based Training Report
  • Once the technical training and hours have been completed, contact to schedule the practical assessment.  Climbing Arborist practical assessment application.
  • Read the Apprentice/Trainee Guide and the 6 Steps to Success guide provided by ITA
  • Remember that you may be eligible for tax credits starting at $1000 per completed level.
  • After completing the level your ‘Recommend for Certification’ form must be signed by your sponsor. This form is provided by ITA upon completion of training and work based hours.
  • Contact ITA Customer Service for any assistance

What does it cost?

These costs are based on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University program and are subject to change.

  • A $10 non-refundable Apprentice Evaluation fee will be charged for each registration
  • Tuition Fees – Winter 2015 fees are $2300 for 8 week session (not including additional student fees)
  • Required Texts – Approximately $200 for Level Two – Climbing Arborist
  • For a list of textbooks view the Program Outline, and go to page 65
  • Additional Costs – Field trips, CSA safety footwear, rain gear, accommodations, basic school supplies and study materials.
  • Employment Insurance Eligibility – You may be eligible to collect Employment Insurance benefits during you school session, and additional benefits such as travel or lodging allowance. Contact your local Human Resources and Skills Development Center at
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