Utility Arborist Apprenticeship

What is a Utility Arborist?

A Certified Utility Arborist is a person who undertakes any work required to prune or clear vegetation in proximity [defined as a distance of three meters or less from a primary conductor with a voltage of 750 volts or higher] to energized electrical equipment, structures and conductors; or, who in the course of utility line clearing operations, prunes, falls, or removes trees which, could come into contact with energized power lines.


Typical Duties

  • Responsible for vegetation management activities
  • Remove vegetation from around power lines, utilizing bucket truck or climbing
  • Physically demanding and work is performed in all types of weather


Apprenticeship Overview

  • Technical Training
    1. Block release
      • 6 weeks for Level 1
      • 2 weeks for Level 2
  • 2,378 Hours of work experience (including 1,200 in proximity)
  • Tax Credits for Apprentices – minimum of $2000
  • Tax Credits for Sponsors – up to $4000
  • Certificate of Qualification as a Utility Arborist


What is apprenticeship?

A Certified Utility Arborist is a formal apprenticeship and upon completion provides the individual with a Certificate of Qualifications and a Certificate of Apprenticeship as provided by the Industry Training Authority [ITA]. The program is structured to provide both in-school and work-based training with two correspondence courses also being required.

  • The Certified Utility Arborist Apprenticeship process can take up to 2 years to complete
  • Requires In-school technical training – Level 1 (6 weeks) and Level 2 (2 weeks) and two correspondence courses.
    • During and at the conclusion of each Level an apprentice will be required to challenge both written and competency based outcomes. (Year One: Level Exam; Year Two:CofQ Exam).
  • Requires 2,378 workplace hours with confirmation of hours by your employer
    • With 1,200 hours must be in proximity to energized power lines (Proximity is defined as a distance of three meters or less from a primary conductor with a voltage of 750 volts or greater)
  • Upon completion of all schooling and hours, you are awarded a Certificate of Qualification and a certificate of Apprenticeship as a Utility Arborist.


Steps to become a Utility Arborist Apprentice


What does it cost?

  • Tuition Fees – $2100 approx.
  • Hydro or Fortis PSSP/Lockout training – $350 (if required)
  • 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 www.hrsdc.gc.ca.


Related Links


What can I make?

Private Sector

  • Utility Arborist – $25-30/hr


Sponsor Info


Job Titles

  • Certified Utility Arborist


Additional Certifications