Arborist Salaries

Arborist Salaries

Understanding the Role of an Arborist

Arborists are professionals who specialize in the care and maintenance of trees. Their responsibilities include pruning, planting, diagnosing tree diseases, and ensuring the safety of trees in public and private spaces. Arborists must possess a combination of physical skills, technical knowledge, and safety awareness to perform their duties effectively. For more information on arborist responsibilities, visit the Arboricultural Association.

Average Arborist Salary in the UK

Arborist salaries in the UK can vary based on factors such as experience, qualifications, and location. Here’s a general overview of the salary ranges you can expect:

  • Entry-Level Arborist: £18,000 – £24,000 per year
  • Experienced Arborist: £25,000 – £35,000 per year
  • Senior or Specialist Arborist: £35,000 – £50,000 per year
  • Self-Employed or Business Owner: Potentially higher, depending on the volume and complexity of work

Factors Influencing Arborist Salaries

Several key factors can influence how much an arborist earns:

  • Experience and Qualifications: Arborists with more experience and higher qualifications typically earn higher salaries. Certifications such as the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) or qualifications from the Arboricultural Association can enhance earning potential. Specialized skills, such as tree risk assessment or advanced climbing techniques, can command higher pay.
  • Location: Arborist salaries can vary significantly depending on the location. Urban areas, particularly in London and the South East, tend to offer higher wages due to higher living costs and greater demand for tree services. Rural areas may offer lower salaries but often come with a lower cost of living.
  • Type of Employment: Arborists employed by large companies or municipalities typically receive stable salaries and benefits. In contrast, self-employed arborists or those running their own businesses can earn more, depending on their ability to attract clients and manage their operations. Those working in the public sector may have access to pension schemes and other benefits, adding to their overall compensation.
  • Industry Demand: The demand for arborist services can fluctuate with seasons and economic conditions. Arborists may find more opportunities and potentially higher earnings during times of high demand, such as after storms or during peak tree maintenance seasons.
  • Additional Skills and Certifications: Arborists with additional certifications, such as first aid training or pesticide application (e.g., PA1 and PA6 certifications), may have better job prospects and higher earning potential. Skills in related areas, such as landscaping or garden maintenance, can also increase income opportunities.

Regional Differences in Arborist Salaries

The average salary for an arborist can vary significantly across different regions in the UK. Here’s a brief overview:

  • London and South East: Average Salary: £28,000 – £45,000 per year. Higher demand and cost of living contribute to higher salaries in this region.
  • Midlands: Average Salary: £22,000 – £35,000 per year. The Midlands offer a balanced cost of living and a steady demand for arborist services.
  • North of England: Average Salary: £20,000 – £32,000 per year. Salaries are generally lower in the North due to lower living costs and varying demand.
  • Scotland and Wales: Average Salary: £20,000 – £35,000 per year. Similar to the North, these regions have a lower cost of living and varying levels of demand.

Maximizing Your Earnings as an Arborist

If you’re looking to maximize your earnings as an arborist, consider the following strategies:

  • Invest in Education and Training: Pursue advanced certifications and training to increase your expertise and marketability. Qualifications from the Arboricultural Association or specialized courses in tree health or climbing can boost your credentials. Continuously update your skills to keep up with the latest techniques and safety standards in the industry.
  • Gain Diverse Experience: Take on a variety of projects to broaden your experience and increase your appeal to potential employers or clients. Specialize in high-demand areas, such as hazardous tree removal or urban tree management, to enhance your earning potential.
  • Build a Strong Professional Network: Connect with other arborists and professionals in related fields to learn about job opportunities and stay informed about industry trends. Join professional organizations, such as the Arboricultural Association, to expand your network and gain access to resources and job listings.
  • Consider Self-Employment: Starting your own arborist business can offer greater earning potential and flexibility. However, be prepared to manage business aspects such as marketing, client acquisition, and financial management. Ensure you have a robust business plan and invest in marketing to attract clients.
  • Expand Your Services: Offer additional services, such as tree health assessments, pest control, or landscaping, to increase your revenue streams. Diversify your client base to include residential, commercial, and municipal contracts.
  • Location Flexibility: Be open to working in different regions where demand and pay may be higher. Relocating to areas with a higher cost of living can result in better pay, reflecting the increased demand for arborist services. Consider temporary relocation for seasonal work opportunities in high-demand areas.
  • Stay Current with Industry Trends: Keep up to date with industry trends and advancements to ensure you are offering the latest and most efficient services to your clients. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences to learn about new techniques and technologies in arboriculture. Visit the Institute of Chartered Foresters for more information.

The Future of Arborist Careers in the UK

The demand for arborist services is expected to remain strong due to ongoing urban development, environmental conservation efforts, and the need for tree maintenance. As awareness of the importance of tree health grows, so does the need for skilled arborists. This presents excellent opportunities for those entering the field to build a rewarding and financially viable career.


Arboriculture is a fulfilling career that combines a passion for the outdoors with the responsibility of caring for trees and the environment. Understanding the factors that influence arborist salaries and taking proactive steps to enhance your skills and marketability can help you maximize your potential earnings in this field. Whether you’re starting your career or looking to advance, investing in your education, gaining diverse experience, and expanding your services are key strategies for success.

Ready to take the next step in your arborist career? At Ground Up Training, we offer a range of courses and qualifications to help you succeed in the industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your professional development and help you achieve your career goals. For more information on certification and training options, visit the NPTC and Arboricultural Association.