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Earning and Maintaining ISA Certification Credentials (CEUs)

Advance your career in the arboriculture industry

ISA credentials help consumers identify qualified, knowledgeable tree care professionals. The tree care profession has experienced rapid growth over the past decade and there is a significant amount of knowledge required to perform at the highest level.

Earning a credential is a voluntary activity, but it demonstrates that you have the proper knowledge and skills, as well as a high level of dedication to your profession and your community. Certifications, sometimes more than price, can be the deciding factor when multiple individuals bid on the same job.

6 types of ISA Certifications

Pursuing an ISA Certification is a worthy goal that will help you advance your career in the arboriculture industry. There is a special exam for each of these types of ISA Certifications: 

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CEUs

ISA Certified Arborist®

To earn an ISA Certified Arborist® credential, you must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture. ISA Certified Arborists® have met all requirements to be eligible for the exam, which includes three or more years of full-time, eligible, practical work experience in arboriculture and/or a degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry from a regionally accredited educational institute. This certification covers a large number of topics, giving the candidates flexibility in the arboricultural profession. A code of ethics for ISA Certified Arborists® strengthens the credibility and reliability of the work force. This certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, meeting and exceeding ISO 17024.

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ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist™


An ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist™ has a minimum of 2000 hours experience over two years in electric utility vegetation management or has served as a consultant to a utility, with a minimum of 4,000 hours over a maximum 10-year period. The candidate must work in utility vegetation management. They have been tested on topics such as electric utility pruning, program management, integrated vegetation management, electrical knowledge, customer relations, and storm response.
 6 Utility CEUs + 30 Arborist CEUs.

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ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®

ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist® credential holders are current ISA Certified Arborists® who have chosen municipal arboriculture or urban forestry as a career path. They have obtained a minimum of three additional years of work experience managing the establishment and maintenance of urban trees. Experience requirements include communication skills, public relations, administration, risk management, arboricultural practices, and policy planning in a municipal setting. 
12 Municipal CEUs + 30 Arborist CEUs.

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CEUs

ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist®

To be an ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist®, candidates must have the skill and endurance to climb trees, demonstrate high regard for safety, and be able to get the job done off the ground. This credential is different from the other certifications because you are tested in both a classroom setting and a field setting. Candidates must have training in aerial rescue, CPR, and First Aid to obtain this certification.

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ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist®

The ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist® certification requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to perform as a competent aerial lift operator. The knowledge gained with this certification can improve the productivity, quality of care, and safety practices of those who earn the credential. Along with proven knowledge of CPR and first aid, candidates have been tested on safety procedures, and must be able to complete thorough truck and tree inspection.

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CEUs

ISA Board Certified Master Arborist®

The ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® credential is the highest level of certification offered by ISA. This credential recognizes ISA Certified Arborists® who have reached the pinnacle of their profession. In addition to passing an extensive scenario-based exam, candidates must abide by a Code of Ethics, which ensures quality of work. Fewer than two percent of all ISA Certified Arborists® currently hold this certification. 20 CEUs in Science, Practice, and Management.

How to maintain your ISA Certification

Your renewal date will be either June 30 or Dec. 31, depending on the date of your original certification exam. Notification of your renewal date is mailed out one month in advance directly from ISA. Track your CEUs. CEUs may take 4-6 weeks to be recorded.

  1. Complete the required # of CEUs
  2. Pay the recertification fee.

Earning CEUs

CEUs can be earned by completing selected conferences, workshops, and seminars presented by ISA and WAA. Here are some of the ways to earn CEUs.

In-House Training

Many companies and government agencies offer in-house training. Any educational topics pertaining to tree care and safety are eligible for CEUs. This may include safety meetings, CPR/First Aid, chainsaw safety, etc. Please contact the ISA to find out if your training opportunity qualifies.

First Aid or CPR class

4 CEUs each, once per certification period (every three years). A copy of your card is needed to earn the CEUs.

ISA Publications Online Quizzes

CEUs for articles and quizzes in Arborist News and other ISA publications may be earned once per issue or edition.

Teaching and Presentations

You may receive CEUs for conducting workshops, teaching classes, or making presentations. Please sign the CEU sheets in the room if you are presenting at any of the WAA events.

ISA Workbooks, CDs, DVDs, and Videos

The ISA provides a variety of publications worth CEUs. Browse the ISA webstore for CEU products. The ISA’s Online Learning Center has more than 30 courses available including the Introduction to Arboriculture series.

Tree Climbing Championship Events

Climbers, judges, and technicians can be awarded up to 3 CEUs at ITCC and Chapter TCC events.

College Courses

College courses based on arboriculture are worth 10 CEUs per credit hour and must be completed at an academically accredited 2 or 4-year institution with proof of passing grade.

Ready to Become ISA Credentialed?

An ISA credential shows your commitment to properly caring for and maintaining trees!

Resources to help prepare you for the exam

Application Handbook

This handbook outlines the exam process and ISA Certified Arborist® code of ethics.

For Sale: ISA Arborist’s Certification Study Guide

This guide gives you an overall review including bolded vocabulary words, review questions and sample test questions.

WAA Members $75

Non WAA Members $115 and this includes 1-year WAA Membership.

(Shipping is extra)

Request CEUs for your event

If you would like to earn CEUs for an event you are attending, just attach the full agenda with the times, speakers and program titles with description. We will process the request within 21 business days.

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Request CEUs for an event

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