The Arborist Registered Apprenticeship Program is the first of its kind in the nation and redefines the occupation by creating a formal training structure involving climbing, pruning, chain saw and equipment operation, and plant health care. It is available to employers of all sizes in both private and public sectors.
In 2017 the Wisconsin Arborist Apprenticeship Advisory Committee made some changes to the program to add even more flexibility for on-the-job training, and partnered with the Tree Care Industry Association to add optional TCIA Treecare Academy credentials to the program. These changes make it easier for employers to utilize the Arborist Apprenticeship Program in ways that suit their needs.
This program is designed to train an entry level employee over a 3.5 year period into a skilled arborist. 90% of the training takes place on the job, while 10% takes place with paid-related classroom instruction. Arborist apprentices are registered into the program by their employers. Employees with some experience already are eligible to be grandfathered into some of the program requirements. Employers designate skilled workers to provide the on-the-job training. On-the-job training consists of gaining experience and logging hours for industry-related job duties and proving competency over time under the supervision of a designated skilled arborist. Course work scheduling is flexible based upon the needs of the employers.
Paid-related instruction will be provided by Milwaukee Area Technical College and will expand to additional locations based on employer demand. Employers interested in participating should visit the Department of Workforce Development website and contact their local Apprenticeship Training Representative.
Here are some helpful links regarding the requirements for the apprenticeship program:
WAA Companies currently using the Arborist Registered Apprenticeship Program
Crawford Tree and Landscape Services
Hoppe Tree Service
Wachtel Tree Science
Here is what some employers participating in the program are saying about it:
“The Apprenticeship Program has been a good tool for us. The apprenticeship contract is a benefit for both us and the apprentice. It shows the employee a commitment and long-term investment in their training, and it helps us gain a skilled worker who can become a future leader of our company.” – August Hoppe, President Hoppe Tree Service
“Apprenticeship provides skill training and job-related theory tailored to our company’s and the industry’s needs. Through combined hands-on training and classroom instruction, apprentices gain knowledge and skills that enable our company to more efficiently and cost-effectively provide high quality craftsmanship to the work we perform for our clients.” – Jeff Wilson, Co-Owner Wachtel Tree Science