National code: AHC30820

Certificate III in Arboriculture (Climbing Arborist)

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Overview About this course

Take your career to new heights as you learn to cultivate, maintain and protect trees and treescapes. Learn everything you need to know about being an arborist from the ground up while promoting environmental sustainability.

Outcomes What you'll gain

Learning outcomes

Through a mixture of theory and practical course work, learn to:

  • Implement care and maintenance of trees and treescapes

  • Identify trees

  • Manually fall trees and operate and maintain stump grinding machines and mobile chippers

  • Perform pruning operations

  • Use arborist climbing techniques

Course outcomes

Gain practical experience and develop specialist skills that give you an advantage in the job market.

  • Gain your experience on-the-job with your employer or in simulated workplace environments

  • A sound understanding of rigging techniques

  • The ability to inspect sites for correct access and dismantling space

  • Experience in pruning established amenity trees

  • Be comfortable with working safely in the arboriculture industry

  • Confidence in your plant and tree management

Suitability Is this course right for you?

Entry requirements

This course requires evidence of previous experience or study before you can enrol

  • This course is offered as a traineeship. Enquire today to check the eligibility requirements.

  • Check the campus page for requirements to take this course as an apprenticeship

  • This course may also be offered as a non-apprenticeship. Enquire today to discuss your eligibility

Completion requirements

During your study you’ll need to provide your teacher with the following evidence:

  • To complete this course, you must have the physical capability to climb trees to heights of up to 30 metres using industry climbing equipment. You must also be able to safely complete tasks while working at heights and ensure your safety and the safety of others.

  • Your teacher will let you know when you’ll be assessed on these capabilities as part of the following Climbing Arborist specialty units:

  • AHCARB317 – Dismantle trees

  • AHCARB318 – Undertake aerial rescue

  • AHCARB319 – Use arborist climbing techniques

  • It’s important to note that if you are assessed not to meet the physical requirements of these units, you will not be able to complete this course. Your teacher will direct you to a more appropriate course in arboriculture.

Entry recommendations

To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

  • Confidence working at heights

  • Intermediate level fitness to manage physical demands such as using chainsaws, safely climbing trees up to 30m in height, carrying materials, working on uneven surfaces with tree debris

  • Steel-capped boots, long sleeve shirts and pants in drill cotton

  • A class C - Car licence, to transport tools and vehicles around a range of TAFE NSW simulated environments that may be distant from your campus location

  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) at a Year 12 high school level, in order to read arboriculture references, chemical labels, safety data sheets, and perform basic mathematical calculations

  • TAFE NSW may ask you to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills test. This skills test helps us to understand your individual study needs, to design an individualised plan that supports your study success and ensures your LLN skills match the demands of the course.

TAFE NSW is committed to meeting the learning needs of every community. Meeting these needs can mean there are additional entry requirements at different campus locations. Check your preferred location for further requirements. If you need help preparing for study, contact us to find out how we can support you.

Pathways Future career and study options

Career pathways

Our graduates go onto roles like:


Arborists maintain and care for trees and shrubs by lopping limbs and shaping branches, treating trees with fertilisers and insecticides, removing dead or decaying trees, and advising on general tree care.

  • Full-time share Full-time workers usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all their jobs combined).


  • Employment size Employment size is the number of workers who do this as their main job.

    2,200 workers

  • Average age This is the average age of all workers in this job.

    37 years

  • Weekly pay Median earnings are shown for full-time, non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate, before tax or any amounts that are salary sacrificed. These figures are a guide to earnings only and should not be used to determine a wage rate.


  • Average full-time The average full-time hours that people in this role work each week.

    43 hours

  • Skill level rating Skill level ratings are based on the range and complexity of job roles. In general, the higher the skill level, the more formal education and training, previous experience or on-the-job training needed to be good at the job.


  • Gender share

    3% female

  • Future growth The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business estimates the likely change in number of workers in this role, or industry, over the next 5 years. Future growth is the likely percentage change compared to all other job roles.

    Moderate Growth

Other jobs include: climbing arborist, elevated work platform arborist, crane specialist arborist, environmental arborist and arborist works coordinator.


Arborists do not need a licence to practise arboriculture in Australia, yet SafeWork NSW, the Tree Contractors Association of Australia, Arboriculture Australia and the Local Government Tree Resources Association recommend that professional arborists meet several requirements. Arborists practising in Australia should represent a professional business, hold proper worker's compensation insurance, and have minimum qualifications of Certificate II in Arboriculture for carrying out ground and climbing work, and/or Certificate III in Arboriculture for supervising climbing work. To successfully work within the arboriculture industry, you will also need a Pesticide Licence, to demonstrate you have a safe and ethical understanding of chemical applications, handling and storage. Visit NSW Environmental Protection Agency for licensing requirements and guidelines before you apply.

Study pathways

Take your study further with other courses offered at TAFE NSW:

Previous study 0 Courses

Begin here to gain experience and confidence in this study area.

The Certificate III in Arboriculture (Climbing Arborist) does not have any pre-requisite courses.

Further study 0 Courses

Advance your skills to take your career to the next level

The Certificate III in Arboriculture (Climbing Arborist) does not have any post-graduate courses.

Related study 2 Courses

Strengthen your expertise and gain specialist skills to expand your employability.

Your experience counts

At TAFE NSW, we recognise your previous study and work experience. You can apply for recognition of prior learning or a credit transfer with any of our courses. If you're successful you'll get your qualification faster.

Units Units taught in this course

Courses are made up of a combination of both core and specialty units. In the Certificate III in Arboriculture (Climbing Arborist) qualification, you’ll need to successfully complete 18 Units of competency, including 9 core and 9 speciality units.

Please note, not all specialty units are offered at every TAFE NSW location. It is highly recommended that you check with your preferred campus for information about the specialty units offered at that location.

Core units are central to the job outcomes of a particular industry or occupation. These are the units industry has agreed are essential to be capable and qualified at a particular study level.

  • Perform ground-based rigging AHCARB213

  • Implement a tree maintenance program AHCARB314

  • Inspect trees for access and work AHCARB315

  • Perform pruning operations AHCARB316

TAFE NSW services Facilities and support

TAFE NSW provides support services across all campus locations and online. Whatever your needs or circumstances, we have the people, resources, counselling and facilities to support you in focusing on your studies.

  • TAFE NSW Disability Support Service

  • TAFE NSW Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support

  • TAFE NSW Aboriginal Support; Learner support (ABE)

  • TAFE NSW Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service

  • TAFE NSW Libraries

  • Scholarship programs – be supported as you explore your talents and fulfil your potential

  • Read&Write literacy and study support software is available free for all TAFE NSW students to use while studying on campus and at home

  • LinkedIn Learning – an online resource which offers innovative courses and tutorials to improve your personal and professional skills

  • Student associations – get social with our student community

Study options Find a location to enrol

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