New Zealand Apprenticeship in Arboriculture

Level 3 and Level 4


Level of study

Level 3 and Level 4

Cost (incl GST)



28 months. Start any time.


Learners must be employed in the sector.

* May be eligible for Government Support including Fees Free. Learn more here.

Non-funded fee: from $9,641.97. Please note, this fee will only apply for non-funded learners – learners who are not employed in the industry, do not meet the entry requirements of the programme, or are not classed as “domestic learners” under the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding rules. For more information, visit the TEC website here.


This comprehensive programme is ideal for people who are currently working in the industry with some general work experience and who have a desire to develop a career in Arboriculture.

Apprentices will learn skills to allow them to work in a self-managed capacity with some responsibility for other staff and have an overview of key aspects of Arboriculture operations.

An apprenticeship will give you the skills to become a valued working arborist and is a step further on the path to becoming a fully qualified arborist. You’ll need to gain level 5 qualifications to be a fully qualified arborist.

The apprenticeship takes 28 months to complete and employees can start any time.

Off-job tutorials on 10 Days (5 for Level 3, 5 for Level 4).

Learning outcomes

After completing each NZ Certificate, graduates will have learned the following:

Level 3 (12 months):

  • work as an effective member of a team including communication and interaction with team members and colleagues
  • demonstrate knowledge of workplace health and safety
  • demonstrate basic chainsaw operation and rules of use
  • use a brushwood chipper
  • carry out ground person duties
  • climb trees and undertake one-person aerial rescue
  • demonstrate an understanding of plant structure, functions, processes, use correct plant nomenclature and identify trees
  • demonstrate an understanding of Codes of Practice and guidelines for arboriculture
  • demonstrate an understanding of tree work safety near electrical hazards
  • fell and limb trees under supervision
  • demonstrate an understanding of pruning and prune young amenity trees and shrubs
  • plant trees.

Level 4 (16 months):

  • supervise and provide instruction to team members using a range of effective communication and interpersonal skills relevant to an unsupervised, working arborist
  • climb difficult trees, branch walk and undertake aerial rescue above 15 metres
  • prune mature amenity trees
  • demonstrate understanding of soil properties and their effect on plant growth
  • maintain a chainsaw
  • identify amenity tree health problems
  • identify and present trees found in arboriculture situations
  • conduct visual tree assessments
  • undertake sectional felling in arboriculture tree work
  • use advanced rigging in arboriculture tree work
  • use advanced felling techniques in arboriculture.

Enrolment Forms

Download and read our enrolment forms and terms and conditions.

Get in touch

For more information and to enrol: