Apply for the Apprenticeship


The application for the next Arborist Registered Apprenticeship cohort opens in January, 2024 for a March start date.

Interested in applying? Sign up for more information

Apply to Care for Trees

Openlands’ Arborist Registered Apprenticeship is an opportunity for individuals to participate in a 3-year registered apprenticeship program, working alongside industry professionals and gaining hands-on experience, training, and skills in arboriculture.

The Arborist Registered Apprenticeship is a 3-year training program from Openlands that includes:

  • 5400 hours of paid, on-the-job training (OTJ)
  • 400+ hours of paid, classroom learning
  • Gaining certifications and industry credentials, including:
    • First Aid/CPR certification
    • Openlands TreeKeeper certification
    • Introduction to Climbing Training
    • Commercial driver’s license
    • IL state pesticide applicator license
  • Experience climbing trees, using power equipment, and planting, pruning and maintaining trees
  • Learn the fundamentals of arboriculture and working with trees in an urban environment

Apprentices will be employed by Openlands for Year 1 of the apprenticeship and then be matched with a tree care employer partner in a Year 2 and 3 to complete the program. The program is full-time (35+ hours/week) with benefits and structured pay increases every 6 months.

The Arborist Registered Apprenticeship program seeks diverse candidates to participate in this program. Candidates currently unemployed, underemployed, and under-represented populations, including people of color and women, are encouraged to apply.

Email with questions or to learn more about the ARA program.

Minimum requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • You must have a signed social security card. If you need a new card, please go here.
  • Provide proof of high school graduation or GED
  • Have a valid Illinois Driver’s License or the ability to obtain one
  • Be proficient in reading, speaking, & writing in English
  • Be physically capable of performing essential job functions, including lifting a minimum of 50 lbs. at any time, throughout the duration of the program

Meet Our Expert Staff

Senior Forestry Program Manager
Forestry Field Supervisor
Forestry Field Supervisor
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