Apply for the Apprenticeship


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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.
  • 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

Openlands Staff Katie Fleming
Senior Forestry Program Manager
Openlands Staff Victor Short
Forestry Field Supervisor
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Forestry Field Supervisor
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