Another route to consider in the search for a job as a contractor is within the landscaping/tree service field. There are many opportunities for entry level work for those people that are willing to start at the bottom and work their way up. For an entry level worker, most commonly known as a groundsmen, you would start off doing all the grunt work. Most of your time will be spent cleaning up debris and brush and manning the chipper. An entry level job will start you off at about the $10-12 dollar an hour range depending on what part of the country you are in. For example, on Long Island you may command as much as $14 dollars an hour where as at a tree company in Jacksonville, you will find that the going rate is actually much lower, typically in the $10-12 an hour range.
As you pay your dues, over time you will gain more experience and most likely have higher aspirations. I am talking tree top high. That’s right. Many climbing arborists start off as groundsmen and overtime learn the trade and begin taking the proper steps towards certification.
Climbing arborists get paid slightly more because their job is inherently riskier. Tree work in itself, is very dangerous work. Every year, many experienced arborists are killed on the job. Climbing arborists seem to top out at the $20 dollar range however. You will find that some individuals, are willing to climb for much lower than market rates. They are typically inexperienced and he company hiring them will end up paying for it in the long run due to the damage they cause to customer’s property. Anyways, I am getting off course here.
Once you have committed to working in the tree care industry, it would be a good idea to consider getting certified as an arborist through the Internation Society of Arboriculture. The ISA as they are more commonly known, offer certification courses for those looking to advance their careers in arboriculture. In addition to an exam, there are also prerequisites that are required of all applicants. The main criteria is amount of time you have worked in the tree care industry. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a certified arborist, check out this link below: