Explore the Realistic Occupational Personality Type

REALISTIC Occupational Personality Types often enjoy working outdoors, being physical and working with their hands. 

Career Pathways Exploration Guide Phase:

Arborists typically display the REALISTIC Occupational Personality Type.    

An arborist is a specially trained practitioner of arboriculture, focusing on individual trees as opposed to managing an entire forest. They practice the art and science of planting, maintaining and examining trees and other woody plant life to improve their aesthetics, health and value and their role in enhancing public safety. Arborists spend most of their time working outdoors in a range of weather conditions. Oftentimes, they work on-call hours for emergency situations where inclement weather causes trees to fall on property, block roads and cause power outages. Arborists utilize mastery techniques to climb and effectively manage the growth and development of trees using appropriate tools and equipment. Therefore, the ability to perform physical activity and enjoying manual labor is an important part of being an arborist.

Pathway 1:  International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist 

To become an ISA Certified Arborist, you must:  

  1. Have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in arboriculture (through an apprenticeship, working as a groundskeeper, nursery worker, tree trimmer/climber, etc.) or
  2. Have a two- or four-year degree from an accredited university and meet the minimum course and practical full-time requirements or
  3. Have a combination of education and practical arboricultural experience.
  4. Apply for, take and pass the ISA Certified Arborist exam.   
  5. Maintain ISA credentials by obtaining the required number of continuing education units (CEUs) through continuing education and training opportunities in the three year certification period, and pay the recertification fee or retake the exam and successfully pass.  

Pathway 2:  ISA Certified Arborist Utility/Municipal Specialist 

The ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialists must be an ISA Certified Arborist; apply for, take and pass the ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist Exam and have one of the following:  

  1. A minimum of 2,000 hours of verifiable work experience in electric utility vegetation management within the past two years. 
  2. Full-time employment as an electric utility arborist, forester, or vegetation manager for at least 36 cumulative months during the past 10 years. 
  3. Full-time employment on a project as an electric utility vegetation management contract employee/consultant for at least 36 cumulative months during the past 10 years. 

The ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialists must be an ISA Certified Arborist; apply for, take and pass the ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist Exam and submit documentation from your current or previous employer(s) showing a minimum of three additional years of practical work experience in a position managing the planting, establishment and maintenance of urban trees.    

Pathway 3: ISA Board Certified Master Arborist 

The ISA Board Certified Master Arborist credential is the most elite certification offered by ISA. Currently, less than two percent of all ISA Certified Arborists are ISA Board Certified Master Arborists and have a combination of the following:  

  1. Be an ISA Certified Arborist in good standing by maintaining the required number of CEU’s. 
  2. Obtain a total of eight points from four categories – measurable experience, formal education, related credentials or professional experience in writing by submitting a copy of certificates, original transcripts or letter(s) of reference from current or previous employer(s).
  3. Apply for, take and pass an extensive scenario-based exam. 


Career Pathways Exploration Guide