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An Overview Of The Arborist

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Do you fit the profile?

The shortage of arborists coming through the ranks is well documented, and for those currently involved in the industry, along with those considering pursuing a career in arboriculture, an overview of the occupation at a broader level may well make for interesting reading.

The makeup of the workforce is certainly something for industry to consider in the context of labour shortages, with Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (formerly the Department of Jobs and Small Business) figures showing the lowest proportion of vacancies filled on record in 2018. Arborists comprise a comparatively small occupation group on a national scale, however there is potential to work all over the country, and there are a number of pathways that can be pursued in seeking career progression.

So, when all is said and done, do you fit the profile?

Arborist Occupation Overview

The federal government’s Job Outlook website collates information about a range of occupations, along with labour market trends and employment projections, which can be used to help assess different career options. In addition to providing an overview of the sort of qualities that will come in handy when pursuing a career in various industries, the website provides a snapshot of the demographics of different occupations.

Job Outlook presents the following information about arborists:

Employment size – at 5,600 workers, arborists and tree workers make up a small occupation category

Full-time employment – most arborists work full time (82 per cent, compared to the wider average of 66 per cent)

Average full-time hours – full-time arborists spend around 44 hours per week at work (the same as the average)

Age – the average age of an arborist is 36 years (compared to an average of 40 years)

Gender – 3 per cent of arborists are female (compared to an average of 48 per cent)

When it comes to a state-by-state breakdown of where arborists are employed, the figures show that over half of all arborists nationwide work in NSW and Victoria (33.3 per cent and 28.4 per cent, respectively).

Meanwhile, 18.5 per cent of arborists are employed in Queensland, 8.8 per cent in SA, 6.3 per cent in WA, 2.3 per cent in Tasmania, 1.5 per cent in the ACT and 0.8 per cent in the Northern Territory.

Qualifications And Prospects

The right qualifications are, of course, critically important in carrying out the range of duties required of an arborist – and arborists, equipped with qualifications and experience, will likely have a greater variety of career opportunities.

In terms of qualification levels, the Job Outlook figures reveal that 53.2 per cent of arborists possess a Certificate III/IV qualification and 14.7 per cent an Advanced Diploma/Diploma.

When it comes to putting these qualifications to use, arborists may find that career opportunities exist across a number of different industries.

The Job Outlook figures show that the main employing industries for arborists and tree workers are: Administrative and Support Services (59 per cent), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (17.2 per cent), Public Administration and Safety (13.2 per cent) and Construction (3.4 per cent), with other industries making up 7.2 per cent.

Our next instalment in this series will look into the new industry licence and how it is changing the profession.

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