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Tree Surgeon Salary

Updated on February 10, 2013

Being a tree surgeon is a very rewarding lifestyle, but what does it pay? Here’s what you can expect from a tree surgeon salary.

Just starting out...

If you’re a school or college leaver and you’re looking to start your first career, you could do a lot worse than a career in tree surgery. For me, the freedom you get from working in arboriculture is the most satisfying feeling in the world and is worth more than any money.

A tree surgeon salary is very similar to other jobs when you’re first starting out. You can expect to start as ground staff, earning around £12,000 – £15,000 a year. You’d get paid the same amount for general office admin work, sales, working in a shop, working in a garage, and the list goes on. It’s a non-contest for me.

If the starting salary is important to you, I recommend going to Arboriculture College or taking tree surgery courses so you’re one step ahead of the game.

Switching careers...

If you already have a job and you’re thinking of changing your career path, you’re probably thinking about how it will affect you financially. While income is important, I’m a strong believer that money isn’t everything and you have to enjoy what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.

When I left school, I got my first job in the IT department of a large multi-national company. Every morning I’d catch the same bus, to the same building, to carry out the same tasks, with the same people. For me, this got very boring very quickly. Unfortunately, this is the case for many people and the majority of them never escape. The fact that you’re reading this suggests that you want to work as a tree surgeon, the best decision I personally ever made.

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What you can expect to earn...

As I mentioned earlier, it’s likely you’ll start somewhere in the region of £12,000 – £15,000. Tree surgery is no different from any other job in that you’ll earn more dependent on experience and qualifications. You can get a head start by taking relevant courses or going to college. If you've studied arboriculture, your salary will start closer to the £15,000 mark. Once you've built up your experience and qualifications, you can expect your tree surgeon salary to rise to upwards of £30,000.

After several years of working as a contractor, you can get work as a private consultant. This involves customers such as contacting you directly to hire you for their tree surgery needs. Your customers will include individuals, as well as companies and councils. Landing contracts with councils can be a very lucrative business; the sky really is the limit if you’re working for yourself.


You won’t get rich quick on a tree surgeon salary. You’ll start on £12,000 – £15,00, rising to somewhere around £30,000 as a contractor. Eventually, you’ll be able to get work as a private consultant, and this is where the real money is. So, is it worth the hard work? In my opinion, the freedom you get from working in arboriculture is worth every last penny you might be missing out on in a different career.


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