front range community college arborist apprenticeship

Arborist Apprenticeship to Combat Tree Care Workforce Shortage

As the economy continues to expand and access to qualified, skilled workers becomes increasingly challenging, apprenticeship programs like the arborist apprenticeship are crucial to support employers in recruiting, training and retaining talent.
- David White, President & CEO, Tree Care Industry Association
The Arborist Apprenticeship was developed in coordination with the Colorado Tree Care Sector Partnership.  Denver is a critical market for current tree care workforce shortages, and the sector partnership is projecting larger challenges in the next 10-15 years. The actual number of new jobs in Tree Care in the next five years in the Denver MSA, not including attrition, is somewhere between 150 and 200 new jobs in an industry struggling to retain individuals under-prepared for employment in a high-skill occupation. Some employers experience as much as 50% annual attrition associated with a lack of skills for the job.

The Arborist Apprenticeship at Front Range Community College will provide post-secondary training for apprentices seeking to obtain skill sets necessary to work in the Colorado arborist industry.  The apprenticeship will create a workforce pipeline for industry and provide a limited and required education serving underserved populations. Graduates will earn a transferable journey worker credential awarded by the US Department of Labor. The goal of the Sector Partnership is to register 15 apprentices this year. 

Earn While You Learn

FRCC is providing the related learning and is partnering with the Tree Care Industry Association and local subject matter experts to develop curriculum.  The apprenticeship includes 6,000 hours of training with your Tree Care Employer and 450 classroom hours at Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colorado over the three-year period. 90% of your time will be spent on the job being taught and mentored by a Journeyman, learning such skills as:

  • Tree trimming
  • Disease diagnosis and treatment
  • Tree climbing
  • Basic tree & shrub biology

For interested students/parents, please visit