Colorado Arborist Apprenticeship Program


Get Paid to Become a Certified Arborist

Get paid while you learn the skills needed to be successful in an arborist career. This is a three-year apprenticeship program with 2,000 hours on-the-job and approximately 145 hours in class each year. An apprenticeship is a great way to learn. You will gain skills working one-on-one with a skilled professional on the job. You are paid and can get promotions as your skills progress!

Arborist Skills You'll Learn

This 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. You will be trained in a variety of skills needed to become an arborist, including:

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

Work Outdoors. Be Physically Fit. Learn an Exciting Trade.

Enjoy the majority of your instruction through active on-the-job training that truly prepares you for your chosen career. 90% of your time is spent on the job being taught and mentored by a Journeyman. The remaining 10% consists of classroom learning.

  • Job sites are located throughout the Front Range.
  • Work for small & medium-sized private businesses and municipality forestry departments.
  • Receive a portable, nationally-recognized credential, which signifies to employers that you are fully qualified for the job.
  • Attend classroom training at Front Range Community College in Westminster November-March.

Arborist Salaries

$17/hr Entry Level
$21/hr Average
$25/hr Experienced

Class Schedule 

Year 1 Student Schedule

Year 2 Student Schedule

Year 3 Student Schedule


All classes will be held at FRCC Westminster or Larimer Campus.

FRCC Westminster
3645 West 112th Avenue
Westminster, CO 80031
See maps & directions >

FRCC Larimer
4616 S. Shields
Fort Collins, CO 80526
See maps & directions >

Students & Instructors will be required to follow current COVID regulations at FRCC.  Currently, all students will be required to produce their vaccination card or proof of a negative COVID test to attend class on campus.  Masks are required.

Tuition per person of your apprenticeship:

  • Year 1 — $3740
  • Year 2 — $1980
  • Year 3 — $1980

Apprenticeship Program Admission

Limit of 15 seats per cohort each fall.

  1. If you are employed with a Tree Care company who has registered their apprenticeship with the Department of Labor, your company should contact Laurie Rue at to register for the training at FRCC.  If you work for a Tree Care organization who would like to register their apprenticeship, they should contact
  2. If you are not currently employed by a Tree Care Company, but would like to be, contact the Colorado Tree Care Sector Partnership at or visit the Colorado Tree Care website. Learn more about Apprenticeship Scholarship funding to help with tuition.

Request Program Information

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