Arboriculture Technician

Length of Program: 4 MonthsProgram Intakes: Winter Intake (January program start)January 2020


Arboriculture Technician Certificate

Applications Open: February

Length of Program: 4 Months

Program Status: Open

Arboriculture Technicians learn and apply the guiding principles of tree management in sustainable urban ecosystems. You will learn how to adhere to current industry safety standards and practices while honing your skills in our unique Landscape Construction Pavilion. 

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Apply a working knowledge of current industry safety standards and practices.

  • Demonstrate an awareness of arboriculture industry sectors.

  • Communicate to influence business and regulatory decisions within the horticulture sector.

  • Perform selected calculations for efficient and profitable horticulture practices.

  • Identify tree species.

  • Recognize specific tree requirements.

  • Integrate appropriate technologies into current urban forest maintenance practices.

  • Recognize the ecological, economic, and social implications of horticulture decisions and processes.

  • Manage various tasks, opportunities, and problems using a comprehensive problem solving strategy.

  • Demonstrate ethical and appropriate behaviour that contributes to the achievement of personal goals and business objectives.

What will you learn?

We consider Olds College to be a living learning laboratory where classroom instruction is enhanced by our grounds with a stunning variety of trees and shrubs that always need attention and care. Students are immersed in studies exploring the life of trees, conducting ground operations, pruning, performing tree risk assessments and conducting aerial operations. The nature of the work for an arboriculture student requires that you be in above average physical condition and well prepared for outdoor work in a variety of weather conditions.

  • Exploring the life of trees

  • Conduction ground operations

  • Pruning trees for structure and health

  • Performing tree risk assessment

  • Conducting aerial operations

View Program Outline

Program Details

Credential: Certificate

Length of Program: 4 Months

Method of Delivery: On-Campus

Program Intakes: Winter Intake (January program start) *APPLICATIONS OPEN, January 2022 intake currently at capacity and admissible students may be placed on a waitlist. Please contact us to discuss options (*

Due to the popularity of this program, and the limited capacity for each intake, applicants are encouraged to apply early in the application cycle to secure their seat. Applications are not carried forward to future intakes. 

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.  

Applications Open: First Wednesday of February (9:00am) for the Winter Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details

  • Tuition: $2,510 / Fees: $965 / Books & Supplies: $500

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Admission Requirements

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 20-2
  • 50% or better in two of Biology 20, Chemistry 20, Science 20, OR One of Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Science 30
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
    • Elaborate on your career goals
    • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc. for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (e.g.: first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants

Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

Career Opportunities

Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Landscape firms
  • Contracting for landscape services
  • Grounds maintenance services

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Student Information

Program Dates

Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration

You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A laptop is preferred

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

The following items are required to be purchased before the program starts:

  • Pair of CSA approved safety-toed boots
  • Adequate clothing for outdoor activities
  • Pair of good quality safety glasses

Information on required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Other Important Information:

  • Safety Regulations: Wearing safety equipment and abiding by industry safety standards is mandatory within our program.
  • Time Requirements: Students are typically in class or on field trips for up to 3-8 hours a day, on each weekday, with normal class hours ranging from 8 am to 12:15 pm. Occasionally, overnight and weekend trips will occur. Ample forewarning of overnight stays and field trips, their times and dates will be provided along with the necessary requirements for attending them. You will also be expected to complete numerous assignments outside of regularly scheduled classes that will vary in terms of their demands upon your time. This amount of time will vary with each course that you take, but a reasonable estimate would be 50 hours per week of effort inclusive of class time.
  • Additional Skills: Basic computer skills are recommended for all and it is certainly beneficial to have some prior experience with computers before you arrive at college. A familiarity and comfort in the use of Google products, word processing, spreadsheet and e-mailing software will be a definite asset. Students have the ability to take notes directly into their devices as the class proceeds. You will be schooled in other systems once you arrive and as need dictates. For example, the learning management system ‘Moodle’ is commonly used in the School of Animal Science and Horticulture and you will be introduced to its use and application in your very first classes.
  • Student Clubs: The Horticulture and Turf Clubs are examples of groups that offer an additional dimension to your Olds College experience. There are also a number of college sports teams, some of which participate at the inter-collegiate level while others are purely recreational.

Lockers: Lockers are available in the Land Sciences Building. All you need to do during your first few days at Olds is to select one without a lock and it’s yours for the duration. It is strongly recommend that you select a locker in the first week of classes because of high demand. You are required to provide your own lock and to register your locker

Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions page for more info or go to Apply Alberta to submit an online application!

  • “I feel very ready and confident going into the industry. The program was great, the instructors were friendly and we had many fun times.”
    • Ian Zylicz

Frequently Asked Questions

By the time I complete the course, am I eligible to take the ISA certification?

At the end of the program you will receive an Olds College Certificate. Please visit the ISA website for further requirements. The Arboriculture Technician Certificate is not enough by itself to qualify to write the Certification Exam.

Is the tree risk assessment portion TRAQ certified, or just an introductory?

No, it is introductory but we use the TRAQ manual as one of our textbooks for the Risk Assessment course.  Please reference the TRAQ portion of the ISA website. Becoming Tree Risk Assessment Qualified has higher requirements than becoming ISA Certified but successfully completing our course is a definite asset to meeting the requirements of both credentials.