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Explanation of Each of the ISA Certification Credentials
There are six ISA certification credentials, each of which is earned by passing a different exam. The explanations below
identify the different credentials and the basic requirements for each.
ISA Certified Arborist®
To earn an ISA Certified Arborist® credential, you
must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture. ISA Certified Arborist® have met all requirements to
be eligible for the exam, which includes three or more years of full-time, eligible, practical work experience in
arboriculture and/or a degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry from a
regionally accredited educational institute. This certification covers a large number of topics giving the candidates
flexibility in the arboricultural profession. A code of ethics for
ISA Certified Arborists® strengthens the credibility and reliability of the work force. This certification is accredited
by the American National Standards Institute, meeting and exceeding ISO 17024.
ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist
An ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist has a minimum of 2000 hours
experience over two years in electric utility vegetation management or has served as a consultant to a utility, with a minimum of 4,000
hours over a maximum 10-year period. The candidate must work in utility vegetation management. They have been tested on topics such as
electric utility pruning, program management, integrated vegetation management, electrical knowledge, customer relations, and storm response.
ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®
ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist® credential holders are current ISA Certified
Arborists® who have chosen municipal arboriculture or urban forestry as a career path. They have obtained a minimum of three additional
years of work experience managing the establishment and maintenance of urban trees. Experience requirements include communication skills,
public relations, administration, risk management, arboricultural practices, and policy planning in a municipal setting.
ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist®
To be a ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist®, candidates must
have the skill and endurance to climb trees, demonstrate high regard for safety, and be able to get the job done off the ground. This
credential is different from the other certifications because you tested in both a classroom setting and a field setting. Candidates
must have training in aerial rescue, CPR, and First Aid to obtain this certification.
ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist®
The ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist® certification requires
candidates to demonstrate their ability to perform as a competent aerial lift operator. The knowledge gained with this certification
can improve the productivity, quality of care, and safety practices of those who earn the credential. Along with proven knowledge of
CPR and first aid, candidates have been tested on safety procedures, and must be able to complete thorough truck and tree inspection.
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist®
The ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® credential is the highest level of
certification offered by ISA. This credential recognizes ISA Certified Arborists® who have reached the pinnacle their profession. In
addition to passing an extensive scenario-based exam, candidates must abide by a Code of Ethics,
which ensures quality of work. Fewer than two percent of all ISA Certified Arborists® currently hold this certification.
Learn more about ISA Certification and Credentials by viewing the exam study materials or
downloading the ISA Certification Handbooks with detailed information about each of the six credentials.