Job Detail

City Forester

Location: Ames, Iowa
Salary: $59,771.50 - $86,314.59

General Information

The City of Ames is conducting a recruitment to establish a Civil Service eligibility list for the City Forester classification, the current vacancy exists within the Parks and Recreation Department. This list will be valid for up to one year from the date of certification by the Ames Civil Service Commission and may be used to fill one or more vacancies in this classification. In addition, City of Ames Civil Service employees who have previously held Civil Service status in this classification and are interested in voluntarily demoting or laterally transferring into the current vacancy must submit their application by the deadline.

Under the direction of the Parks and Facilities Superintendent, leads and performs work necessary to maintain healthy urban forests and trees in City right-of-way, parks, and other City owned property; manages technical and on the field tasks in assigned areas of responsibility; performs related work as required.

City of Ames Parks and Recreation department is dedicated to creating a welcoming and inclusive space that connects our community to various engaging activities. To discover the contributions of the City of Ames Parks and Recreation staff, please visit the websites below:

City of Ames Parks and Recreation

City of Ames Parks and Recreation Facebook page

City of Ames Park System

Ames Iowa Livability, Home of the Cyclones! Click Here

Examples of Essential Job Functions

Examples of Essential Job Functions: Plans, coordinates, and oversees the work of contractors and City employees for tree planting, tree pruning, tree removal, and chemical application. Develops, implements, and reviews staff training related to safety, chainsaw operation, tree pruning and trimming, tree removal, etc. Supervises assigned team members, including performance management, and hiring decisions. Develops and maintains an inventory of trees on City property to include species, condition, location, maintenance records, etc. Develops, implements, updates, and oversees the City's Comprehensive Tree plan which includes all existing and future plans in relations to trees and natural areas on public property. Inspects trees for diseases, insect pests, and hazards to public safety. Oversees City contracts as it relates to tree removal, planting, and maintenance. Coordinates volunteer work projects. Monitors and inspects work of contractors and City personnel performing work relating to trees. Ensures and directs staff to utilize safe work practices. Communicates with the public regarding tree management initiatives and City policies related to trees. Evaluates proposed tree planting plans for City properties and new developments to ensure compliance with adopted policies and the principles of modern urban forest management. Issues Street Tree Planting Permits. Coordinates and participates in tree planting, pruning, removal, and application of fertilizers and pesticides as needed. Operates a variety of equipment in support of essential tree maintenance functions. Coordinates and/or performs routine preventative maintenance to equipment. Oversees the maintenance of all public woodlands, prairies, and other natural areas. Implements industry standard practices such as prescribe fire, invasive removal techniques, etc. May work nights, evenings, or weekends when inclement weather, emergencies, or other situations require working these hours. Assists in the preparation of reports and budgets. Performs other duties as assigned.

Other Job Functions: Participates in landscaping activities as required. Assists in maintenance of plants and turf as needed. Assists with snow removal.

Each employee is expected to continually strive to bring shared values to life through our Excellence Through People organizational culture. ETP values include: committing to continuous improvement; inspiring creativity and innovation; being customer driven; making data-driven decisions; committing to diversity, equity and inclusion; championing employee involvement; striving for excellence; having fiscal stewardship; acting with honesty and integrity; exhibiting leadership; choosing a positive attitude; respecting one another; promoting safety and wellness; and cultivating teamwork. For leaders, this includes creating a work culture that brings these values to life. For all employees, this includes maintaining a Total City Perspective. The purpose of ETP is to deliver exceptional services to the public at the best price, and for employees to experience an enjoyable and stimulating work environment. 


Education and Experience: Bachelor's degree in Urban Forestry, Arboriculture, Forest Management, Horticulture, or related field and three years of experience in urban forestry required. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered


Licenses and Certifications: Must possess a valid type A Commercial Driver's License within 6 months of appointment. Must obtain an Iowa Pesticide Applicators License (3OT and Category 6) within 3 months of appointment. Must become International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, and ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, within two years of employment. Must complete Iowa DNR Wildland Fire Training (S-190/S-130/L-180, & Field Day) within one year of employment.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Good knowledge of the types and uses of tools and equipment common to tree care (powered and manual); knowledge of the names and characteristics of shade and ornamental trees common to central Iowa; knowledge of hazard tree assessment and abatement methods; knowledge of tree pests and diseases and their remedies; knowledge of principles and practices of tree planting; knowledge of the materials and standard equipment used in general maintenance, construction, and repair work; extensive knowledge of the precautions necessary to work safely with and around mechanized equipment. Skill in the use of power and manual tools; skill in safely felling trees and limbs.

Working ability to lead a small crew of manual laborers; working ability to perform manual tasks involving physical strength and endurance under variable weather conditions; ability to understand and carry out specific verbal and written instructions; ability to read schematic designs such as landscape designs; ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and the public in both oral and written formats.

Supplemental Information

Required Physical Activities: Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions.

Physical Characteristics of Work: The work involves sitting and using arm/leg controls 20% of the time, standing and walking 30% of the time, standing but not walking 30% of the time, sitting 20% of the time (including using a computer); frequently lifting objects under 10 pounds, occasionally lifting objects up to 50 pounds and infrequently lifting objects over 50 pounds.

Vision Requirements: The minimum standard for use with those whose work deals with machines such as power saws where the sawing job is at or within arm's reach; use of cars, trucks, and high lift equipment; preparing and analyzing data and figures; using computers; visual inspection of small parts, insects, and plant characteristics.

Environmental Conditions: The worker is subject to both inside and outside environmental conditions including extreme cold, heat, noise, vibration, mechanical hazards, electrical hazards, chemical hazards, atmospheric conditions that affect the respiratory system or skin; darkness or poor lighting conditions, oils and isolation. Work at heights while operating chain saws or other tools.

Machines, Tools, Equipment, Electronic Equipment, Devices, and Software Essential to the Job: Pickup trucks, backhoe, skid steer loader, aerial lift truck, arm mower, brush cutter, chainsaw, pole pruner, hand pruner, other pruning equipment, wood chipper, stump grinder, post hole auger, ropes and climbing equipment, safety goggles, ear protection, chaps, hard hat, gloves, safety vest, safety footwear, fall protection, spray applicator, injection applicator, shovels, spades, rakes, tape measure, extension cord, computer, tablet, spreadsheets, word processors, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications.

Other Machines, Tools, Equipment, Electronic Equipment, Devices, and Software Used on the Job: Wheelbarrow, raincoat, ladders, first-aid kit, lawnmower, snow removal equipment, weed trimmer (gas powered), fertilizer spreader, leaf blower.

Selection Process:

The selection process consists of an evaluation of education and experience, review of fully completed application; to include fully completed supplemental questionnaire, a Written Exam/ On-site Testing (depending on the number of qualified applicants), a Virtual interview (depending on the number of qualified applicants), a Panel interview/ Oral board (on-site or virtual).

The selection process also includes, the successful completion of a criminal background check, which includes a sex offender registry check and motor vehicle records check. All candidates will be notified by email of their application status.

In order to be considered for this position, all applicants must submit their online application by the deadline listed on this posting. Your application includes complete responses to the supplemental questions. Please keep in mind that submission of a resume in lieu of work history on your application or answering the supplemental questions is not sufficient.

**Preference may be given to applicants possessing qualifications above the minimum. Depending on the number of qualified applicants, the City may forego phone interviews.**

Compensation Philosophy:

The City of Ames has a compensation philosophy that the starting pay for our merit salary ranges establishes the salary for employees who meet minimum requirements of a position. The median of any merit salary range is for an employee who can reasonably meet all expectations of the position responsibilities without initial extensive training. In order for employees to have an opportunity to grow within their position, we may consider a candidate's education, experience, and skills above the minimum requirements when looking at a salary closer to or slightly above the median. The median for this position is $35.1168 per hour.

FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse:

The City of Ames participates in the United States Department of Transportation Federal motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which provides information on drug and alcohol-related violations for commercial drivers license (CDL) drivers. Candidates selected for employment for positions with a requirement to possess a CDL will be subject to a query within the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse as part of the pre-employment background check process. For additional information please contact Human Resources at 515-239-5199 .

E-Verify Process:

The City of Ames participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each applicant's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. All candidates who are offered a position with the City of Ames must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 along with the required proof of their right to work in the United States and proof of their identity on their first day of employment. Please be prepared to provide required documents on your first day of employment. For additional information regarding acceptable documents for this purpose, please contact Human Resources at 515-239-5199 or go to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services web page at:

Veteran's Preference Points:

The City of Ames provides Veteran's Preference Points for Civil Service positions. A copy of your DD214 and, if applicable, proof of disability, must be attached with your application (or faxed to 515-239-5297) prior to the close date of the posting in order to receive Veteran's Preference Points.

NOTE: Persons with disabilities must submit requests for ADA testing accommodations to the Human Resources Department prior to the application deadline.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

The City of Ames is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, ancestry, national origin, marital status, Parental status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Human Resources Department at 515-239-5199.

City of Ames
515 Clark Ave

Ames, Iowa, 50010

Employer Info

515 Clark Ave
Ames , Iowa 50010


  • Municipal
  • Supervisor

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