Arborist Technician

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Agriculture Food and Natural Resources Cluster Icon

Why choose Arborist Technician?

  • Turn your passion for the outdoors into a great career doing what you love.
  • Discover endless career opportunities in arboriculture, and enjoy new and exciting challenges every day.
  • Interested in earning a bachelor’s degree? For transfer opportunities, visit
Living in a continually developing world is often associated with a life disconnected from nature, but arborist technicians are working to change that. Whether it’s managing an entire city forest or simply taking care of a tree in a yard, arborists work to reconnect people with nature.

Program Locations

Wisconsin Rapids Campus
500 32nd Street North
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

What You'll Learn

Mid-State’s Arborist Technician graduates enter the workforce with real-world knowledge and skills. Our students learn the fundamentals of pruning, plant health care, tree planting and maintenance, plant identification, and tree risk assessment.

Our unique aerial component gives our graduates experience working safely in the trees.

Estimated Entire Program Cost

Cost based on the 2023/24 academic year.

  • Tuition & Fees: $9,955.50
  • Books: $976.25
  • Supplies, Uniforms, and/or Exams: $297.00
  • Total Estimated Cost: $11,228.75

Financial Aid Eligibility

This program is eligible for full Financial Aid

Cost of Attendance

Learn more about Cost of Attendance, an estimated budget that includes categories of expenses a student can expect to incur while attending. 

This course has options available to receive credit for prior learning (CPL) or work experience.

Term: 1
  Catalog# Title Credits
  10001124 Arborist Skills Introduction 2
  10001133 Chainsaw Safety and Operation 2
  10001173 Pruning for Structure  2
  10001118 Landscape Plant Identification  2
  10806184 Plant Biology 3
  10801198 Speech  3
-or- 10801196 Oral/Interpersonal Communication  3
  Term Total   14 Credits
Term: 2
  Catalog# Title Credits
  10001111 Intro to Horticulture 2
  10001110 Tree Biology 2
  10001102 Plant Health Care Applicator  2
  10809166 Introduction to Ethics: Theory and Application  3
  10001125 Arboriculture Operations 1 2
  10806112 Principles of Sustainability  3
  10001108 Electric Systems & Safety in Arboriculture 1
  10001150 Workplace Communication in Arboriculture 1
  Term Total   16 Credits
Term: 3
  Catalog# Title Credits
  10804107 College Mathematics  3
-or- 10804118 Intermediate Algebra with Applications  4
  10801136 English Composition 1  3
  10001105 Dendrology and Silvics 3
  10001199 Fish, Forest, and Wildlife Management 3
  10001126 Arboriculture Operations 2 2
  10001127 Arboriculture Operations 3 2
  Term Total   16-17 Credits
Term: 4
  Catalog# Title Credits
  10001113 Ornamental Plant Health Care 3
  10001103 Applied Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 2
  10001149 Ecology for Arboriculture 3
  10001198 Soil & Water Resources 3
  10809188 Developmental Psychology  3
-or- 10809198 Introduction to Psychology  3
  Term Total   14 Credits
  Program Total   60-61 Credits



Joe Hoffman obtained his master of forestry from Virginia Tech and is a certified arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture. For over a decade he has coordinated travel for Midwest students to attend the annual Tree Care Industry Expo, helping to expose them to the same breadth of opportunities he’s enjoyed. He brings over 17 years of arboriculture experience to the classroom and keeps his skills current by working in the industry during the summer and attending conferences.

“I’m deeply rewarded when students fully grasp that this education is theirs…when they take ownership and pursue their passions with all their might.”


Luke earned his MS in soil science from UW–Stevens Point. He also holds a BS in urban forestry. He is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and a Wisconsin Certified Pesticide Applicator (3.0). His experience includes nearly 10 years in landscape/turf management, commercial tree care (climbing, lift, planting, and treating), tree inventories, soil assessment, and research. He taught for three years at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha before joining Mid-State Technical College full-time in 2021.

“Arboriculture isn’t just another job. It is a passionate industry where outside is your daily office and trees are your clients! We do have fun here!”


  • Arborist (commercial, utility, government) 
  • Plant Health Care Technician
  • Tree Trimmer/Climber
  • Apprenticeship
  • Utility Vegetation Management Technician
  • Consulting Arborist
  • Arboriculture Safety Trainer
  • Landscape Maintenance Technician



High school students are eligible to enroll in this program and all courses required. Learn more about Mid-State Fast-Track.

“Most students go to college to find good-paying careers doing something they enjoy. Mid-State gave me that and so much more as I discovered my passion and achieved more than I ever could have anticipated.”


Choose Your Path

Career pathways help you take your education one step at a time to maximize your investment and make college fit your life. Earn a credential and start using it in the workforce. Continue with another stack of related courses to gain a more advanced diploma or degree.

TransferDual CreditCredit for Prior Learning

Arborist Technician Pathway