Tree Service Operator

What do they do? Provide care and maintenance for trees.

Description: The tree service business provides a variety of opportunities for those who enjoy physical work in the outdoors. Tree service work includes routine care and maintenance of trees—pruning, dead branch removal, insecticide application—as well as new tree planting, tunneling, and protection techniques used during construction. Some tree services work exclusively with utility companies, providing vegetation and tree removal from utility and power lines, while others contract with homeowners, businesses, and government agencies.

Education: Minimum of two years experience plus on-the-job training.

Salary: Beginning at about $8.50 per hour. Starting up a tree-trimming service costs about $5,000 for a chainsaw, climbing gear, and a two-ton dump truck. Tree trimmers who take some horticulture courses, study with the International Agriculture Society (ISA), and get certified can advance to a foreman position and earn between $16 and $22 per hour.