Recruitment #2401-1003NR-001


If you enjoy working outdoors, learning about proper tree care, and serving the public with other dedicated, supportive team members, this may be the opportunity for you!

The City of Milwaukee’s Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentice Program consists of 5,840 hours (approximately 3.5 years) and includes 5,400 hours of on-the-job learning and 440 hours of paid instruction encompassing all aspects of tree care, from planting and pruning to managing diseases and insects.

This comprehensive program prepares Arborist Apprentices to become Urban Forestry Specialists (Journey Worker Arborists) working for the City of Milwaukee.

More information about the Arborist Apprentice opportunity, selection process and upcoming information sessions can be found through the following link:milwaukee.gov/ufaa.

The City of Milwaukee’s Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentice Program is regulated by the State of Wisconsin Workforce Development-Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. To learn more, visit their website: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/occupations/arborist.htm.

Testing dates are scheduled as follows (subject to change):

Posting Dates

January 16, 2024 – March 8, 2024

Performance Examination:

First week of April (Rain date second week of April)


Under the direction of the Forestry Services Manager, Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentices (UFAAs) participate in a prescribed curriculum in which they learn to plant, maintain, and remove trees, landscape, and turf growing on the City of Milwaukee’s boulevards and green spaces, with an emphasis on arborist duties.

Essential Functions

Apprentices will be trained to perform the following duties:

Tree, Plant, and Boulevard Maintenance:

  • Prune trees by means of safely climbing and using a rope and saddle while working at heights of 60 feet and higher in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Pruning Standards and ANSI Z133 Safety Standards.
  • Prune shrubs from the ground according to accepted horticultural practices.
  • Perform tree rigging on the ground and aloft.
  • Plant, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants on City boulevards and green spaces.
  • Perform plant health care activities, such as treating trees and shrubs to prevent common pests and diseases.
  • Operate large vehicles such as aerial lifts and 2½-ton dump trucks.
  • Operate specialized power equipment and hand equipment on the ground and aloft, such as mowers, stumpers, chainsaws, chippers, trenchers, backhoes, pipe pullers, sprayers, tree injection equipment, and other hand and motorized equipment.
  • Perform field maintenance on some power equipment.
  • Construct, repair, and maintain concealed irrigation systems.
  • Adhere to ANSI, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and departmental safety standards at all times.

Emergency Response:

  • Participate in the removal of downed trees and limbs and in the abatement of hazardous conditions caused by wind, snow, and ice storms.
  • Participate in snow and ice control operations, including plowing snow and salting City streets.

Recordkeeping and Training Participation:

  • Maintain records and daily activity reports.
  • Attend approved related training, and satisfactorily complete the prescribed course material.

We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentices serve in an emergency capacity, removing broken branches and fallen trees and participating in the City’s snow and ice control operations.

Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentices must be willing and able to do the following:

  • perform physically demanding work
  • properly lift and move objects weighing up to 50 pounds alone and up to 100 pounds with assistance
  • be trained to use hazardous equipment properly and safely, such as chainsaws and woodchippers
  • work outdoors in variable weather conditions (e.g., heat, cold, and wind)
  • tolerate conditions such as noise, dirt, and pollen
  • climb ladders and ropes and work at heights of 60 feet or more
  • wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and use fall protection gear
  • work beyond assigned shifts to respond to various emergencies

By law, persons in these positions are required to pass pre-employment drug tests and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during employment. Candidates must sign a release authorizing the City to receive the results of any drug and alcohol tests conducted by previous employers during the past two years if those tests were required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentices will be required to enter an apprentice contract with the State of Wisconsin and with the sponsoring organization, which is the City of Milwaukee.

The preplacement testing required for this title include: 

  • physical with lift test 
  • audio gram 
  • vision test 
  • DOT drug test 

Minimum Requirements

1. Valid driver's license at time of application closing, must have valid Wisconsin driver’s license at the time of appointment and throughout employment. 

2. Good driving record at time of application closing and throughout employment. 

3. At least 18 years of age at the time of appointment.

4. Graduation from an accredited high school or one of the following at time of appointment: 

A) completion of a Wisconsin General Educational Development (GED) (or GED from another state that meets Wisconsin GED standards), 

B) High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED), or 

C) completion of a home-based private educational program, provided the applicant can provide copies of State of Wisconsin Form PI-1206. NOTE: The anticipated start date will be in June 2024.

5. Residency within 15 miles of the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Milwaukee within six months of appointment and throughout employment, pursuant to Rule III, Section 4(g) of the Rules of the City Service Commission. A map defining the jurisdictional boundary is located on the Fire and Police Commission website at: https://city.milwaukee.gov/fpc/Residency-Map.htm.

6. Possess a Class B or higher Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) without Air Brakes Restriction within six months of appointment and throughout employment.

7. Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentices must meet all the prescribed certification and licensing requirements during the apprenticeship.

NOTE: Driver’s license number must be listed on application.

NOTE: Driving records will be checked during the selection process and prior to job offer.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Permit without Air Brakes Restriction at time of appointment.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

Ability to learn the following:

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations applicable to the arboricultural and landscape industry.
  • Common tree and landscape plant species.
  • Tree biology concepts.
  • Tree risk assessments.
  • Signs and symptoms of insects and diseases.

Ability to learn how to do the following:

  • Climb trees using rope, saddle, and other tree-climbing equipment.
  • Assess and perform pruning on young, juvenile, mature, and over-mature trees.
  • Perform a climbing aerial rescue.
  • Plan and set up tree rigging for topping, felling, and removing urban trees.
  • Use a chainsaw safely and perform field maintenance.
  • Correctly tie various tree climbing and rigging knots.
  • Plant, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants.
  • Operate and drive vehicles such as an aerial lift and 2½-ton dump truck.
  • Operate job-related power equipment and hand-held equipment.
  • Perform field maintenance on some power equipment.
  • Construct, repair, and maintain irrigation systems.
  • Safely drive and operate snowplows and salt trucks on city streets.
  • Accurately complete activity reports.

Demonstrated ability to do the following:

  • Read and understand documents such as work rules, policies, and operating manuals.
  • Understand and follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Work cooperatively and effectively in a team environment with others whose backgrounds may differ from one’s own, including supervisors and coworkers.
  • Interact with the public in a courteous and cooperative manner.
  • Exercise care and good judgment regarding safety at all times.
  • Use City of Milwaukee resources in a responsible manner.

Current Salary

The current pay range is Pay Range 7DN within the City of Milwaukee Salary Ordinance. The following chart indicates the salary progression for the apprenticeship.

Wage Rate Advancement


After probation

After another 2080 hours worked

After another 2080 hours worked







Resident Incentive Advancement for City of Milwaukee Residents


After probation

After another 2080 hours worked

After another 2080 hours worked






The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit https://city.milwaukee.gov/der/benefits.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job-related and will consist of written and performance examinations. The performance exam may include the following major components:

  • Climbing up a ladder to a height of 35 feet into a tree and climbing 10 or more feet wearing safety equipment.
  • Climbing up a rope to a height of 12 feet or more wearing safety equipment.

The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to the performance examination. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.

INITIAL FILING DATE - The examination will be held as soon as practical after the application deadline listed above. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the examination. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

  • Applications and further information can be accessed by visiting www.jobapscloud.com/MIL.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov.
  • The Department of Employee Relations is in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


EEO 704

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.