Online Arborist Degrees

Degree programs in arboriculture are not available online. Read about on-campus arboriculture programs, and review alternate fields of study that are offered via distance education, like horticulture. Find out what you'd learn in an on-campus arboriculture program or an online horticulture program, and get info on certification for arborists. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn An Arborist Degree Online?

The degree programs that prepare you to work as an arborist are arboriculture and urban forestry. However, these programs are currently not offered over the Internet. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) does offer online resources, such as podcasts and quizzes, that you can access at your leisure (www.isa-arbor.com).

What Do Arboriculture Programs Entail?

In these programs, you'll learn how to preserve trees while maintaining the safety of local buildings and communities. You'll recognize dead or hazardous trees and learn how to prune them back or remove them when necessary. Along with recognizing sick trees, you'll study how to care for trees and how to use them in landscaping. You'll become familiar with tree types, tree ecology and plant pathology.

Some of the subjects you'll study through the course of your program include tree identification, wildland management, forest planning and tree evaluation. You'll also explore how insects and diseases affect trees, how trees are viewed by society and how to manage arboricultural resources.

What Related Program Can I Earn Over the Internet?

While arborists tend to work with only trees, horticultural majors study many forms of plant life. Unlike arboriculture and urban forestry, the field of horticulture can be studied for a degree over the Internet. Online horticulture degrees are often conferred at the bachelor's and master's degree levels.

A bachelor's degree program in horticulture focuses on producing, marketing and selling plants used for landscaping or other ornamental purposes. You'll study pest management, soil usage, plant nutrients, plant biology and horticulture techniques. You'll explore science-intensive topics like entomology, plant reproduction and plant hybridization. Many programs offer courses on planting in urban settings and other environments.

Master's degree programs may offer concentrations in food safety, environmental science or pest management. You'll study the whole science of how agriculture is affected by global issues and how trade effects agriculture. Some of the subjects you'll study include plant diseases, greenhouse management, biotechnology, shrubs as landscapes, turf grass, flower arrangements, soil science and fruit production.

How Do I Get Certified?

If you want to become an arborist, whether you studied arboriculture or horticulture, it is important to earn certification to prove your knowledge and skills. According to the Occupational Outlook Quarterly, a magazine published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, arborists are often viewed as tree doctors. Therefore, it's important to prove your knowledge of healing methods for trees affected by fungi, bacteria or insects.

Arborist certification is offered by the ISA. Work experience, a degree or a combination of the two can qualify you to sit for the various certification exams. By becoming certified, you'll provide employers and future clients with the knowledge that you are dedicated to tree care, safety and continued arboriculture education. The ISA even offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to those with certification. ISA certifications include the Certified Arborist, the Certified Tree Worker, the Climber Specialist and the Municipal Specialist.

How Will I Take Classes Online?

Some programs may not be offered wholly online. These programs are hybrids, and some classes must be taken on campus. Some hybrid programs allow you the option to earn credits in-person at alternate universities in the area near where you live. Some courses that are offered on campus are offered at night for additional flexibility.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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