I've been in research mode since summer of 2021 at UBC looking at the arborist experience in BC from a few different angles. One of those angles was a 3 month job posting analysis which began in March of 2022 to get a sense of the recruiting trends at play. 


I'm going to start sharing some visualizations of the data collected as well as detailing the methods. Because the dataset is relatively small and the recruiting environment highly fluid, I'd caution anyone jumping to conclusions. I do hear a lot of opinions of worker shortages and the reasons for those shortages, and there simply wasn't any organized data to go off of. As a result of the trends that showed up in the first go around, I'll be continuing to collect job postings beginning this January, and I hope to do a comparison of last year's 3 month sample with a 3 month 2023 sample covering the same dates.



Arborist job postings were reviewed within the study area from March to July of 2022 amounting to a total of 50 jobs (10 municipal, and 40 private). Job postings were sourced using the criteria of “Arborist jobs BC” through online recruiting services including Google Jobs, ClimbingArboristJobs.com, CanadianArboristJobs.com, and CivicJobs.ca. Postings were reviewed to remove duplicate postings shared across multiple recruiting sites, and to remove repeat postings of the same position (which occurred frequently).  

Several job titles were used that captured similar skills and duties, for example, “climbing arborist”, “technical field arborist”, “foreman crew leader” and “groundskeeper 2 – field arborist”. Job postings were screened to select those which included any of these responsibilities: tree pruning, tree removal, tree climbing, aerial lift operation, and tree risk assessment. 


I also included wage data from a couple of institutional sources (Statistics Canada and Worksafe BC). These data points aren't a perfect fit to layer over the job postings, for example, Worksafe BC's average weekly pay factors all workers under the employment of the Tree Services Classification Unit (764062) which will include arborists, ground workers, plant health care workers, etc. Note: The source data for the Worksafe BC average wage I've charted is based on a 40hr work week using Worksafe BC's average weekly wage data from "Five-year performance picture for Rate Group 19" (2021). Statistics Canada National Occupational Classification is similarly broad in capturing a range of workers under the Landscape and Horticulture Technicians and Specialists (NOC 22114) banner. 


Key wage findings:

- Public sector employers were more likely to publish wages in their job postings than private sector employers

- All but one public sector arborist job posting reviewed were unionized (meaning wages were fixed)
- Almost half of private sector job postings did not disclose wages (18/40)
- Wage outliers were both in the private sector (low $20/hr, high $55/hr) 

- A wage average is difficult to narrow for private sector arborists due to job posting trends of wage ranges or not disclosing wages

- The average wage of municipal arborist is $37.75/hr with 9 of 10 job postings disclosing a fixed wage