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Career and Education Opportunities for Tree Trimmers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for tree trimmers in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. About 570 people are currently employed as tree trimmers in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 670 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for tree trimmers, which sees this job pool growing by about 26.3% over the next eight years. Tree trimmers generally cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to maintain right-of-way for roads, sidewalks, or utilities, or to improve appearance, health, and value of tree.

Tree trimmers earn about $14 per hour or $29,940 yearly on average in Iowa and about $14 hourly or $29,970 per year on average nationally. Incomes for tree trimmers are better than in the overall category of Landscaping and Groundskeeping in Iowa, and better than the overall Landscaping and Groundskeeping category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be a tree trimmer, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. The most common level of education for tree trimmers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a tree trimmer if you already have a high school diploma.


Tree Trimmer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, tree trimmers cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to maintain right-of-way for roads, sidewalks, or utilities, or to improve appearance, health, and value of tree. They also prune or treat trees or shrubs using handsaws, pruning hooks, and clippers.

Tree trimmers clean and lubricate tools and machinery. They also operate shredding and chipping machinery, and feed limbs and brush into the machines. Equally important, tree trimmers have to operate boom trucks and other machinery and tools. They are often called upon to cut away dead and excess branches from trees, or clear branches around power lines, using climbing machinery or buckets of extended truck booms, and/or chainsaws and clippers. They are expected to hoist tools and machinery to tree trimmers, and lower branches with ropes or block and tackle. Finally, tree trimmers climb trees, using climbing hooks and belts, or climb ladders to get access to work sites.

Every day, tree trimmers are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to respond quickly in general. It is also important that they maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for tree trimmers to furnish data to the public regarding trees. They are often called upon to prune and spray trees as directed by tree surgeons. They also clear away broken limbs from wires, using hooked extension poles. They are sometimes expected to transplant and clear away trees and shrubs, and ready trees for moving. Somewhat less frequently, tree trimmers are also expected to formulate and design budgets for tree work, and estimate the monetary value of trees.

They also have to be able to trim and reshape trees to attain attractive shapes or to clear away low-hanging branches And finally, they sometimes have to collect debris and refuse from tree trimming and removal operations into piles, using shovels, rakes or other tools.

Like many other jobs, tree trimmers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Exterminator. Spray or release chemical solutions or toxic gases and set traps to kill pests and vermin, such as mice, termites, and roaches, that infest buildings and surrounding areas.
  • Grounds Keeper. Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.
  • Integrated Pest Management Technician. Mix or apply pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation or chemical application on trees, shrubs, or botanical crops. Usually requires specific training and State or Federal certification.


Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Applied Horticulture/Horicultural Business Services, Other Specialties which graduated fifteen students in 2008.


Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.

For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.