DPW Operations Division–Environmental Services–Forestry

Recruitment #1411-1002DC-001


Urban Forestry Specialist Trainees perform various tasks that are closely associated with the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees, landscaping, and turf growing on the City of Milwaukee’s boulevards and green spaces. Incumbents are also expected to serve in an emergency capacity, removing broken branches and fallen trees.

Essential Functions

  • Prune trees by means of climbing and using a rope and saddle while working at heights of 60 feet and higher.
  • Plant, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, flowers, and turf on City boulevards and green spaces.
  • Operate large vehicles such as high-lifts and 2½ ton dump trucks.
  • Operate specialized power equipment and hand equipment, such as mowers, stumpers, chainsaws, chippers, trenchers, backhoes, pipe pullers, sprayers, and other hand and motorized equipment.
  • Construct, repair, and maintain concealed irrigation systems.
  • Participate in snow and ice control operations, including plowing snow and salting city streets.
  • Participate in the removal of downed trees and limbs and in the abatement of hazardous conditions caused by wind, snow, and ice storms.
  • Maintain records and daily activity reports.

Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made 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 Specialist Trainees must be willing to work outdoors in variable weather conditions (e.g., heat, cold, and wind); tolerate conditions such as noise, dirt, and pollen; and work beyond assigned shifts to respond to various emergencies.

Minimum Requirements

  1. At least 18 years of age at time of application.
  2. Valid driver's license at time of application. NOTE: Driver’s license number must be listed on application.
  3. Good driving record. NOTE: Driving records will be checked during the selection process and prior to job offer.
  4. Class B or higher Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) without Air Brakes Restriction within six months of appointment and throughout employment.

NOTE: By law, persons in these positions are required to pass pre-employment drug tests and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during the course of 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.


Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

  • Ability to learn to climb trees using rope and other tree-climbing equipment.
  • Ability to learn to work at heights of 60 feet or more while utilizing the proper safety equipment.
  • Ability to learn to assess and perform pruning on young, juvenile, mature, and over-mature trees.
  • Ability to learn to perform a climbing aerial rescue.
  • Ability to learn to plan and set up rigging and felling practices for topping and removing urban trees.
  • Ability to learn to use a chainsaw safely.
  • Ability to learn ANSI and OSHA safety regulations applicable to the arboricultural and landscape industry and to exercise care and good judgment regarding safety at all times.
  • Ability to drive a car and to learn to safely operate an aerial lift truck.
  • Ability to learn to plant, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, flowers, and turf.
  • Ability to learn to identify common tree and landscape plant species and signs and symptoms of insects and diseases.
  • Ability to learn to operate and drive vehicles such as a high-lift and 2½ ton dump truck.
  • Ability to learn to operate job-related power equipment and hand-held equipment.
  • Ability to learn to construct, repair, and maintain irrigation systems.
  • Ability to learn to safely drive and operate snow plows and salt trucks on city streets.
  • Ability to climb a ladder to heights of 35 feet and higher.
  • Ability and strength to properly lift and move objects weighing up to 50 pounds alone.
  • Ability to read and understand documents such as work rules, policies, and operating manuals.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to accurately complete activity reports.
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member.
  • Ability to interact with the public courteously.

Current Salary

THE CURRENT ANNUAL STARTING SALARY (PG 7AN) for City of Milwaukee residents is $33,401, and the non-resident starting salary is $32,582.


NOTE: The Urban Forestry Specialist Trainee Program is scheduled to last a minimum of six months. Urban Forestry Specialist Trainees may be promoted to the Urban Forestry Specialist position after successful completion of the Urban Forestry Specialist Trainee Program. The current annual salary (7EN) for the Urban Forestry Specialist position is $42,187.86 for City of Milwaukee residents and $41,152.80 for non-residents.


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:

  1. Climbing up a ladder to a height of 35 feet into a tree and climbing 10 or more feet wearing safety equipment.
  2. 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 December 19, 2014. 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.  



  • Applications and further information may be accessed by visiting www.jobaps.com/MIL.
  • Applications and transcripts should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above.
  • 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 located in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.