Recruitment #2402-0832DC-002



Are you currently a high school sophomore or junior interested in an urban forestry career? Consider applying for this exciting apprenticeship opportunity to participate in the City of Milwaukee’s urban greening activities! Beginning in Summer 2024, this apprenticeship is for students who will be high school juniors or seniors in the Fall of 2024. If you enjoy being outdoors, performing physical activities, and being part of a welcoming team, this may be the opportunity for you!

Selected students will enroll in the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Youth Apprenticeship Program (DWD-YAP) through their school appointed consortium.


Under the direction of Forestry management and job site mentors, Youth Arborist Apprentices participate in a variety of forestry work activities such as light to heavy manual labor associated with the propagation, planting, maintenance, and removal of trees on City of Milwaukee greenspaces and in the City nursery. Youth Arborist Apprentices will also be introduced to basic tree climbing techniques.

The Forestry Youth Arborist Apprentice is the first step to career in Forestry. Successful candidates will be eligible for promotion to Urban Forestry Arborist Apprentice. Completion of this state apprenticeship qualifies employees for promotion to Urban Forestry Specialist. 

The Youth Arborist Apprentice works full-time during the summer and/or part-time during the school year. This position would offer full time employment during the summer and options for part- time work during the school year. 

Essential Functions

Year 1 Overview:

  • Plant, maintain, and remove trees and shrubs on City greenspaces and in the City nursery, including engaging in site preparation and planting, pruning small trees and shrubs, and providing ground level support for tree maintenance crews performing more technical tasks on City trees (e.g., pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, and emergency storm response).
  • Inspect, maintain, and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Inspect vehicles and towed units.
  • Inspect trees and equipment.
  • Establish safe work zones.
  • Climb trees using ropes, saddles, and other equipment.

Year 2 Overview:

  • Perform essential functions as described under “Year 1 Overview.”
  • Climb trees using ropes, saddles, and other equipment, including maneuvering through the tree canopy.
  • Identify common trees and shrubs.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of common insects, mites, and diseases on trees.
  • Prepare and maintain chainsaws for use.
  • Set up and use rigging systems to lower loads.

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

  • Work 15-20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during summer. Minimum of 450 work hours at the end of year 1 and 900 hours at the end of year 2.
  • Have access to reliable transportation in order to report on time at work location for assigned work shift.
  • Ability to work outdoors and withstand a wide range of weather conditions.
  • Physical ability to perform moderate to heavy manual labor; ability to exert up to 100 pounds of force occasionally, up to 50 pounds of force frequently, and up to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
  • Physical ability to stand, walk, climb, balance, crouch, crawl, grasp, reach, push and pull, and perform repetitive motions.
  • Ability to see and hear to be able to remain safe within constantly changing environments.
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Minimum Requirements

. At least 16 years of age at time of appointment by June 17, 2024.

2. Current enrollment as a high school sophomore or junior at time of application.

NOTE 1: Candidates must be on track to graduate; verification will be requested from the candidate’s high school.

NOTE 2: Candidates selected to the DPW-Forestry Youth Arborist Apprentice program must participate in the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Youth Apprenticeship Program (DWD‑YAP). For more information, see this link:

3. A valid governmentissued Wisconsin Identification Card (ID) OR valid Driver’s License at the time of appointment and throughout employment.

4. A good driving record at time of appointment and throughout employment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The students selected to the Youth Arborist Apprentice title are required to seek admission to the DWD-YAP through their school-appointed consortium. For the Consortium list, see this link:

NOTICE: Please do not attach your academic transcripts to your employment application. The hiring department will verify candidates’ education as part of the background screening process prior to extending any job offers.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Ability to learn and apply biological and conservation concepts related to urban forestry.
  • Ability to learn and apply arboriculture practices.
  • Ability to read and understand documents such as work rules and policies.
  • Ability to understand written and verbal instructions.
  • Ability to work in a safe manner, following American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations, rules, work practices, and procedures applicable to the landscape and arboriculture industry.
  • Ability to learn how to inspect vehicles, towed equipment, and personal protective equipment.
  • Ability to learn how to set up safe work zones.
  • Ability to learn how to prepare and maintain chainsaws for safe use.
  • Ability to learn how to use tree rigging equipment.
  • Ability to learn how to correctly tie various tree climbing and rigging knots.
  • Ability to learn how to climb trees using rope, saddle, and other tree climbing equipment.
  • Ability to learn how to plant, maintain, and remove small trees and shrubs.
  • Ability to learn to identify common tree and shrub species.
  • Ability to learn to perform tree inspections.
  • Ability to learn to identify signs and symptoms of common insects, mites, and diseases.
  • Ability to learn to safely use hand-held equipment.
  • Ability to complete the required Youth Apprenticeship educational and training components.


  • Ability to get along with supervisors and coworkers in a crew environment.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and fairly with people whose backgrounds may differ from one's own.
  • Customer service skills; ability to be polite and exhibit a positive attitude towards the public when performing field work.
  • Ability to stay organized and complete tasks in a timely manner.
  • Honesty, integrity, and careful and responsible usage of organizational resources.

Current Salary

The current starting hourly wage is (Pay Range 9MN) is $15.92 and the resident incentive hourly wage is $16.40.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: an evaluation of education, experience and/or responses to supplemental questions; a written or performance test, a structured interview or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to structured interviews and performance examinations. Structured interviews may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.

INITIAL FILING DATE - The selection process will be held as soon as practical after the 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 selection process components. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative selection process dates or times. 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
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or
  • The Department of Employee Relations is in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


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