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Looking at a career change.

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thanks for taking the time to read this, I'm an arborist / tree surgeon based in Manchester, north west UK. I feel like I've got as far as I can with this industry now so I am looking at a career change, something similar that involves heights and working outdoors of which I love both. A friend of mine has been in this industry for years and suggested it might be a good idea as a move which got me thinking and lead me to this forum. As of yet I don't have any rope access industry experience or qualifications however I will be taking my level 1 in February / March of next year. 

I'm curious to know about what the industry is like broadly? Are most opportunities freelance or can you find full time employment with a company as a newbie? I've been told that tree surgeons coming into the rope access industry are rare so I'd hazard a guess I wouldn't be short of work. 

Essentially I'm just after a bit of advice from anyone who is seasoned within this industry on what it takes to get started once I have my level 1. I've been advised to look into 'geo' work but I'm not sure what this entails or which networks to try and plug myself into. I'm guessing this forum might be a good place to start? 

So far my education has been university at undergrad level (Ba in music technology, not relevant here but I thought I'd mention it), CS City & Guild arb tickets up to CS39 and Lantra chipper award, CBA checked, first aid trained and a level 2 diploma in arboriculture with five years industry experience.

Thanks in advance for any info! :D


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Your arborist skills will get you a foot in the door with a lot of companies carrying out geotechnical work - this tends to be mainly on railways on de-veging jobs, cliff stabilisations etc. These skillsets are a little more unusual but I would call them rare necessarily. Create a free account in our personnel database, there's a job match facility there which will pull out all employers who have advertised for your particular skillset - that's a great place to start.

The industry tends to die off a little in the UK NW over November - February, it then picks up quite sharply your timing is about spot on..


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