Arborist - Zoo


It all began with a ROAR 100 years ago!

San Diego Zoo Global is a conservation organization dedicated to the science of saving endangered species worldwide. San Diego Zoo Global operates three world-class facilities: the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Our organization’s vision - we will lead the fight against extinction.

Help us to make a difference for wildlife and begin your adventure with a career at the San Diego Zoo Join the dedicated crew who are passionate about what they do and strive to create unforgettable experiences for our guests. Share your knowledge, skills and commitment to provide GRRREAT Customer Service and be a part of the ROAR with San Diego Zoo Global!

Are you ready to start your adventure and put your Passion for Wildlife to Work?


Destination – Horticulture department

Duration of your adventure – Year round

Seats (positions) available -2

Attire while on adventure- The Society has a very conservative grooming policy. Tattoos may not be visible or must be appropriately covered while on duty. Jewelry may be worn if it does not detract from a well-groomed look or create a safety hazard. No facial or tongue piercing.

Amenities - Located at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, this adventure offers ZOO Perks which include discounts on food/premium products, free and discounted admission to local attractions, and accrual of vacation and sick time (exception for some grants and Summer Fellowships).

(Union positions)  Hourly wage: $20.86 - $22.99

Requirements for this adventure include:

A minimum of 1 year of experience with tree care and maintenance. Some experience with pruning, shaping, rigging, take downs and removals with heaving equipment, ie: cranes, loaders, etc. preferred. Candidates must have basic knowledge of tree diseases and pest problems and be acquainted with common tree species identification. Selected candidates must be able to move moderate to heavy objects, work from elevated positions, operate assigned tools and equipment. Good communication and record keeping skills are necessary. Applicants must be available to work any of the seven days of the week including holidays. Scheduled work hours will be approximately 20 hours per week. A good driving record and a valid California driver license is required. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. These are short-term positions to last approximately 6 months.

(Posted 11/22/16)

One of the essential functions of this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle. If you are offered employment in this position, you will be asked to authorize SDZ Global to access your current driving report through the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice Program. Your hiring for this position will be contingent on SDZ Global receiving an acceptable driving report for you. In addition, your continued employment in the position will depend on you maintaining an acceptable driving record. You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative. 

Deadline to submit your application for adventure:

Thursday December 8, 2016

Applications must be submitted online by 9:30 pm Pacific Time

San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace





The Arborist performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature and leading the fight against extinction.  The Arborist under general supervision performs a variety of skilled and semi-skilled work, planting, transplanting, trimming, felling, and pruning of the organizations-owned trees and shrubbery and other sites as directed. This position reports to the Lead Arborist/Supervisor/Manager.
This is a skilled, journey-level class, and performs tasks of moderate difficulty in tree trimming by working from elevated positions.


  • Trims, shapes, and/or prunes trees

  • Strips, fells and cuts trees into logs for disposal

  • Plants and transplants trees

  • Stakes, irrigates and cultivates trees

  • Operates cutting tools

  • Operates chipper

  • Sharpens and maintains tools

  • Services and maintains equipment

  • Operates a truck in transporting tools, equipment and debris

  • Operates power-driven hydraulic boom

  • Works from hydraulic boom in trimming, shaping and pruning trees

  • Collects browse forage from heights over 12 feet and delivers them to animal compounds

  • Adheres to all Organization and department policies and practices

  • Models punctuality and professionalism

  • Practices the GRRREAT Customer Service Standards


  • Works from various heights and trims, shapes, or prunes trees to cut away branches

  • Operates cutting tools such as axes, clippers or chain saws

  • Typically uses rigging such as ropes, lines, hardware, and work crew

  • Typically uses various tree trimming tools such as pruners, pole saws, loppers and brush chipper, chain saws

  • Assists in removing whole trees and tree stumps from the ground

  • Assists other tree trimming personnel from the ground


Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.

Job Requirements:


Tree climbing and pruning experience that are set forth in the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) standards and/or an ISA certification is desired; at least two years climbing and trimming experience; valid California driver license required.

Knowledge of:

  • Tree biology and identification

  • Basic methods, tools, equipment

  • Material used in trimming, felling and pruning trees and shrubbery

  • Tree and stump removal methods and practices

  • Rigging methods for tree trimming.

  • Characteristics of ornamental and shade trees

  • Safety practices for tree trimming and pruning

  • Fundamentals of tree surgery

Ability to:

  • Communicate and work effectively with others

  • Deal tactfully and courteously with the others

  • Respond to cautions from co-workers

  • Operate motorized equipment and vehicles

  • Competently perform the essential functions outlined above


Work at various heights; avoid flying debris; work in uneven terrain with exposure to varying weather conditions, dust, and allergens and noise.


This position has been identified as one requiring at least occasional lifting in excess of 50 pounds; frequently move moderate to heavy objects; standing, bending, squatting, twisting, reaching, work from elevated positions; operate assigned tools and equipment; etc.


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