How to Become Certified

Congratulations on your decision to become a certified arborist! Certification demonstrates a commitment to continuing professional and technical development, as well as ethical workplace practices, that supports a high level of professionalism in the tree care industry which benefits all certified tree care workers.

The first step is to decide which certification credential is right for you. Each credential has its own Handbook and study materials, listed below, to assist in preparation for the examination designed especially for that credential. The Handbooks include the requirements that must be fulfilled in order to apply to become certified; these are briefly outlined on the pages discussing each certification.

Examinations are scheduled throughout the region, as well as at the annual PNW ISA Training Conference. At the time of the examination, you will be asked to read and sign the ISA Code of Ethics as well.

Application forms are specific to each credential and may be found in the Handbook for that specialty, along with the application fee schedule. First-time applicants may submit an application online. Mail or fax application with payment to:

International Society of Arboriculture
Post Office Box 3129
Champaign, IL 61826-3129
Fax: (217) 355-9516

Confirmation of a successful application will be sent, indicating that the application was received, reviewed and approved by the Applications Coordinator. Applications MUST be received at least 12 business days prior to the exam date. Questions regarding certification may be addressed to ISA at (217) 355-9411 or

ISA Certified Arborist computer-based exams are now available in select areas for an additional $100 administration fee in addition to the examination fees. They are not currently available in Florida, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Arizona, Hawaii or the Virgin Islands. The examination application must indicate that you wish to take the computer-based version of the examination. Leave the examination date blank on the application form; an examination date will be assigned upon review and approval of the application. A confirmation letter will be sent when the application has been processed, with instructions about scheduling the exam date and location. The computer-based exam may be scheduled at a time that works best for you, as long as it occurs within 90 days of the date of the confirmation letter.

In order to schedule a computer based exam, the examination application MUST be submitted to ISA; the testing vendor does not allow an exam to be directly scheduled with them.

Certification Credentials

Which certification is right for you? Find our more at the ISA website.

Exam Schedules and Fees

The Pacific Northwest ISA holds numerous certification exams throughout the year all over the Chapter region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia). This exam schedule is kept current by the ISA here.

Exam Applications

Once you have determined the desired date and location for your exam, you need to submit a completed application and all support documents. Once again go to the ISA website to read more.

Common Questions and Answers about Exams

Read More

Study Guides and Study Books

Study guides and reference books are available through the ISA website.

Quick links to certification information

ISA Certified Arborist

ISA Certified Tree Worker/ Climber Specialist


ISA Certified Tree Worker / Aerial Lift Specialist

ISA Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist must already be an ISA Certified Arborist


ISA Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist must already be an ISA Certified Arborist

ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist
must already be an ISA Certified Arborist