Become Certified


Crystal Lake
Certified Arborist Classes

Tuesday’s 6:30-9:00pm

January 24 – March 28

Register Here!

Virtual (ZOOM)
Certified Arborist Classes

Tuesday’s: 6-8:30pm

February 7 – April 11, 2023

Register Here!


An ISA Certified Arborist logo

What is ISA Certification? 

ISA Certification is a voluntary program that tests and certifies your achievement of a professional level of knowledge and skill in the field of arboriculture. When you become an ISA Certified Arborist®, you are recognized by your peers and the public as a tree care professional who has attained a generally-accepted level of knowledge in areas such as tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, and other subject and practice areas within the tree care profession as identified through periodic job task analyses. Hiring a Certified Arborist provides tree owners and government decision makers the opportunity to become better informed about proper tree care and their selection of services based on the expertise represented by your credential.

Achieving ISA Certification also builds your self-image. By studying for and passing the certification exam, you demonstrate a dedication to your own professional development and the advancement of proper tree care practices. The process of becoming ISA Certified and maintaining the designation provides you with personal incentive to continue your arboricultural education and training. Presenting your ISA credential to potential employers makes you more competitive in the job market, and for employers, encouraging ISA Certification is a tool to assist in training their existing tree care personnel.

Certification Process 

The process to become ISA Certified takes proper planning, consideration, and attention to detail. In summary, the steps to becoming certified are below:  


STEP 1:
Choose the credential you wish to pursue – There are currently seven different credentials or specialized disciplines that you can choose. Each credential has a unique set of standards, qualifications, exam, handbook, and study guides. You can learn more about the varying credentials on the ISA siteWhich Credential is Right for You.


STEP 2:
Review the requirements for this credential to ensure you meet the requirements 


STEP 3:
Apply to take ISA certification test (Timeline for approval is 5 – 10 business days) *Fees do not apply 

·         Create an account online on the ISA website 

·         Complete the application for certification that you would like to pursue via the ISA website 

·         Proof of employment or education plus job/task experience is needed. You can find more details here, Application Handbook

STEP 4:
Enroll in a written or computer-based exam (Your application must be approved first and payment is required at this step)

·         Log in to your ISA account to enroll in the exam of choice  

·         Your enrollment and the paid exam fee must be received at least 12 business days prior to exam date, no exceptions. 

Illinois Chapter Resources

The Illinois Arborist Association (IAA) hosts prep courses throughout the year. See current fall classes above.


Member vs. Non-Member Pricing

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Available Certifications
ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist
ISA Certified Arborist
ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist
ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist
ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist


Arborist Certification Workshops are partially funded by The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the US Forest Service.