ISA Credentials

Benefits of Certification

Earning an ISA credential has many benefits. A few of the major benefits are listed below.

  • Certification builds an individual’s self-image. By studying for and passing the exam, individuals reaffirm to themselves and their peers a thorough knowledge and dedication to arboriculture.
  • Certification affords the public and those in government the opportunity to make an informed selection of services based on the knowledge and advanced training demonstrated by an ISA Certification.
  • The process of becoming ISA Certified and maintaining the designation provides incentives to the individual to continue his or her ongoing professional development.
  • Certification is a tool to help employers in both training their personnel and selecting new employees.
  • Holding an ISA credential can lead to an increase in income and promote new opportunities in professional advancement.
  • Certification is a tool used to set oneself apart from the competition and gain a competitive edge in today’s economy.
  • Certifications, sometimes more than price, can be a deciding factor when multiple individuals bid for the same job. If you want the job done right, hire the right people!
ISA credentials help consumers identify qualified, knowledgeable tree care professionals. Earning a credential is a voluntary activity, but it demonstrates that you have the proper knowledge and skills, as well as a high level of dedication to your profession and your community. ISA credentials are valued and trusted because they let consumers know that you possess a high degree of knowledge about caring for and maintaining trees.

ISA has two types of credentials, Certifications and Qualifications.


  • Focuses on examination and assessment of a body of knowledge; education and/or training to achieve the certification are not provided in association with the assessment
  • Is independent of any specific education/training program or training provider
  • Is based on proven mastery of a body of knowledge, not on the successful completion of a specific training program
  • Defines recertification requirements that must be met to maintain the credential

ISA has 6 Certifications: ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist, and ISA Board Certified Master Arborist


  • Provides instruction and training to help participants achieve specific knowledge, skills, and/or competencies
  • Evaluates whether the participants learned the intended knowledge/skills through an assessment
  • Awards a certificate only to those participants who meet the performance, proficiency, and/or passing standard for the assessment/examination

ISA has 1 Qualification: Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ)

To understand more about the difference between Certifications and Qualifications, review the document linked below.

Download Certification vs Qualification PDF
Tree Fund
International Society of Arboriculture
Trees Are Good