Landscaping Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-11-2315 min read

The revenue value of the landscaping industry is estimated at $128.8 billion.

Every year the landscaping industry hires over 300,000 people for jobs that benefit families and the environment.

These numbers make landscaping one of the most rewarding industries globally.

If you love the outdoors and the natural environment, then a landscaping job is a perfect fit for you.

Some positions in this career require special training, skills, and education. Your salary benefits also greatly depend on these requirements.

To get more insight on the right landscaping career path for you, read on.

Why Choose Landscaping?

  • The average salary for landscaping jobs is estimated at $25,000 annually.
  • A landscaping career offers the health benefits of an active lifestyle outdoors.
  • Landscaping careers offer numerous job opportunities and career paths.
  • Apprentices are always in high demand from leading job sites.
  • A landscaping career allows you to explore entrepreneurial opportunities.

How to Start Your Landscaping Journey

A landscaping career is primarily practical and involves a lot of fieldwork. You can start your journey by taking training programs in a professional organization.

An associate's degree only qualifies you for entry-level jobs. You can look towards attaining a bachelor’s degree. This degree prepares you for leadership and managerial landscape roles.

You can also build your skills with volunteer landscaping jobs to increase your creativity and efficiency.

Educational Requirements

Associate Degree

An associate degree in the landscaping field lasts for two years. This program prepares you for an entry-level job. You learn coursework like natural science, design, and technology. You also develop a better understanding of the natural environment.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in this field typically lasts for three to four years. This degree prepares you for leadership job positions. You’ll learn about design, horticulture, botany, site planning, and more. You also learn ways to make outdoor spaces aesthetically appealing and eco-friendly.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in this field typically lasts for two years. This degree prepares you for managerial and leadership job roles. The program focuses on landscape design, historic preservation, horticulture, and more. You also learn courses like botany, climatology, and topography.

Doctorate in Landscaping

A doctorate in landscaping usually lasts for four to six years. This degree is primarily for students seeking careers in teaching and leadership. The program focuses on critical history, horticulture, theory, and practice. It also offers extensive courses on ecology, social justice, and productive landscapes.

Employment Prospects

There are currently 178,300 estimated landscapers in the U.S. The employment outlook for landscaping workers has shown a positive trend since 2004.

Job openings for this career since 2004 have increased by 1.41% globally. The estimation is also reported to grow on average by 0.09% annually.

Landscaping Career Forecast

Job growth for landscaping careers is predicted to be moderate in 2020. The outlook above shows the U.S. landscaping job market will grow by 11.4% from 2016 to 2026.

The report above also indicates the demand for landscaping workers going up by 435,530 new jobs by 2029.

Lucrative Landscaping Career Paths

Greenhouse Worker

A greenhouse worker plants and harvests flowers, plants, thickets, and trees. They take care of the customer’s greenhouse and nursery.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a greenhouse worker is $29,387. The salary range varies depending on skills and certification. The typical salary for this field ranges from $23,000 to $36,000 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Plant and care for flora, trees, and shrubbery in a greenhouse.
  • Monitor temperature and humidity for plant growth.
  • Collect data on plant growth for research purposes.
  • Plant seeds in pots for sale in nurseries.

Industries Employing

  • Manufacturing industry
  • Construction industry
  • Retail

Lawn Care Specialist

A lawn care professional seed and maintain grounds, gardens, and other outdoor spaces. They take care of pests and trim hedges in corporate or residential buildings.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a lawn care professional is $31,685. The salary range varies depending on education, certification, and skills. The typical wage ranges between $24,000 and $40,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Address clients and identify lawn maintenance requirements.
  • Apply pesticides and prevent weed growth.
  • Perform yard routine checkups.
  • Observe and sustain gardens and flower beds.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare

Hardware Associate

Hardware associates are retail employees at a hardware store tasked with making sales. They provide landscapers with gardening and maintenance supplies.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a hardware associate is $39,511. The salary varies depending on your education and certification. This career includes an additional annual payment of $1,936.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Hire and train employees.
  • Manage and maintain sales store and merchandise.
  • Ensure awareness of all promotions and store activities.
  • Provide detailed information on customers inquiries.

Industries Employing

  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Manufacturing

Landscape Laborer

A landscape laborer designs and takes care of landscapes and spaces outdoors. They’re responsible for mowing, watering, and trimming lawns and gardens.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape laborer is $34,761. The salary range varies depending on experience, skills, and certification. The typical salary range falls between $30,761 and $41,368.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Conduct manual labor like mowing and trimming and general maintenance like cleaning.
  • Apply fertilizer to enhance plant and lawn growth.
  • Manage plants, thickets, flora, and grass on the property.
  • Supervise equipment and tool maintenance and repairs.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing

Irrigation Technician

An irrigation technician designs, tests, and installs irrigation systems. They also manage irrigation equipment and tools like sprinklers and pumps.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of an irrigation technician is $34,430. The salary range varies depending on your level of expertise and education. The wages typically begin from $24,170 to $47,630 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Test and install irrigation and sprinkler systems.
  • Test soil and foliage to discern irrigation requirements.
  • Conduct routine maintenance checks on systems and equipment.
  • Troubleshoot and repair faulty equipment and components.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing


A groundskeeper designs and manages outdoor spaces for aesthetic and functional motives. They usually maintain grounds for large properties like resorts, schools, and hotels.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a groundskeeper is $40,020. This salary range varies depending on your skills, education, and certification. The regular wages usually fall between $34,268 and $47,518.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Plant and take care of trees and prune them occasionally.
  • Apply fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides for proper plant growth.
  • Operate snow plows to clear path, parking lots, and driveways.
  • Perform routine maintenance on tools and power equipment.

Industries Employing

  • Education
  • Hospitality
  • Government


A gardener improves the beauty and quality of a landscaped environment. They install landscapes on residential and company grounds and maintain their appearance.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a gardener is $37,044. This salary varies depending on your skills, experience, and certification. The typical wage for this field usually falls between $31,200 and $51,300 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Install and protect seasonal plants and trees.
  • Keep gardens and green spaces clean.
  • Manage gardening equipment and tools.
  • Monitor and manage tree and plant health.

Industries Employing

  • Education
  • Government
  • Construction


A mason is a construction professional who uses materials to build layouts. They use stones and blocks to create structures like walls, fences, and walkways.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a mason is $43,974. This salary varies depending on your skills, education, and certification. The typical salary range falls between $28,000 and $67,000 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Assist in constructing layout, scaffolding, sheathing, and roofing frameworks.
  • Correct safety risks and recount them to the foreman.
  • Utilize equipment and tools to conduct essential construction tasks safely.
  • Train employees to ensure projects are completed on time.

Industries Employing

  • Construction industry
  • Retail
  • Education

Landscape Foreman

A landscape foreman directs the actions of the landscaping crew members. They coordinate all landscaping operations and allocate construction resources.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape foreman is $40,987 or $19.71 per hour. The typical salary range for this field falls between $30,000 and $55,000 yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Estimate materials and labor costs for all projects
  • Coordinate work conducted by construction workers on a project site.
  • Work alongside landscape architects and engineers to meet client standards.
  • Review blueprints and construction plans for design ideas.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Finance
  • Technology

Landscape Drafter

A landscape drafter uses computer software to design gardens, parks, and natural environments. They create walkways and grow plants, shrubbery, and other attractive outdoor features.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape drafter is $44,329. The base pay for this career is $42,029 annually. The additional payment is $2,300 per year.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Calculate dimension position and weight limitations in materials.
  • Create detailed landscape designs with computer aided design (CAD) software.
  • Design illustrations, maps, and layouts to demonstrate workflow.
  • Ensure final designs conform with requirements and quality standards.

Industries Employing

  • Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Construction

Landscape Technician

A landscape technician has deep knowledge of plant growth and maintenance. They manage and redesign various outdoor areas with plants and flowers.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape technician is $32,760 or $15.75 per hour. The salary range varies depending on location, skill level, and experience. The standard wage usually falls between $27,500 and $37,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create and manage inventory of landscaping materials
  • Plant trees, flowers, shrubbery, and other plants according to client demands.
  • Install irrigation systems and sprinklers for plants.
  • Test soil factors to discern what nutrients are required for healthy plant growth.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance

Landscape Designer

A landscape designer is a horticulture expert. They use their knowledge to design and create appealing and functional outdoor areas.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape designer is $52,120. The typical salary range for this career falls between $41,000 and $68,000 annually. It also carries an additional payment of $502 to $5,000 yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Produce technical landscape drawings using CAD software.
  • Plan and design functional and appealing structures for sites.
  • Work with contractors and builders to ensure all operations adhere to the design.
  • Ensure construction, irrigation, and planting is completed on time and within budget.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Real estate
  • Manufacturing


An arborist specializes in cultivating, managing, and removing trees and woody plants. They take care of trees and perform tree diagnosis and treatments.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of an arborist is $41,881. The pay varies depending on education, skill, experience, and certification. The typical wage for this career falls between $30,000 and $57,000 yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Diagnose and treat diseased trees and other perennial woody plants.
  • Test and preserve soil conditions for optimal plant growth.
  • Apply specialized tree fertilizers to enhance plant growth.
  • Remove dead or unwanted trees from properties.

Industries Employing

  • Manufacturing
  • Government
  • Finance

Landscape Architect

A landscape architect plans and designs outdoor spaces and the natural environment. They design attractive parks, colleges, and public spaces.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape architect is $96,100. The expected salary range typically falls between $80,000 and $110,600. The salary range varies depending on education, certification, and experience.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create plans, designs, and drawings using computer design software.
  • Liaise with engineers, town planners, and surveyors.
  • Present proposals to clients for clearance and agreeable time scale.
  • Provide advice on environmental conservation and protection.

Industries Employing

  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Finance

Plant Health Care Technician

A plant health care technician monitors horticultural specimens in a natural environment. They ensure that trees, flowers, and all plant life remain healthy.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a plant healthcare technician is $46,482. The salary range varies depending on location, experience, and education. The typical wage for this career is between $39,000 and $47,500 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Conduct soil compaction mitigation
  • Execute deep root injections, watering, and other plant health care services.
  • Organize pesticide sprays and plant health care remedies for treatments.
  • Operate environmentally friendly products to conduct plant health care therapies.

Industries Employing

  • Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Construction

Landscape Contractor

A landscape contractor creates and refurbishes outdoor areas. They plant trees and construct landscaping features like patios and decks.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a landscape contractor is $63,210. The salary range varies depending on your skill set, education, and certification. The typical wage for this career falls between $53,422 and $74,526.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Design and build landscapes based on client standards and requirements.
  • Create design and operation budgets.
  • Oversee the working team and ensure optimal working conditions.
  • Beautify the location by planting flowers, shrubs, and gardens.

Industries Employing

  • Government
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing

How to Boost Your Landscaping Career

You can boost your landscaping career by obtaining a master’s degree. A master’s degree increases your earning potential. It bolsters your employment abilities and presents you as an expert in the industry.

You can also undergo training and acquire several valid landscaping certifications. This increases your knowledge and creativity while also sharpening your skills.

You can as well consider enrolling in an organization for landscaping professionals. Doing this will increase your network and expand your knowledge and skills.

Pros and Cons of Landscaping Careers

Landscaping careers can be very rewarding. However, there are specific difficulties you should be prepared for in this field. Here are some pros and cons of a landscaping career.


  • A landscaping career offers great salary benefits.
  • You can express your inner creativity and incorporate your ideas into space.
  • This career offers a diverse career path with numerous landscaping job opportunities.
  • Landscaping careers offer multiple travel opportunities.


  • The work can be intensive and demanding on your body.
  • You risk possible injuries due to chemical and equipment usage.
  • Clients can be highly demanding and have unrealistic expectations.
  • Inconvenient working hours, especially if you’re not self-employed.

Skills You’ll Develop While Studying Landscaping

Here are some essential skills you need to develop a fulfilling career in landscaping.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Critical thinking and analysis skill helps you provide a quick and effective solution to project errors.

A landscaping career often requires you to work on multiple projects simultaneously. This skill helps you adapt easier to the hectic workflow. It also helps you think clearly and critically despite work pressures.

Software Skills

A landscape architect or designer utilizes computer software to present visual illustrations to clients. Software skills allow you to work more efficiently with computer software.

You should develop proper software skills to sell your designs to clients properly. This skill also helps you create a project blueprint, design models and layouts effectively.

Management Skills

Landscape professionals in leadership positions oversee projects and workflow. They also train and manage a team of employees working under them.

You need to acquire management skills to manage your employees and your project efficiently. Management skills help you delegate tasks effectively. It also allows you accurately manage project procedures and budgets.

Interpersonal Skills

A landscaping career requires you to communicate with other professionals and potential customers. Having proper interpersonal skills is one of the greatest assets for acquiring clients. It helps you understand client needs to ensure optimal workflow.

This skill helps you sell your design ideas and make suggestions for a better proposal.

Attention to Detail

Landscaping careers involve taking care of plant life and creating designs. Having an attentive mind helps you recognize errors in procedures quickly. It enables you to create accurate measurements and blueprints.

This skill helps you notice wilted and sick plants and treat them accordingly. It makes overseeing a project more manageable and efficient.

How to Prepare for a Landscaping Career

Before jumping into a landscaping career, there are several qualifications and skills you need. This career is highly intensive and practical, so you need to prepare yourself accordingly.

1. Obtain a Degree or Certificate

Numerous colleges provide degree and certificate programs in the landscaping field. You can start your career by earning an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree.

In these programs, you learn about landscape design plans and horticulture. There are also various certificate programs you can complete in a year to gain ample knowledge.

2. Explore Different Career Options

A landscaping career allows you to choose from a diverse array of jobs. You can take your time to explore the different career options in this field. Doing so will give you more insight into the career that matches your needs. Afterward, you can take training programs to prepare for the job you’re interested in.

3. Gain Work Experience Through Internship Programs

A significant part of certificate and degree programs is their internship requirements. Partaking in an internship in a reputable company gives you good work experience. You learn about landscapes, designs, and plants in a more practical manner.

Internships train you in all forms of fieldwork. It also boosts your employment abilities and earning potential in the industry .

4. Earn The National Association of Landscape Professionals Certification

The NALP certification offers a host of landscaping programs and training. This certification helps distinguish you from competitors in the industry.

During this program, you will be required to write a professional exam. Upon its completion, you can be assured of vast employment benefits. This program also provides connections with other professionals in the field.

Landscaping Resources to Help Your Career

You can enhance your landscaping career by engaging in training and helpful resources.

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NNLP): This program helps you build connections with landscaping experts in the industry. It offers multiple certifications, including the LIC Interior Technician, LIC Horticultural Technician, and more.

New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Rutgers: This institution offers varieties of extensive landscape courses and programs.

University of Wisconsin Press: The UW publishes peer-reviewed books and journals. It offers an extensive collection of landscape publications.

How to Switch to a Landscaping Career

You don’t necessarily need degrees and certifications to start a landscaping career. You can steadily move into this field by building your skills and partaking in training programs.

Likewise, you can opt for a BSc. A BSc helps if you have no prior knowledge or skills. It also increases your employment options and benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Landscaping?

Landscaping involves altering outdoor spaces or gardens with new designs and ornamental features. It consists of the addition of plants and the manipulation of a property's terrain.

What certification do I need for a Landscaping career?

Before you can start your landscaping career, you need a bachelor’s degree. You also need to earn the NALP certification to gain more knowledge and connections. This certificate also boosts your chances of getting high-paying landscaping jobs.

Can I get a Landscaping degree online?

There are many online schools and institutions which offer Landscaping degrees. These institutions provide extensive courses and training programs. At the end of the program, you earn a valid landscaping degree and work in any company.

What fields can Landscaping professionals work in?

A landscaping career offers a plethora of career opportunities. Landscape professionals can work as Landscape architects, or landscape designers. These career positions provide excellent financial benefits.

Is there a high demand for Landscaping majors?

The demand for landscaping majors is growing. According to the outlook report above by 2029, it is anticipated that 435,530 jobs in landscaping would be filled. This illustrates an annual increase of 5.55% in the next five years.

Final Thoughts

Starting your landscaping career can be fun, and daunting at the same time. This profession offers a highly lucrative and creative experience. It also requires special qualifications and a strong working commitment. Succeeding in this profession is easy with the right skills and a great experience from a reputable company.

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