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What Is a Landscaper and How to Become One

Landscaper

What Does a Landscaper Do?

Landscapers create outdoor scenes for public and private areas. They may design the settings themselves, utilizing greenery, cement, rocks, water, and other materials to construct a beautiful and functional outdoor space, or they may work with a landscape architect and follow the architect’s designs for installation and placement of the scenery. The term “landscaper” is often used interchangeably with “groundskeeper” or “gardener,” but the positions are actually different. A groundskeeper or gardener maintains existing outdoor areas, including raking and mowing the grass, planting and trimming bushes and flowers, mulching and weeding the landscape beds, spreading fertilizers, and other tasks related to the proper upkeep of an outdoor area. A landscaper may stay on with a project to maintain the space, but they generally focus on the construction and installation of the scene.

How Can I Become a Landscaper?

There is no formal education requirement to become a landscaper, though an associate or bachelor’s degree in landscaping, horticulture, or a related field may make you a more competitive candidate in the job market and make you eligible for upper-level jobs in the future. Acquire an apprenticeship with a landscaping firm or other veteran landscaper to gain experience in the field. Your state may require you to obtain a landscaping license, so research the qualification in the state you wish to work. Becoming certified is not required, but earning certification from the National Association of Landscape Professionals lends a boost to your resume.

What Are the Career Opportunities for a Landscaper?

Landscapers work in both the public and private sector. Landscaping design firms, construction companies, nurseries, state parks, and historic sites all utilize landscapers for big and small projects. Homeowners hire landscapers to beautify their yards and add shrubs and trees to their property. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates opportunities in this field to grow at an average nationwide rate over the next few years.

Landscaper Job Description Sample

With this Landscaper job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Landscaper role.

Job Summary

We are looking for an experienced and diligent Landscaper to join our lawn care team. You must be comfortable operating lawn maintenance equipment, such as lawnmowers, trimmers, and blowers, and understand how to water, fertilize, and prune decorative shrubs and plants. We pride ourselves in keeping our clients’ exterior safe and looking beautiful, so our team works in various types of weather conditions and performs maintenance duties to ensure employee safety during inclement weather by removing debris, snow, and ice from communal walkways and spaces.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Mow grass and prune trees and shrubs
  • Treat lawn and landscaping with pesticides to remove harmful insects
  • Maintain the existing landscaping design and ensure plant survival
  • Plant new flowers, bushes, plants, and decorative shrubs
  • Rake fallen leaves and remove debris
  • Keep pedestrian areas removed of snow and ice
  • Properly store and handle all equipment, tools, sprinklers, etc.
  • Oversee maintenance repairs to equipment, landscape structures, and hardscape walkways

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school degree or equivalent
  • At least 18 years old
  • Previous experience in landscaping or groundskeeping a plus
  • Must know how to operate lawn maintenance equipment, such as lawnmowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, and hedge trimmers
  • Must pass background check and drug test
  • Able to stand, bend, and squat for extended periods and lift up to 40 pounds