Landscaper Job Description, Duties & Salary in USA

LANDSCAPER JOB DESCRIPTION

LANDSCAPER JOB DESCRIPTION: The main job of a landscaper is to create, build and maintain the decorum of outdoor spaces

‘Landscape’ -a science that is a beautiful combination of ‘environment’ and ‘art’ has been practiced for ages only to gain more recognition in today’s sustainable lifestyle. If you feel you have an artistic attitude and a love for nature, you seem to be a perfect match for this profession. 

The main job of a landscaper is to create, build and maintain the decorum of outdoor spaces. These spaces include gardens, parks, playgrounds, open spaces, and even the front yard and backyard of houses. Pruning trees, fixing fountains, lawn maintenance, cleaning the spaces and pathways, maintaining the health of trees, watering, and manuring them regularly are some of the basic works that a landscaper has to fulfill. They can usually work for a landscaping company, the government or can even be self-employed. We will discuss in detail the requirements, jobs, and salaries below. 

Duties of a Landscaper | Landscaper Job Description 

These can be divided further into two main types:

  1. Work-related to the softscape (plants, trees, lawns, shrubs, water bodies, etc.)
  2. Work-related to the hardscape (fountains, pagodas, pergolas, seating, rocks, pathways, etc.)

Let’s have a look at the different types of work that are related to the softscape

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  • Taking utmost care of the plants and checking on them for any infection.
  • Trimming of overgrown limbs and hedges of trees. 
  • Aerating, mulching, and watering the plants regularly.
  • Pruning of shrubs, making them look aesthetically pleasing.
  • The uprooting of unwanted weeds growing near the plants and on footpaths.
  • Mowing of the grass and maintaining its optimal height.
  • Fertilizing the lawns and trees and applying herbicides and pesticides to keep them away from any infections.
  • Keeping the gardens and lawn areas clean by picking up fallen foliage, sticks, or dead plants. 
  • Planting new decorative bushes and plants as per the design and instruction of a landscape designer or the clients.
  • Flower beds need more attention and effort. Hence, timely checking for their requirements as per the change of seasons.  
  • While planting trees, considering the environmental factors such as sunlight and water, types of soils required for various plants, checking the soils’ pH, etc. 

Now that we have known enough of the softscape, let’s dig into the work related to the hardscape

  • Maintaining and cleaning the walkways and pathways.
  • Fixing any broken tiles or stones used for walkways, seating, etc.
  • Looking after the gardens’ seating, such as pagodas, benches, fences, decks, etc.
  • Fixing and checking the working of fountains and other water bodies.
  • Ensuring the sprinklers are working well and repairing other motor machines.
  • Constructing and maintaining the patios.
  • Installing water features.
  • Laying new turf or paving.
  • Altering land gradient.
  • Constructing and maintaining fences and other materials used for screening.   
  • Placing and decorating rocks and boulders in suitable places for a good aesthetic appearance. 

Apart from these, a good landscaper needs to co-ordinate with the landscape designer or the client and work as per the given instructions. They are also expected to know the native plants and climate and suggest the client on plantation accordingly. Since a landscaper’s job is mostly labor-intensive, it demands a healthy physique with good stamina to work consistently outdoors for hours together. 

The versatility and creativity of this job fascinate a lot of people. But many of us wonder what exactly is required to become a Landscaper? Hence, to know more about this profession, let’s look deeper into the actual criteria needed to meet the demands of this profession. 

How to become a Landscaper?

There is no formal education required to be a landscaper. This is labor-intensive work, and it mostly demands a good and healthy physique. Even a high school diploma holder is eligible for this post. Even then, this might not be required. However, in this competitive world, if you are looking for a serious and well-paid job, then you should consider some of the options listed below:

  • It would be best if you had a diploma degree in a landscape of one or two years.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Horticulture will also make you a competent candidate for a landscaper job.
  • You can even take up short landscape courses that are available in public and private universities. 
  • You need to have hands-on experience in the landscape to get into good companies or even a government job.
  • You should have either worked with a company or on your own where you have received a good amount of knowledge about plants and other natural elements. 
  • If you are not seeking a degree or diploma, then at the most get a ‘safety-certificate’ that ensures you know using pesticides and other agricultural chemicals safely. Safety training for potentially dangerous equipment (such as hedge trimmers and chainsaws) will be taught on the job, and safety certification acquired as part of it.
  • You can make a portfolio of your work showing your creativity and imagination.  
  • If you are a fresher, you should have a considerable amount of knowledge, interest, and the confidence to turn an open space into a beautiful habitable outdoor environment.

 Subjects Covered in the Curriculum 

These are the subjects that are majorly covered in the curriculum of a landscape study course. Subjects may differ as per your country and the universities. 

  • Introduction to Landscape
  • Landscape Design Principles
  • Landscape Planning
  • Selection of Landscaping Plants
  • Landscape in Exteriors and Interiors
  • Landscape Design Elements
  • Site Measurements
  • Landscape Structures
  • Horticulture
  • Arboriculture
  • Ecology 
  • Pest control and Pest management
  • Drainage systems 
  • Maintaining Your Garden
  • Landscape in Exteriors
  • The Climate in Landscape Design
  • Site Visiting
  • Cost Estimates

Salary

By now, we got an overall idea of how this profession creates and how a lot of physical effort it demands. Along with good healthy physic, the landscapers are expected to have a holistic knowledge of the subject. Their hard work and dedication take us to yet another aspect of this profession, and that is ‘salary .’According to May 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are roughly 912,480 people employed in the landscaping industry. The average salary of a landscaper in the USA is somewhere between $20,000 – $26,325 per year. The average pay per hour is around 17.02 hours. Wages typically start from $11.06 to up to $25. Most experienced workers make up to $39,000 per year. Again, these numbers change as per the region and location. As per a survey conducted by talent.com, here is the salary offered to a landscaper concerning the USA’s regions. You can get a broader idea after referring to the data below:

  • Nevada $36,075 Maine $34,125
  • Minnesota $33,150 Colorado $33,150
  • Massachusetts $32,175 Connecticut $31,200
  • Washington $31,200 Oregon $29,250
  • California $28,763 Wisconsin $28,275
  • New York $27,788 New Hampshire $27,300
  • Michigan $27,300 Georgia $27,300
  • Maryland $27,125 Missouri $26,325
  • Arizona $26,325 Pennsylvania $26,325
  • Montana $25,350 Utah $25,350
  • Iowa $25,350 Ohio $25,350
  • Hawaii $24,375 Indiana $24,375
  • Illinois $24,375 Florida $24,375
  • Louisiana $24,180 Oklahoma $23,400
  • Kansas $23,400 Kentucky $23,400
  • Virginia $23,400 New Jersey $23,400
  • South Carolina $23,400 Texas $22,913
  • Alabama $22,425 North Carolina $22,425
  • Tennessee $21,450 West Virginia $20,475

Not to forget, many landscapers are self-employed, who earn a bit more than the above-mentioned numbers. According to the website payscale.com, The average salary for a landscape contractor in the United States is between $29,696 and $111,546. The decision of taking up a job or working as a self-employed depends on person to person. However, if you are driven by self-confidence, you might as well start taking up small-scale projects to gain experience and knowledge. Professions like these are largely dependent on practical knowledge. 

Scope of Work

There has been a greater demand for landscapers in the market today worldwide. Bigger and developed cities offer more work and wages than the rest as there are more scope and provisions for public spaces, gardens, and other outdoor activities. Landscaping today is also done on a large scale outside the corporate offices, becoming popular in big metropolitan cities. Not only this, but people possessing huge chunks of land show a keen interest in developing them into beautiful outdoor spaces with landscaping, seating, and water bodies. Popular notions such as ‘sustainable buildings’ and ‘green architecture’ have further led to an increase in the demand and construction of green spaces almost in every government, commercial and residential buildings. This, in turn, has led to increased demand and job openings for landscapers. If you are really interested in this profession, well, then go ahead and explore!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you become a landscaper without a science degree? Yes, you can become a landscaper without a science degree. There is no formal education required to be a landscaper. This is labor-intensive work, and it mostly demands a good and healthy physique. Even a high school diploma holder is eligible. Even then, this might not be required. However, a degree or diploma in the landscape would rather render beneficial in today’s competitive world. If you are seeking a job in a company, you might as well consider the thought of getting yourself a degree. If you are not keen on pursuing a degree, you may want to seek a ‘safety certification’ to use pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. Safety training for potentially dangerous equipment (such as hedge trimmers and chainsaws) will be taught on the job, and safety certification acquired as part of it.

  2. Can landscapers work from home? No, landscapers cannot work from home. Landscaping is an on-site job. Since it is labor-intensive work, you cannot work from home. You have to be on-site to execute various duties such as watering and pruning trees, spraying pesticides, cleaning, maintaining gardens, fountains, pathways, etc. 

  3. What are landscaping skills? Landscaping skills include pruning, mowing, cutting, cleaning, hammering, deer netting, fencing, planting trees, designing, and flower weddings. Other skills required are the knowledge to use various tools such as saws, trimmers, chainsaws, etc. 

  4. What to include in a landscaper’s resume? Since landscaping is an on-site and labor-intensive job that requires strength and creativity, you can mention a few considerable points-

    • Extensive knowledge of plants. Their native names and plantation techniques.
    • Knowledge of climate, horticulture, arboriculture, and pest control.
    • Safety certificate from an authorized institution.
    • A degree and diploma certificate in Landscape or Horticulture.
    • Experience in landscape and ground-seeking works.
    • Knowledge and expertise in the usage and handling of garden tools, equipment, and motors.
    •  Conduct snow removal regularly and as required. 
    • Good at teamwork, assisting, and coaching new landscape staff.

  5. Should you become a Landscaper? If you are creative, love nature, and do physical work, landscaping would be a good profession. It requires a knowledge of other environment-related subjects such as ecology, horticulture, arboriculture, climatology, pesticide control, etc. In addition to this, if you like plants and taking care of them makes you happy, then we encourage you to take up this profession. If you are good at labor work and using garden tools, this job will suit you. If you are a strong-willed and self-confident individual, you can be self-employed or even look for a company job. 

  6. Is it hard to become a Landscaper? It is not really hard to become a Landscaper. If you are enthusiastic about working in gardens, parks, and other outdoor spaces, it is quite easy for you. However, if you decide to pursue a degree or diploma in landscaping, then there are various topics that you need to learn, such as site measurements, cost estimates, drainage systems, etc., which might be a bit tough if you are not from a science background.  But overall, it is not a hard course, and you can become a landscaper even without an official degree. All you need is expertise in gardening skills and hands-on experience. Also, since it is a labor-intensive job, you need to work out and maintain fitness daily.

Becoming a Landscaper

By now, you should have a clear idea of the job description, duties and responsibilities, and the salary of a landscaper. The most important factor that will make you a successful landscaper is ‘love for nature. Planting trees and taking their utmost care is a priority, along with pruning shrubs, mowing the lawn, maintaining fountains and other water bodies, constructing fences, etc. You do not need a special qualification to become a landscaper. However, to survive in today’s competitive world and get a good job and salary, a degree or degree certificate will prove beneficial. Also, get yourself certified with a ‘safety certificate. Keep a good knowledge of trees, climate, pest control, handling of garden tools and machinery, etc. You should be able to read drawings and follow the landscape architects or the clients’ instructions. Sometimes you are even expected to advise them. Apart from this, you need to work well with a team and contribute equally. Do not forget that since this is labor-intensive work, you need to maintain a good fitness level. You can take up a job at a company or become self-employed. Typically the salary in the USA for landscapers ranges somewhere between $20,000 – $26,325 per year. 

Please feel free to ask any kinds of doubts and queries or you can even comment in the comment section below.  

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Landscaper Job Description, Duties & Salary in USA

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