How do I Become a Landscaper?

N. Madison

Someone who wants to become a landscaper can do so by learning about plants and horticultural design and by working to gain hands-on experience. While it isn't necessary to attend college to become a landscaper, some find a degree in landscaping helpful when pursing this career. Finding an entry-level or volunteer position that offers prospective landscapers hands-on experience is usually the most reliable way to get started in this business.

A vast knowledge of horticulture and plants is critical for a landscaper.
A vast knowledge of horticulture and plants is critical for a landscaper.

An individual who wants to become a landscaper should learn as much as possible about plants. He’ll need to know how to plant outdoor plants and lawns as well as how to help them thrive. He’ll also need a wide range of gardening knowledge in order to become a landscaper. There are many books and Web sites that offer information about a wide variety of plants. To avoid feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information available, an individual may choose to research the plants and trees that are most commonly found in his area, expanding his knowledge of other plant life gradually.

Landscapers must know how to balance plants and pathways to create an appealing space.
Landscapers must know how to balance plants and pathways to create an appealing space.

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With a good base of plant knowledge at his disposal, a prospective landscaper may successfully obtain work with a landscape or gardening business. He may secure a paying job or even offer to work as volunteer in order to gain valuable hands-on experience. For example, there are horticultural organizations that maintain public gardens and offer volunteer or internship opportunities. An aspiring landscaper may practice what he learns on his own grounds or offer to assist his friends and family members with maintaining the land around their homes.

Some people may find it advantageous to go to school for landscaping. For example, an individual may work toward a college degree in landscape architecture or design, which may help him learn about the many design and planning aspects of landscaping. If he hopes to start his own business, a prospective landscaper may choose to pursue a business management degree instead. In such a case, he may learn about design from books or through hands-on experience.

Once an individual has gained significant experience and in-depth knowledge of plant life and landscaping, he may gain employment as a landscape crew member, completing tasks assigned by the head of the crew or landscape designer. Alternatively, he may become a landscape designer, developing designs and planning details of landscaping projects. Landscape designers often plan the grounds around homes and smaller businesses. An individual could even become a landscape architect, designing and planning landscapes for larger businesses, organizations, and public grounds.

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