What Does a Landscape Technician Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A landscape technician develops, implements, and maintains landscaping plans. This job can include public works like highway beautification and maintenance of city gardens, parks, and similar facilities. Other landscape technicians work at private residences or companies. Some workers are freelancers who move freely between jobs as needed, while others may be full time employees of landscape management companies or public works departments.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

One part of this job involves the creation of landscaping plans, sometimes in consultation with a landscape architect or master gardener. The landscape technician meets with clients to learn more about what they need, and conducts a thorough site survey with measurements and notes about terrain, soil conditions, and other factors. Stipulations like the need for a low water garden or the desire to landscape with only native plants can play a role in the design phase. Landscape technicians need to be very familiar with plants and growing conditions to create a workable plan.

After a client approves the concept, the landscape technician can supervise installation of the landscaping. This can include transplanting plants and trees, establishing seeds, and building structures like gazebos. Walkways, fountains, and other features are also the responsibility of the landscape technician. As work progresses, the client may request periodic updates, and landscaping crews and supervisors may need to adapt to unexpected events. For example, workers could discover an area of marshy or rocky ground where it wasn't expected, which may require some additional measures.

Maintenance is also part of the job for a landscape technician. It may be necessary to install, program, and maintain an irrigation system in addition to supervising pest and weed control. Plants need to be trimmed, deadheaded, removed if they die off, and otherwise cared for to keep the landscaping looking neat and tidy. The landscape technician may personally supervise work crews or delegate tasks to other employees, and could need to manage several sites at once.

This work requires the ability to cooperate with clients and landscaping personnel. The level of responsibility for a landscape technician can vary, depending on the position and the company. Some act effectively as supervising landscapers with total oversight over a project. Others may be overseen by more trained landscape architects and other personnel. The hours tend to be regular, but working conditions can be harsh, as landscapers need to be active in a variety of weather conditions on an assortment of job sites.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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