Landscaping: A Skilled Trade

At a very young age people already being to ask you what you want to be when you grow up. As a child our answers range from a police officer to an astronaut. It is ingrained in us quite young that you need to attend University to get a good job. However, that isn’t always the case as many skilled trades are seriously in need of building their work force.

What is a skilled trade?

A skilled trade is a profession which refers to a worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education, but not a bachelor’s degree.

Career Pathways

In the landscaping industry to become a skilled trades landscaper there are two different path’s you can take in Canada.

One of the most direct paths is attending a College with a Horticultural or Landscape program. In this two year program there is typically 1 semester which is a paid internship where you gain the hands on experience. There are various courses specific to the industry including: plant identification, plant science, and entomology. Once you complete the program and internship you receive your diploma in Landscaping or Horticulture.

Another pathway to receiving your landscaping certification is through an apprenticeship program. You spend about 20% of your time in school and the other 80% of your time on the job, getting paid, and being mentored by a pro – an experienced landscaper – who can “show you the ropes.”

Career Options

Within the landscaping industry there are various options to begin your career. Often it depends on your interests within the industry and qualifications or experience. A typical career path within most landscaping companies.

Alternate Career’s in Landscaping

Landscaping companies require skilled field staff to execute the work, but they also require employees to sell the work. The sales process varies between the different landscaping companies. Essentially, you require a sales person to meet with the prospective clients and gather information about the project. The sales person may need help from a Landscape Designer to pull together a plan with all the details, grades and measurements to complete the work. A landscape estimator begins compiling a custom quote based off of the design and material selection for the sales person. After working out all the details between the client, sales person, designer, and estimator an operations manager will step in to help manage the project. The operations manager will be working directly with the client, sales person and field staff to ensure the project is going smoothly as per the contract.

Salary Expectations

In the landscaping industry there is a wide range of careers which means a wide range of salaries. Your salary is based on your qualifications and experience in the industry.