Landscape workers go for the green
1 in 6 grounds workers are self-employed and 1 in 7 work part-time. (April 22, 2013)
Requirements: Landscapers should be hardworking, self-motivated and have good people skills. A high school diploma may be required for certain jobs.
Benefits: A career in landscaping is great for people who love the outdoors and seeing the results of their hard work. Landscapers earn anywhere from $9 to $15 an hour.
Training: Most landscape workers are trained on the job but certification is offered in three main areas, according to the U.S. Department of Labor:
The Professional Landcare Network offers seven certifications in landscaping and grounds maintenance for workers at various experience levels.
The Tree Care Industry Association offers certification for tree care safety professionals.
The International Society of Arboriculture offers four certifications for workers at various experience levels.
On the job: Victor Flores is the owner of Victor's Landscaping in Norridge, Ill., which he started in 1996 after more than 10 years of learning the business as a landscaper in California and Illinois. He says landscaping offers him numerous rewards.
"I love being outside all day and working with people," he says. "I like helping them make their property look exactly like what they see in their heads."
Outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, grounds maintenance workers held about 1,25 million jobs in 2010. More than 1 out of 6 workers were self-employed and about 1 out of 7 worked part-time, many whom were school age. Those seeking either part-time or full-time work in landscaping should find plentiful opportunities for employment, especially during the spring and summer. With expected growth in the construction of commercial and industrial buildings, employment for landscapers is expected to grow by about 20 percent, faster than average, through 2020.
Advice: "Find someone to teach you. You learn a lot by working and listening," Flores says. "It's all about working hard and working smart. You have to treat the properties that you work on with respect."