Green Industry Education Resource
Why Should I Pursue A Career In Landscaping?
Landscaping isn't just cutting the hedges or planting trees anymore. Today's landscape industry represents a diverse field of specialties, requiring a broad knowledge base, computer skills and a firm business sense.
Unlock Your Future In The Landscape Industry
You can design your career as a landscape professional while you are still in high school, as a college student, or as a career change. Scholarships are available and some businesses offer internships to gain valuable experience while exploring employment options and interests.
What Lies Ahead For You In The Landscape Industry
Either working for an established company or as the owner of your own business, you will be in demand at private residences and commercial sites and developments, and by hotels and resorts, entertainment venues, municipal parks and golf courses.
Skilled and qualified professionals are needed who are knowledgeable in modern practices of resource conservation and personnel management, and who can provide service and expertise working with:
As you display a mastery of these skills, you may also enjoy the benefits of:
As with any profession, your ability to get the job done and to communicate well is essential. There's no better way to guarantee success than through education. Even still, landscaping is one of the few professions left that values experience and common sense, allowing people with less formal education to achieve higher positions and salaries than in other fields. Nevertheless, the more you work in school, the easier it will be for you to land that future job.High School Diploma (or GED):
Instead of spending years in college, you can begin your career immediately and learn while you earn. If college just isn't for you, enrolling in a Regional Occupation Program (ROP) can provide added experience and knowledge well ahead of your peers. There's a catch though: those first few years will probably involve just as much hard work and low pay as you would've had in school.Community College Degree (A.A./A.S.):
A two-year degree program will teach you the basic skills and practices necessary to begin your career at a more advanced level. Even a general understanding of business practices, communication and critical thinking skills will help propel you towards the 'next level' as a supervisor, crew leader or assistant manager.University Degree (B.A./B.S.):
A four-year degree can be your ticket to a career-level position or management opportunity. Nearly all the technical and management positions in the landscape industry are held by college graduates. You may find that the discipline and contacts you gain while in school will help you decide to open your own business.
Tips For Success:
Find Your Fit
With so many options, it's hard to decide which direction to take. Our advice is "Go with your strengths." Find something you enjoy early on, and try to see a niche for yourself. See where your strengths might lie in this list of industry opportunities:
Take it from these guys:
"I realized, while I was still in school, that I wanted to work outside and take dull, lousy looking landscaping, or bare dirt, and turn my vision for these properties into reality. It is amazing to watch a client see it finished. And better yet, to maintain it for the client so you have total control over the vision."
"The green industry has presented me with tremendous opportunities to build and grow my contracting business. The exciting by-product of our success is watching our employees reach and achieve their dreams as well."
The California Landscape Contractors Association encourages students to become involved with student clubs. Student clubs provide members with the opportunity to interact with other green industry professionals and to gain hands-on experience in their future profession.
Here is a list of student clubs affiliated with CLCA:
California State Polytechnic University
Foothill Community College
Butte Community College