- On average, landscapers make around $11 per hour
- Many landscapers choose to start their own business
- You won't need more than a high school diploma to get started
What do landscapers do?
Don't listen to what people tell you: having a green thumb is not genetic, and it isn't something that you can come by easily. Some people can't even grow weeds, so if you've been blessed with a green thumb, consider it a heavenly gift and embrace your talent.
Landscapers and groundskeepers do pretty much anything that involves a yard: raking, mowing, trimming, planting, digging, mulching and all sorts of other fun things. It's a landscaper's job to make every yard they touch as pretty as the cover of Better Homes & Gardens.
Many people use the terms landscaper and groundskeeper interchangeably, but you might be surprised to know they aren't the same thing. Technically speaking, a landscaper is someone who creates new landscapes outdoors (planting new flowers, bushes, trees, etc.) while a groundskeeper just keeps what's already there looking nice. Oh, and, if you maintain the grounds on a golf course, you're called a greenskeeper.
It should go without saying that landscapers work where the yards are, which is to say outside. Those with bad allergies, or an aversion to the outdoors, should avoid this job like the plague.
How much do landscapers make?
The average hourly pay for all landscapers is around $11 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Landscapers with a significant amount of experience and who work for government agencies (which pay really well) can expect to earn up to $14 per hour.
What are the education requirements?
Most landscapers don't need more than a high school diploma to get started. On-the-job skills training will teach you the proper techniques and how to use commercial-grade mowers, sprayers and other equipment. Some of the equipment can be dangerous to operate, so safety training is usually included.
Career paths for landscapers
Larger companies usually have a supervisor overseeing a small group of landscapers. To get into one of these jobs, you'll need to be motivated and have at least a high school education. Many landscapers and supervisors choose to branch out and start their own business after a few years, so if you've got that entrepreneurial itch, this could be an excellent career choice for you. If you see yourself becoming a professional landscape architect or golf course designer, you'll need at least a four-year degree.
The future of landscapers
It's hard for busy working people to find the time to take care of their yard - and when they do have free time, they'd rather spend it relaxing with their family. This desire to reduce "yard" time will increase the need for landscapers and groundskeepers, resulting in an 18 percent growth in available jobs between 2008 and 2018 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
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