Landscape apprentices can expect to divide their time between real-world landscaping practice and academic coursework. Before starting, they may need to meet certain admission requirements.
Landscaping apprenticeship programs are often offered by community colleges and are available to both college and high school students. Some state and local government agencies, such as labor departments and city or county public works departments, also offer landscaping apprenticeship programs. At community colleges, students can choose from certificates or associate's degree programs in landscaping.
Programs in related disciplines, such as building and property management, might include a concentration and an apprenticeship opportunity in general landscaping. Many programs also give students the option of concentrating in a specialty area, including landscape gardener, technician or greenskeeper.
In landscaping apprenticeship programs, students receive paid, on-the-job training under the supervision of an experienced journeyman. Over the course of apprenticeship programs, apprentices get real-world practice in a number of areas, including:
- Sod laying
- Plant selection
- Sprinkler installation
Students are also expected to complete all assignments and be on time for the job training portion of the program. Upon completion of the program, students planning on handling pesticides on the job need to obtain a licensing application.
Alongside their hands-on training with journeymen, apprenticeship programs also include classroom courses. Students must attend their classes regularly and on time. These programs provide career-focused education, so topics of study commonly overlap with the work they are doing in the field. Topics include:
- Pipe fitting
- Basic electrical concepts
- Horticultural science
- Arbor culture
For programs that result in associate's degrees, students may also be required to fulfill general education requirements. At some schools, the credits they earn may be applied to a bachelor's degree.
Admissions requirements for apprenticeships depend on the program, but most of the time, prospective students need to be at least 16 years old. If the apprenticeship is likely to include hazardous work, students need to be at least 18 years old. Additionally, some programs require students to be competent in math prior to enrolling. Students may also need to be employed by an employer who has registered with a local apprenticeship coordinator.
Through practical experience and classroom coursework, landscaping apprenticeship programs prepare individuals for careers in the field, and they may also provide academic credentials.