Certified landscape technicians work to ensure attractive grounds for homes, businesses and community facilities. The education requirements to get started can vary. Typically, no formal education is required, but some employers may require certification or licensure in a particular related field, such as horticulture, in order to fulfill the job requirements. The article below details the educational requirements and job outlook for this occupational field.
Certified landscape technicians work in many facets of the landscape industry, from providing care for interior gardens to designing and installing complex exterior plantings, walkways, retaining walls and bridges. Landscape technicians may complete 2- or 4-year landscape or horticulture-related programs, which often require internships or hands-on experience. Certifications are available from multiple professional organizations and are not required in order to work. Becoming a certified landscape technician is not a substitute for earning a landscape contractor's license.
|Required Education||Varies, can include associate's or bachelor's degree in relevant field|
|Other Requirements||Complete voluntary certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% for landscaping and groundskeeping workers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$25,610 for landscaping and groundskeeping workers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
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Certified Landscape Technician Overview
Landscape technicians design, install and maintain corporate, residential or public gardens. They may also work in the nursery industry, performing plant propagation, greenhouse management or retail sales. Landscape technicians may also plant and trim foliage, craft walkways and patios, set up irrigation systems, install lighting systems and more.
Typically, certification isn't required for landscape technicians. However, earning such credentials may improve one's chances for career advancement. Several organizations offer certification to landscape technicians, among them the Professional Landcare Network (PLN).
At present, the PLN offers four different types of landscape technician certifications, depending on one's specialty (www.landcarenetwork.org). Technicians can be certified in exteriors, interiors, horticultural or lawn care. Regardless of the type of certification desired, applicants need to pass a test administered by the PLN. The test may be hands-on or written, depending on the subject matter. Aspiring certified horticultural technicians need to take a class offered by the PLN as well.
Colleges and universities offer horticulture and landscape education programs as both 2-year and 4-year programs. The 2-year programs typically result in an Associate of Science degree. The curriculum includes classes in plant science, soil science, landscape design, irrigation design and installation, computer-aided drafting, pesticide and fertilizer application, plant propagation and tree care. Students also learn to use and maintain landscape equipment, such as chainsaws, trimmers and tillers. These programs may include an internship or a fieldwork experience.
Landscape technician or landscape architecture 4-year degree programs include a strong core of general science classes in addition to specific horticulture curricula. This program may include classes such as plant pathology, soil science, ornamental horticulture, floriculture, greenhouse management, entomology and botany. Some programs also offer work experience and internships in the landscape and horticulture industries.
Certified landscape technicians work to develop and maintain attractive grounds for homes, businesses and parks. Entry level positions are available to those with a high school diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree, depending upon the position.