Landscaper Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Landscaper, or Landscape Designer, is responsible for envisioning unique outdoor spaces and working with other landscape professionals to turn their visions into public parks and gardens for people to enjoy. Their duties include planting flowers and trees, trimming shrubbery and overseeing the installation of benches, fountains, fences and walking paths.

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Landscaper Duties and Responsibilities

A Landscaper position is typically under the direction of Professional Grounds Managers and completes a variety of tasks to achieve a functional and pleasant outdoor area. They may also care for indoor gardens and plants in public and commercial facilities such as botanical gardens, malls and hotels. 

A job description for a Landscaper may contain the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Mowing, edging and fertilizing lawns
  • Weeding and mulching landscape beds
  • Trimming small trees, hedges and shrubs
  • Removing unwanted, dead or damaged trees
  • Planting shrubs, flowers and trees
  • Watering gardens, lawns and landscapes
  • Monitoring and maintaining plant health

What Does a Landscaper Do?

Landscapers typically work for landscaping companies or local governments to design aesthetically-pleasing outdoor spaces. They use their knowledge of horticulture and eye for design to contribute to their ideas. Their job is to maintain relationships with plant nurseries and garden supply companies, travel to landscaping sites and work with other landscaping professionals to achieve their goals. They may also perform general upkeep tasks like raking leaves, administering pesticides, deadheading flowers and mowing lawns.

Landscaper Skills and Qualifications

The Landscaper position often includes planting trees, shrubs and flowers to either upgrade an existing outdoor space or create a new one. Some positions also handle grading and installing lawns or constructing hardscapes such as decks, walkways and patios while others help with installing sprinkler or lighting systems. Landscapers can be employed in various commercial and residential settings including motels, shopping malls, office buildings, homes and apartment buildings. 

The specific skills required for a Landscaper position can vary from employer to employer but job descriptions for a Landscaper may contain the following skills and qualifications:

  • Physical stamina 

  • Self-motivation 

  • Visualization

  • Creativity

Landscaper Salary Expectations 

The average salary for a Landscaper is $14.10 per hour. This information is based on 12,948 anonymously submitted salaries to Indeed from employees and users along with past and present Landscaper job postings on Indeed within the last 36 months.

Landscaper Education and Training Requirements

While typically there are no educational requirements associated with a Landscaper position, many employers look for formal education or certification in areas like arboriculture, landscape design, or horticulture. 

Employers often provide a short period of on-the-job training to teach new employees skills required and often include how to maintain and plant areas along with how to use small tractors, leaf blowers, trimmers, mowers and other equipment. Larger institutional employers like municipalities, college campuses or golf courses may supplement this preliminary training with additional coursework in small-engine repair, tree climbing, insect and disease diagnosis, urban forestry, arboriculture and horticulture. 

Many states require individuals responsible for applying fertilizers and pesticides to be licensed. Obtaining this licensure generally involves completing a test on the proper use and disposal of fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. 

While professional certifications may not be required, they can demonstrate a candidate’s reliability and competency. There are seven ground maintenance and landscaping certifications for individuals at various levels of experience available from the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Six certifications are available to Landscapers with various levels of experience from the International Society of Arboriculture. Tree care safety professionals can obtain certification through the Tree Care Industry Association and landscapers with various levels of experience can obtain certification from the Professional Grounds Management Society. 

Landscaper Experience Requirements 

Landscapers with excellent communication skills often become crew leaders or advance to other supervisory positions. Becoming a landscape contractor or manager typically requires some level of formal education and additional years of related work experience. Many individuals use landscaping experience to start independent landscaping companies.

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Frequently asked questions about Landscapers

 

What is the difference between a Landscaper and a Gardener?

Although Landscapers and Gardeners both have a love for horticulture, and the desire to create unique and functional outdoor spaces, they do differ in the scope of their roles and their job responsibilities. For example, Landscapers tend to focus more on the layout of an outdoor space including pathways and other design components which can include the placement of flowers and greenery. 

In contrast, Gardeners focus more on plant health and the act of pulling weeds and applying fertilizers. It is important to note that Landscapers and Gardeners usually work closely together to achieve their goals. Landscapers may also take on gardening tasks when there aren’t Gardeners present.

 

What are the daily duties of a Landscaper?

On a typical day, a Landscaper starts by going to their company location to meet with their coworkers and discuss their jobs for the day. They gather work equipment, tools and landscaping blueprints to take with them to the worksite. They travel with their coworkers to the location and meet with the Property Owner to discuss their tasks for the day. They divide specific jobs among their team, take measurements and use tools to remove grass and other plant life to make way for pathways and other structures. Throughout the workday, they take frequent breaks to conserve their energy and check on other projects. 

Once they complete their goals, they reload their vehicles with equipment and head back to their workplace. They assist their coworkers in unloading materials and taking inventory of supplies they need going forward.

 

What qualities make a good Landscaper?

A good Landscaper is someone who uses their eye for design to create aesthetically-pleasing outdoor spaces. They have an innovative mindset that enables them to come up with creative solutions to geographical or structural barriers. They’re also physically fit, which allows them to operate heavy machinery and use tools to perform manual labor. A good Landscaper values the input of their team members and enjoys working as part of a team to accomplish a common goal.

 

Who does a Landscaper report to?

A Landscaper typically reports to a Supervisor at their landscaping company. However, Landscapers who operate their own business may report directly to their clients, the Property Owners.

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