What is a Landscaper?

Also known as: Landscapist, Landscape Gardener.

A landscaper is someone who earns a living by adjusting earth and water in order for it to become more aesthetically pleasing. Someone trained in landscaping might primarily work to improve upon an existing garden layout, or they might work in one of the more specialized areas of landscaping. Some of the specialties someone interested in landscaping might choose to pursue would be designing water gardens and fountains (aquascape), installing lawn sprinkler systems and drains (irrigation systems) or designing practical solutions for orchards and farms. Since educational requirements are not particularly strict for someone looking to break into the landscaping business, this might be a good choice for someone wanting to start a new career right away.

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What does a Landscaper do?

Landscaping is a field that encompasses a great many possible careers; everything from trimming trees and planting flowers, to building garden structures and installing irrigation systems. Some landscapers might even work on a larger scale, planning and designing a golf course, for example, would be a job for a landscape architect. Clients in need of landscaping for their new pool or patio, or needing a retaining wall built, will be in touch with a trusted landscaping company.

Large corporations have company grounds to be maintained, schools and universities have campus grounds to keep, cities and towns have public parks that need maintenance and improvements, and zoos and theme parks need landscape design solutions as well. All of these are potential clients or employers for a landscaper. On a smaller scale, many landscapers earn a living planting seasonal flowers and trimming trees and shrubs. This sort of work doesn't require much equipment or training, so it can be a good stepping stone to a career change, providing an opportunity to get one's feet wet without necessarily quitting the day job.

How to become a Landscaper

Generally speaking, a landscaper needs to have a keen interest for imagining and creating scenery. Someone who is interested in planting and maintaining a wide variety of trees and other plants might be well-suited to a career in landscaping. A talent for design and an eye for detail will also be helpful. Landscaping is a career that can be physically demanding as well.

Not all landscapers are business owners, but many are, and managing a small business is another specialty entirely. Frequently, someone interested in becoming a landscaper will work as an apprentice to an established landscaping expert, learning the ropes before striking out on their own.

A degree in business, landscape architecture, or horticulture can all help start you down the right path, but ultimately, a successful worker will need to develop skills by watching, learning and doing. This is a business where practical experience and know-how can be more important than a piece of paper from a university, at least up to a certain point. In the United States, licensing requirements differ from state to state for working on sprinkler systems, but frequently certification is a requirement for that particular specialty.

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