As the skill levels vary in different landscaping occupations, so do the amounts of formal schooling required. Some tasks can best be learned by doing, although it is often as important to know why something is done as how to do it. The best education preparation for success in the landscape fields is a combination of college and work experience.

Landscape contractors, landscape nurserymen, and maintenance landscapers should seek two to four years of college in strong ornamen­tal horticulture programs. All types of plant science courses should be taken and, where offered, business and mechanical equipment courses should be taken as electives.

Landscape architects, where states mandate, must complete a four – or five-year university program accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Several years of apprentice training follow in the office of a licensed landscape architect and finally a state certifying examination. Quite obviously, the landscape architect’s position is the most difficult one to attain among the landscaping professions. Many schools of landscape architecture give greater emphasis to graphic art skills, engineering training, and the behavioral sciences than to basic horticulture. Therefore, aspiring landscape architects would be wise to seek elective courses that will add to their appreciation and knowledge of plants. Such training will produce landscape architects and design­ers who can better anticipate the problems their designs may create for those who must install or maintain them.


A landscaper deals with the control and development of our outdoor spaces. Due to the range of project sizes and needs, the types of careers and training vary.

Landscape architects and designers conceptualize the landscapes. They seek out and analyze the sites that are to be developed. They rep­resent the clients from the beginning of a project to the end. Landscape architecture requires extensive schooling and work experience, and certification to practice in most states.

Landscape contractors construct and install the landscapes designed by the landscape architects and designers. Some landscape contractors also offer a design service to their clients. It is the landscape contractor’s responsibility to acquire and install the plants and to build the nonplant elements of the design.

Landscape gardeners and landscape maintenance supervisors are responsible for the care of landscapes after their installation. They may work as resident employees or as independent professionals.

Landscape nurserymen have the sale of plant materials as their pri­mary objective. In addition, they offer installation service to promote and supplement the plant sales.



Match one or more of the professions on the right to each of the characteristics on the left.

a. responsible for the care of

k. weeds flower beds

1. landscape architect/

the landscape after it has

l. needs the greatest


been installed.

understanding of plant

2. landscape contractor

b. conceives how the site

growth requirements

3. landscape gardener/

should be developed

m. needs an understanding


c. responsible for weekly

of geology, hydrology,



agronomy, engineering,

4. landscape

d. responsible for installing

and architecture, as well as


the landscape

ornamental horticulture

e. does the original site

n. entrance into the field


most regulated by law

f. primarily interested in the

o. requires the least capital

sale of plants

investment to begin

g. lays out new planting beds

p. may be a resident

and prepares the soil for



q. requires the greatest

h. determines the needs of

amount of schooling

the customer

r. may do some designing

i. responsible for pruning

in addition to landscape

back overgrown plantings

installation and

j. most involved in


construction of a new

stone wall

Updated: October 7, 2015 — 12:55 am