Landscape Manager: Salary and Career Facts

Landscape managers coordinate and oversee a team of workers as they bring landscape design visions to life. Read on to learn more about a career as a landscape manager, including typical job responsibilities, career and salary outlook for the profession and common education, training and licensing requirements. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Landscape Manager?

Landscape managers oversee landscape crews responsible for the upkeep of various ground spaces, such as home or business lawns. They make sure land is properly groomed, fertilized and weeded. They also see that unwanted elements, such as dead plants, are removed. They supervise the workers involved in monitoring plant growth, watering and nurturing.

Below is important information becoming a landscape manager.

Education Required High school diploma and on-the-job training; postseconday programs available
Key Duties Managing and overseeing grounds crews
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5%* (for first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers)
Median Salary (2015) $43,980* (for first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are the Job Duties of a Landscape Manager?

As a landscape manager, your duties may involve working with clients to determine their needs and desires, building relationships with vendors and managing job records. Your crew may handle most of the physical work while you manage the job, train new employees, assign job duties and make design decisions.

You may also work side-by-side with your crew on some jobs. You may use plants, trees, flowers and other vegetation to complete your landscape design. You may also build patios and walls and install watering systems. Maintenance is another part of your job and includes replacing dead plants or trees, spraying pesticides and repairing masonry work.

What is the Job Outlook?

Many landscaping jobs offer the most work during the growing season. However, some landscape managers may work on crews that also handle snow removal, which provides additional work and opportunities. Jobs are available through landscaping companies, educational institutions, businesses, hospitals, parks and recreation facilities. Some landscape managers are self-employed.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014, grounds maintenance workers held 1,282,000 jobs (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported from 2014-2024, there would be a 6% increase in employment for grounds maintenance workers. The projected amount of job openings during this period was 77,600.

What Type of Education Do I Need?

Many landscape managers start as a worker on a landscape crew and learn through on-the-job training. However, more opportunities may be available with formal training in a landscaping program. Turf and landscape management, landscape architecture, horticulture and landscape design programs offer the chance to earn a certificate or associate, bachelor's or master's degree useful for career advancement.

In these programs, you may learn about the design, theory, history and technology involved in landscaping. You may take courses on business, horticulture, design applications and conservation. In these programs, you may learn how to care for plants and trees, create visually appealing designs and run a landscaping business.

Is a License or Certification Required?

In some states, a license may be required for anyone handling and using pesticides. For example, in Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Division, a license is required with few exceptions for anyone buying, using or instructing on the use of restricted-use pesticides (www.oregon.gov). In New Mexico, a license is required for anyone buying or applying pesticides, according to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (nmdaweb.nmsu.edu). A license is required in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection, for anyone applying pesticides as part of their job (www.nj.gov).

Certification is voluntary and may be available through organizations like the Professional Landcare Network. The Professional Landcare Network offers six certification options for landscape professionals (www.landcarenetwork.org).

What Can I Earn?

The earning potential for first-line supervisors and managers of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers, according to the BLS, as of May 2015 was $25,610 for the lowest ten percent and $72,390 for the top 90%. Top earning potential may be possible if you are working on large landscaping jobs for clients that are willing to pay large wages.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers, forest and conservation workers, and logging workers. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers supervise the operations of lands that produce food supply. Forest and conservation workers are concerned with developing ways to maintain and improve forest health. Logging workers cultivate forests for timber use. All of these fields necessitate a high school diploma.

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