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Landscape Artist: Salary and Career Facts

Landscape artists enhance outdoor terrain through the planting and placement of flowers, bushes and trees. Find out about academic requirements, additional job duties, career options and salaries associated with landscape artistry.

What Is a Landscape Artist?

Landscape artists, or commonly known as groundskeeping workers, are responsible for maintaining areas of land by tending to plants, the grass, and other groundskeeping structures. They may do various tasks such as fertilizing plants or grass, mowing lawns, installing sprinkler systems, planting, and watering flowers. Their primary goal is to maintain the aesthetic of the property they are assigned to, and these properties can range from schools and businesses to private residences. Below is a table with more information regarding landscape artists:

Degree Required High school diploma; associate's degree may be preferred
Education Field of Study Horticulture or landscape design
Key Duties Maintaining lawns and lawn equipment; planting and maintaining gardens
Job Growth (2018-2028) 9% growth* (for all grounds maintenance workers)
Mean Salary (2018) $30,940* (for all landscaping and grounds maintenance workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education is Required for a Career as a Landscape Artist?

Many workers acquire their skills in landscape artistry through on-the-job training, which offers instruction in the use of gardening tools and equipment. There are no specific educational requirements for beginners. More employment opportunities may exist for applicants who have completed specialized training in areas such as horticulture or landscape design. Some community colleges offer certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs in landscape gardening. If you'd like to become a specialist, a bachelor's degree is recommended.

Certificate programs might offer courses in basic landscaping techniques, landscape construction, plant materials, greenhouse operations, gardening management and gardening laboratory. Diploma programs may consist of classes in math survey, writing, computer literacy, small business management, soils and fertilizers, and plant propagation.

Training at the associate's degree level includes courses such as applied plant science, pest management and arboriculture. Should you choose to obtain a bachelor's degree, you'll take classes such as horticultural science, soil science, chemistry, plant structure, physics, geology, nursery management and fruit and vegetable production.

What Will My Job Duties Consist Of?

Depending on where you work, your duties may include weeding, watering, fertilizing and aerating gardens and lawns, and maintaining lawn equipment. As a landscape artist, you'll operate equipment such as lawn mowers, tractors, leaf blowers, pruning saws and hedge trimmers. It may be your responsibility to install sprinkler systems and special outdoor lighting. In some instances, you could create hilly areas or beautify decks and terraces with plants and flowers.

Where Could I Work?

Shopping malls, school grounds, office buildings and apartment complexes are just some of the places where you could apply your skills as a landscape artist. Golf courses, indoor gardens and greenhouses also require the services of landscape artists. Private homeowners may hire you to plant flower gardens to make the areas outside their homes more attractive. Landscape artists may also work alongside landscape architects and gardeners.

How Much Could I Expect to Earn?

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), landscaping workers and groundskeepers who worked on school properties earned annual average wages of about $36,510 in 2018 (www.bls.gov). Those who worked for local governments earned approximately $34,020 during the same year. Landscape workers who provided services to private residences and buildings earned an average of $30,860.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are quite a few careers that are similar to maintaining landscapes and plants. One option is becoming a nursery worker, where you would be responsible for harvesting and fertilizing plants while working in a nursery facility. Another possibility would be becoming a logging equipment operator, where you would be utilizing logging tractors to load and stack logs, as well as clearing stumps from sites. Alternatively, you could become a farm worker, where you would be in charge of feeding and sustaining the animals and crops while keeping records of the status of the livestock. All these career options don't require more than a high school diploma and may require training that is taught on-the-go.