What Is a Landscaping Supervisor?

Read about the job duties of a supervisor in the landscaping and groundskeeping field. Learn what training you'd need to become a landscaping supervisor, where you could work and how much you might earn. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Landscaping Supervisor?

As a landscaping supervisor, you will manage a crew of landscape workers and make sure they are completing jobs in a satisfactory manner according to the design and wishes of the client. The supervisor may also be responsible for aspects of the design and will create a plan and schedule all of the tasks that must be completed. The supervisor may also keep track of the budget and all expenditures. The table below provides some additional information about landscaping supervisors:

Education Required High school diploma or its equivalent; certificate or associate's degree could be helpful
Training Required Long-term on-the-job experience
Key Skills Leadership, organization, attention to detail, interpersonal communication
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5%*
Median Salary (2015) $43,980*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are Training Programs Available for Landscaping Supervisors?

In the vast majority of cases, training for landscaping and groundskeeping positions takes place on-the-job. Supervisors attain their position by rising through the ranks - demonstrating competence, initiative and a capacity to lead. However, you can find 1-year certificate and 2-year associate's degree programs in landscaping technology at community colleges and government agencies, along with professional associations that offer shorter training programs.

Some programs devote more time to the roles and obligations of supervisors than do others. In general, water management, fertilization, pest control, plant types and plant placement are among the main topics covered. Courses are a mix of classroom study and fieldwork. Community college programs often include opportunities to complete an internship.

Where Can I Work?

Apartment buildings, city parks departments, office buildings, colleges, universities, government agencies, hotels and shopping centers are among the entities that need groundskeeping and landscaping services and thus need landscaping supervisors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 178,000 people were employed as first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers in 2014. The BLS projected that over the years 2014-2024, employment opportunities for these supervisors would grow by 5%.

What Might My Job Duties Be?

Your primary responsibility is to observe the work of groundskeeping and landscaping crew members, providing advice or assistance where necessary to make sure they perform their tasks properly. Secondary responsibilities include training new crew members, preparing estimates, scheduling work crews and maintaining records of hours worked and work performed. If you own your landscaping business, you also may have to prepare budgets, purchase equipment, bill clients and pay taxes.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

As of 2015, the BLS reported a median salary of $43,980 for all first-line supervisors of landscaping and groundskeeping workers. Most of these professionals earned between $27,150 and $72,390 per year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You may also be interested in becoming a landscape architect if you want to be more involved in the design aspects of the job. Landscape architects meet with clients and help them create customized designs for city spaces, university campuses, and personal gardens and yards. You'll need a bachelor's degree for this job, and landscaping architects often need state licensure. If you do not want as much responsibility, you could also choose to become a grounds worker and be responsible for completing tasks on time under the direction of the supervisor. Grounds workers need little more than some on-the-job training to get started.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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