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Working As A Landscape Specialist

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $24,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Landscape Specialist Do

Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy in order to provide a pleasant outdoor environment.

Duties

Grounds maintenance workers typically do the following:

  • Mow, edge, and fertilize lawns
  • Weed and mulch landscape beds
  • Trim hedges, shrubs, and small trees
  • Remove dead, damaged, or unwanted trees
  • Plant flowers, trees, and shrubs
  • Water lawns, landscapes, and gardens
  • Monitor and maintain plant health

Grounds maintenance workers are generally under the direction of a professional grounds manager and perform a variety of tasks to achieve a pleasant and functional outdoor environment. They also care for indoor gardens and plantings in commercial and public facilities, such as malls, hotels, and botanical gardens.

The following are examples of types of grounds maintenance workers:

Landscaping workers plant trees, flowers, and shrubs to create new outdoor spaces or upgrade existing ones. They also trim, fertilize, mulch, and water plants. Some grade and install lawns or construct hardscapes such as walkways, patios, and decks. Others help install lighting or sprinkler systems. Landscaping workers are employed in a variety of residential and commercial settings, such as homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels and motels.

Groundskeeping workers, also called groundskeepers, maintain grounds. They care for plants and trees, rake and mulch leaves, and clear snow from walkways. They work on athletic fields, golf courses, cemeteries, university campuses, and parks, as well as in many of the same settings that landscaping workers work. They also see to the proper upkeep of sidewalks, parking lots, fountains, fences, planters, and benches, as well as groundskeeping equipment.

Groundskeeping workers who care for athletic fields keep natural and artificial turf in top condition, mark out boundaries, and paint turf with team logos and names before events. They mow, water, fertilize, and aerate the fields regularly. They must ensure that the underlying soil on fields with natural turf has the composition required to allow proper drainage and to support the grass used on the field. In sports venues, they vacuum and disinfect synthetic turf to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and they remove the turf and replace the cushioning pad periodically.

Groundskeepers in parks and recreation facilities care for lawns, trees, and shrubs; maintain playgrounds; clean buildings; and keep parking lots, picnic areas, and other public spaces free of litter. They also may erect and dismantle snow fences and maintain swimming pools. These workers inspect buildings and equipment, make needed repairs, and keep everything freshly painted.

Some groundskeepers specialize in caring for cemeteries and memorial gardens. They dig graves to specified depths, generally using a backhoe. They mow grass regularly, apply fertilizers and other chemicals, prune shrubs and trees, plant flowers, and remove debris from graves.

Greenskeepers maintain golf courses. Their work is similar to that of groundskeepers, but they also periodically relocate holes on putting greens and maintain benches and tee markers along the course and provide more intense turf maintenance. In addition, greenskeepers keep canopies, benches, and tee markers repaired and freshly painted.

Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators apply herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides on plants or the soil to prevent or control weeds, insects, and diseases. Those who work for chemical lawn or tree service firms are more specialized, inspecting lawns for problems and applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals to stimulate growth and prevent or control weeds, diseases, or insect infestations.

Tree trimmers and pruners, also called arborists, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to clear utility lines, roads, and sidewalks. Although many of these workers strive to improve the appearance and health of trees and plants, some specialize in diagnosing and treating tree diseases. Others specialize in pruning, trimming, and shaping ornamental trees and shrubs. Tree trimmers and pruners use chain saws, chippers, and stump grinders while on the job. When trimming near power lines, they usually work on truck-mounted lifts and use power pruners.

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How To Become A Landscape Specialist

Most grounds maintenance workers need no formal education and are trained on the job. Most states require licensing for workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers.

Education

Although most grounds maintenance jobs have no education requirements, some employers may require formal education or certification in areas such as landscape design, horticulture, or arboriculture.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers to be licensed. Obtaining a license usually involves passing a test on the proper use and disposal of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers seven certifications in landscaping and grounds maintenance for workers at various experience levels.

The Tree Care Industry Association offers certification for tree care safety professionals.

The International Society of Arboriculture offers six certifications for workers at various experience levels.

The Professional Grounds Management Society offers certification for workers at various experience levels.

Training

A short period of on-the-job training is usually enough to teach new hires the skills they need, which often include how to plant and maintain areas and how to use mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, small tractors, and other equipment. Large institutional employers such as golf courses, university campuses, or municipalities may supplement on-the-job training with coursework in horticulture or small-engine repair.

Advancement

Grounds maintenance workers who have good communication skills may become crew leaders or advance into other supervisory positions. Becoming a manager or a landscape contractor may require some formal education and several years of related work experience. Some workers use their experience to start their own landscaping companies.

Important Qualities

Physical stamina. Grounds maintenance workers must be capable of doing physically strenuous labor for long hours, occasionally in extreme heat or cold.

Self-motivated. Because they often work with little supervision, grounds maintenance workers must be able to do their job independently.

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Average Yearly Salary
$24,000
Show Salaries
$20,000
Min 10%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Duke University
Highest Paying City
Stanford, CA
Highest Paying State
Vermont
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Landscape Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Landscape Specialist in the United States is $24,790 per year or $12 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $20,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $29,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Landscape Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Landscape Specialist Landscapes Management Company, LLC Apr 01, 2012 $47,709
Landscape Specialist Earthscapes Nj LLC Sep 22, 2015 $34,674
Landscape Specialist Earthscapes Nj LLC Feb 05, 2010 $30,449
Landscape Specialist Earthscapes Nj LLC Feb 04, 2010 $30,449
Landscape Specialist Fox Landscape Architects Inc. Nov 07, 2007 $28,696
Landscape Specialist Vincent Landscapes Inc. Aug 05, 2011 $27,152
Landscaping Specialist Green Shade Custom Outdoors Inc. Jan 15, 2015 $27,131
Landscape Specialist Galbally Landscaping Inc. Feb 15, 2011 $24,752
Landscape Specialist Land Design By Ellison Holdings, Inc. DBA Land Des Apr 01, 2011 $23,479
Landscape Specialist Bollman Landscape Management Mar 15, 2012 $22,394
Landscape Specialist Chris James Landscaping, Inc. Mar 10, 2011 $21,496
Landscape Specialist Van Sant Landscape Management Inc. Feb 01, 2011 $21,392
Landscape Specialist Coventry Property Services, Inc. Apr 01, 2011 $20,703
Landscape Specialist Grass Rangers, L.L.C. Feb 01, 2011 $20,557
Landscape Specialist Mesa Turf Masters, LLC Apr 01, 2011 $20,515
Landscape Specialist Jackson's Lawn & Landscaping, Inc. Feb 02, 2011 $19,993
Landscape Specialist LLH Partners, LP DBA Greener Images Feb 02, 2011 $19,806
Landscape Specialist Full Care, Inc. Feb 15, 2012 $19,701
Landscape Specialist Oak Hill Lawn Care and Landscaping, Inc. Apr 01, 2011 $19,159
Landscape Specialist Glasco & Co. Landscaping, Inc. Feb 01, 2011 $18,741
Landscape Specialist Western Horticultural Services, L.P. Feb 02, 2011 $18,700
Landscape Specialist Merkle Lawn Care Company, Inc. Feb 01, 2012 $18,053
Landscape Specialist Mike Ward Landscaping, Inc. Apr 01, 2011 $17,740
Landscape Specialist Total Environment, Inc. Feb 02, 2011 $17,677
Landscape Specialist Greenscape Landcare, Inc. Apr 01, 2011 $17,468
Landscape Specialist Alfonso & Son Landscaping & Lawn Service, LLC Apr 01, 2011 $17,468
Landscape Specialist Fairfield Construction, Inc. DBA Fairfield Landsca Apr 01, 2011 $17,468

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Top Skills for A Landscape Specialist

  1. Edge Lawns
  2. Snow Removal
  3. SOD Cutters
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Mow, fertilize and edge lawns and performing other essential job functions as they relate to landscaping.
  • Snow removal, grounds maintenance, mowing, pruning, tree work and upkeep of high end customer's properties.
  • Operated powered equipment such as mowers/tractors/twin-axle/vehicles/snow blowers/chain-saws/electric clippers/sod cutters/pruning saws.
  • Direct and supervise workers engaged in cleaning up flower beds and installing new landscape.
  • Provide excellent customer service including, communicating with customers to assure all aspect of job are completed satisfactory.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Landscape Specialists

  1. Minnesota
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Vermont
  5. North Dakota
  6. Wyoming
  7. Alaska
  8. Oregon
  9. Connecticut
  10. Colorado
  • (265 jobs)
  • (318 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (223 jobs)

Landscape Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

83.0%

Female

10.4%

Unknown

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

66.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.3%

French

11.1%

Swedish

3.7%

Danish

3.7%

Chinese

3.7%

Japanese

3.7%

Norwegian

3.7%

Mandarin

3.7%

Thai

3.7%

Hmong

3.7%
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Landscape Specialist Education

Schools

Brigham Young University

16.4%

Saint Louis Community College

8.2%

Vincennes University

6.6%

Georgia Southern University

4.9%

Augusta Technical College

4.9%

Grand Valley State University

4.9%

James Madison University

4.9%

University of Cincinnati

4.9%

Saint Cloud Technical College

4.9%

Colorado State University

4.9%

Montgomery County Community College

4.9%

Pima Community College

3.3%

Moraine Valley Community College

3.3%

Bradley University

3.3%

Saint Norbert College

3.3%

College of Saint Joseph

3.3%

Delaware County Community College

3.3%

Owens Community College

3.3%

University of Central Florida

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

25.0%

Criminal Justice

7.5%

Kinesiology

6.1%

General Studies

6.1%

Psychology

6.1%

Plant Sciences

4.7%

Applied Horticulture

4.7%

Health Education

3.8%

Biology

3.8%

Management

3.3%

Environmental Science

3.3%

Communication

3.3%

Finance

3.3%

Fine Arts

2.8%

Political Science

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.8%

Graphic Design

2.8%

Accounting

2.8%

Computer Science

2.4%

Drafting And Design

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.5%

High School Diploma

32.2%

Associate

19.1%

Diploma

7.2%

Certificate

5.2%

Masters

1.4%

License

0.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Updated May 18, 2020