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Horticulture - Landscaping Info Sheet

Job title

Job description
Working as a landscaper involves working outdoors creating and maintaining gardens and recreational spaces. As the job consists of mostly outdoor work you will have to work in all weather conditions. The job of a landscaper is physically demanding and so requires you to be fit and able. As landscaping jobs occur in a variety of different locations you will find most landscapers generally have depot and then go to the different worksites to carry out their job. Landscaping can be divided into two main areas; soft landscaping - which deals with plants, turfing and maintenance, or hard landscaping - which deals with construction, stone/brick work, paving, drainage and lighting. Most landscaping firms will deal with a mix of both these areas, however some firms choose to specialise in one area or the other.

Qualifications required
Landscape apprenticeships are open to people of any age.
Most employers appreciate their employee having good literacy and numeracy, so studying English and Maths at school are a must.
Subjects such as horticulture or technology (wood/metal work, graphics) will also provide you with good knowledge that will come in handy when you start working as a landscaper, but these subjects they are not essential.
Holding a current and valid drivers licence is usually beneficial in most instances.

Training costs
The fees for apprenticeship training with the NZHITO are currently set at $650 per year. The employer and apprentice usually negotiation and decide between themselves who pays this fee.

Location of job
As a landscaper you will be doing the majority of your work outdoors.

Career path
Unskilled labourer
Skilled Landscaper/Tradesperson

When an employer takes you on you will generally start as an unskilled labourer, then once both you and your employer have decided that you want to progress into training you will be signed up as an apprentice.

Salary range
The entry level wage for a unskilled labourer is approximately $11 per hour, ranging through to approximately $25 per hour for a qualified tradesperson.
If you do end up becoming your own boss, you will be able to set your own pay rates.

Other careers this profession could lead to
Landscape design
Landscape architecture
Project management
Owner/Operator of a Landscape Business.

How to increase the chances of successfully entering this industry
See if you can spend some time working with a landscaper in school holidays and after school.
Gateway through schools can be a great way to get into an apprenticeship.

Other places to source information about this job
Talking to existing landscapers and asking them questions such as; what their jobs involves? what they like and dislike about their job? This can be a great way to find out if the landscape industry would be a good industry for you to get into.