How do I get Started in Residential Landscaping?

Carol Francois

Residential landscaping is a growing industry in North America. Landscaping is both a science and an art, used to create and maintain the outdoor space of your home. This can include grass, plants, trees, ponds, and stone works.

Landscape design is one of the three areas of residential landscaping.
Landscape design is one of the three areas of residential landscaping.

A career in residential landscaping can be very rewarding. There are three types of jobs available in this industry: landscape design, landscape construction, and company management. These jobs all require different levels of education, skills, and talents.

Residential landscapers often have to incorporate pathways into their designs.
Residential landscapers often have to incorporate pathways into their designs.

To get started in residential landscaping, it is important to decide which type of role appeals to you. Career counseling is a great way to determine if you would do best in a physical environment or a more office based workspace. Residential landscaping companies tend to be fairly small, reputation-based firms. A great deal of work is granted by reputation, so it is very important to cultivate and maintain a professional image.

Landscape design is a job that requires a degree or diploma in landscape architecture. These professionals usually work for a private firm for five to seven years before starting their own residential landscaping company. It is critical to build a reputation for the quality of your design and to develop a solid client base before starting your own firm. When starting a residential landscaping firm, many companies participate in design competitions in local newspapers or magazines. These contests provide an opportunity for a large number of potential clients to see your designs and will provide feedback on the quality of your work and its local appeal.

To get started in landscape construction, get a job at a local landscaping company. They often need general labor to help move materials, install grass, and plant trees. This type of work requires physical strength, endurance, and mental focus. Additional certification in construction machine operation and pesticides may be required.

There is a wide range of opportunities for management within landscaping construction. Site supervisors and project managers are critical to the realization of a design and a good working relationship with a landscape architect can greatly improve the volume of business. Company management of a residential landscaping company requires a diploma or degree is business or accounting. Skills in sales, customer relationship management, finance, and marketing are all critical to the success of the firm.

Many people get started in landscaping as a student job, but find they really enjoy the opportunity to work outside, interact with people, and make an impact on the world. The creation and realization of a landscape design can completely transform a space and adds value for everyone. These types of projects have a useful life of ten to 15 years, providing a living portfolio for future clients to admire your work.

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