Career Profile: Landscaper or Groundskeeper
Plants can make a place look beautiful, besides helping to improve air quality and many other benefits. Landscapers and groundskeepers help to grow plants around houses, office buildings, and more, contributing to a more pleasant and healthier environment. If you want to work in this career, you will have an important part in building up neighbourhoods and making them better.
Landscaping and groundskeeping are two parts of the same basic job. In general, landscapers plan gardens and yards while groundskeepers take care of the plants after they are already growing, but the two aspects are often part of the same job. However, landscaping usually involves working at a variety of locations, while groundskeeping is generally confined to one or two workplaces.
When people build a new house or other building, they generally want to have grass and other plants around it. Landscapers plan where to put the grass, trees, and flower beds. They might plan which flowers to put in, but they might decide to let others have that choice. The job of choosing where to put plants and grass might seem simple, but it can be quite difficult.
For example, some plants do well in the sunlight, while others do better in the shade. The south side of a building might be too hot for some plants, while the north side could be too cool and dark for others. Grass does better in some soil than in others, and landscapers should know which type is best, or at least be able to find out. Research can be an important part of the job, as landscapers find information on the particular area where they work. Groundskeepers work less at the planning stage, but they also need to know about the needs of different plants.
Some people in this career choose to learn what they need to know through a degree in an area like environmental sciences at a university. Usually, this takes at least three or four years to finish. Other people go through an apprenticeship process. The length of an apprenticeship can vary, but often it involves four twelve-month periods of classroom training and on-the-job learning with a certificate exam at the end. In most parts of Canada, certification is optional.
Generally, landscapers and groundskeepers work forty hours a week, although they may sometimes work longer to finish a project. The work tends to be seasonal, although planning work can take place throughout the year. Hourly wages start at just over $13 per hour and can rise to just over $20 per hour. The work involves being outside, but much of the practical work might be impossible in bad weather.
People in this field can get jobs almost anywhere, but working for construction companies is common, since new homes or office buildings need work on the land surrounding them. Work is more likely to be available in big cities than in the countryside, but people can find jobs almost anywhere. If you like working with plants in the outdoors, this might be the right career for you.
Careers in Construction. “Career: Landscaper.” https://www.careersinconstruction.ca/en/career/landscaper.
Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. “Clean Plants Certification.” https://cnla.ca/learn/clean-plants-certification.
Environmental Science.org. “What Does a Landscaper Do?” https://www.environmentalscience.org/career/landscaper.
Payscale Canada. “Average Landscaping or Groundskeeping Worker Hourly Pay in Canada.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Landscaping_or_Groundskeeping_Worker/Hourly_Rate.