Career Profile: Landscaping Technician
Type of Work
This unit group includes those who survey and assess landscapes; draw sketches and build models of landscape designs; construct and maintain gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments; advise clients on issues related to horticulture; breed, cultivate and study plants; and treat injured and diseased trees and plants.
Over the past few years, the number of landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists increased sharply. This increase is mainly attributable to the growth in demand for landscaping and horticultural products and services. Trends are very positive in landscaping and more mixed in horticulture. Since the landscaping industry accounts for the largest number of workers in this occupational group by far, it is expected that the number of landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists will rise sharply over the next few years.
Demand for Landscaping (non-construction)
Landscape technicians and specialists work on projects involving public spaces such as urban and regional parks, public squares, highways, recreation areas, parking lots and nature conservation sites, private and public gardens, recreational and sports areas, pedestrian zones and bicycle paths, golf courses, cemeteries, residential, institutional, commercial and industrial sites, and so forth. The good outlook for tourism infrastructure development and increased public pressure for the creation of green spaces in urban environments should provide jobs for landscape technicians and specialists over the next few years. In fact, niches are developing and moving away from projects related directly to construction. Although the protection of cultural heritage sites and environmental conservation will continue to exert a positive influence on jobs in this occupation, landscape development will be added to this trend in a context of increasing competition in the tourism sector, and as a major element in municipal strategies to retain and attract citizens and companies to the area. Added to this are the needs to redevelop contaminated industrial sites and to preserve and restore cultural and historic sites.
To work in this occupation, candidates must have relevant landscape or horticulture experience, and enjoy working outdoors. They also need to be in good physical condition and have good manual dexterity. Team spirit, autonomy, initiative, attention to detail and reliability are other qualifications sought by employers.
Education and Training
Depending on the position, specific training is not necessarily required to enter this occupation. Although a number of employers require that candidates hold a high school diploma (DES), extensive experience in landscaping or horticulture is sufficient in many cases. That being said, more and more employers primarily recruit graduates of the many training programs leading to this occupation. Whether required or not, landscaping and horticulture diplomas are always assets for those seeking to work in this occupation.
These are the main programs leading to this occupation:
– Diploma of Vocational Studies (DEP) inArboriculture-élagage ([arboriculture and pruning] offered in French), Ornamental Horticulture or Landscaping Operations.
– Attestation of Vocational Specialty (ASP) inSpécialités en horticulture ([horticulture specialties] offered in French).
– Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC) in Horticulture and Environmental Technology and Paysage or Ornamental Horticulture Landscaping and Marketing.
Other programs also lead to this occupation, including Attestations of Collegial Studies (AECs) in landscaping and ornamental horticulture. Community organizations also offer school-to-work transition programs in these fields.