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Education And Training

In high school, take courses in mathematics, the natural sciences (biology, botany, chemistry), communications, and business. If possible, attend a vocational high school that offers landscaping and horticulture courses.

Tools of the Trade

Landscapers use a variety of tools in their day-to-day work. Here are some of them:

Backhoe A vehicle with a large bucket attached on a movable arm that's used to dig holes and move soil and rocks from a landscaping site.

Bulb planter A metal or wood tool that makes holes in the earth in the proper size and depth for planting bulbs. Flowers grown from bulbs include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and lilies.

Chain saw A hand-held electric or gas-powered saw used to cut down trees or branches.

Garden spade A common hand-held implement that's similar to a shovel, but has a square blade and is used for digging holes.

Plumb line A string or cord used to assure that walls and fences are erected at the proper heights or angles.

Rake A common hand-held implement, including a fan-shaped garden type, with metal or bamboo prongs, or tines, used to gather leaves. A metal rake is used to level soil.

Roller A large machine with a rolling metal cylinder used to level soil or turf (grass).

Rototiller A compact power machine with rotating blades that turn over the soil in preparation for planting.

Shovel A common hand-held implement used to dig large holes or move materials like soil or rocks.

Stump grinder A power machine that grinds down stumps after trees have been cut and removed.

Weed trimmer Also known as a weed whacker, this hand-held electric or gas-powered machine is used to trim hedges, cut down brush, or trim grass along the edges of a plot of land.

Experience is the best teacher. After school, or on your summers off, work for a landscaper or landscaping firm. You'll learn the most working for a full-service landscaper or firm that also performs simple landscape-design tasks like building garden paths and walls and installing outdoor lighting, as well as mowing lawns, trimming hedges, and performing clean-up duties.

While working, consider taking landscaping courses or specialized courses in arboriculture, horticulture, turf management, and landscape design at a community or junior college, or an agricultural college. These courses can help you get a head start on opening your own business, or allow you to move more quickly into a management position at a large landscaping firm.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCool Careers Without CollegeLANDSCAPER - Description, Education And Training, Tools Of The Trade, Outlook, For More Information, Books