Stepping stones to a rewarding career

Career pathways in landscaping

A career in landscaping might be for you if you are interested in outdoor work constructing beautiful gardens and landscapes. The work is physically demanding but rewarding.

There are landscaping businesses all over Australia. Most landscape businesses are small businesses and employ one to 10 workers. Others have 40 or more.

The work they do varies considerably, from landscape design and landscape construction to landscape maintenance.

Some landscapers specialise in domestic gardens, others in commercial and industrial landscapes. Others specialise in hardscaping (paving and landscape construction) or focus on softscaping (plant establishment and maintenance).

The work of landscaping includes planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of landscape areas, for private homes, factories, schools, commercial buildings and precincts, roadsides and streetscapes, parklands, irrigation systems and water features.

  • Construction and maintenance of domestic and commercial landscapes
  • Design of gardens and commercial landscapes
  • Rehabilitation and maintenance of urban bushland
  • Construction and installation of amenity and recreational landscape structures
  • Provision of technical advice and forward estimates on landscape development and proposals

Jobs and qualifications

Landscape Labourer Certificate II in Landscaping »
Landscape Tradesperson Certificate III in Landscape Construction »
Landscaping Supervisor Certificate IV in Horticulture (Landscape) »
Landscape Manager Diploma of Landscape Design »
Landscape Labourer

The landscape labourer is likely to be involved in a wide range of landscaping tasks under limited supervision:

  • Planting and renovating grassed areas
  • Paving
  • Planting, transporting and pruning trees and shrubs
  • Assisting in landscape construction work

There are various ways to get a job as a landscape worker. Individuals with general horticultural experience are often able to obtain work as landscape labourers in the landscape industry on a casual basis to assist with construction and maintenance works.

Landscape Tradesperson

The landscape tradesperson is a skilled landscaper who has successfully completed an apprenticeship and is likely to be involved in a wide range of landscaping activities:

  • Supervising landscape maintenance
  • Paving
  • Building retaining walls
  • Constructing decking/pergolas
  • Setting out landscape works
  • Coordinating planting
  • Building landscape features with concrete, timber, brick, stone, and metal
  • Installing irrigation and drainage
  • Operating specialised machinery and equipment

To work as a landscape tradesperson you must have completed a nationally accredited Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscaping), which involves formal learning while working on the job.

Priority skills include assessments, building and maintaining gardens and landscape structures, and supervising work site activities.

Landscape Supervisor

A landscape supervisor has responsibility for a number of workers and landscape activities:

  • Supervising landscape planting and construction works
  • Preparing landscape designs
  • Purchasing landscape materials
  • Posting projects
  • Operating a budget

There are a number of ways to get work as a landscape supervisor, but most begin landscape tradespersons.

The promotion of tradespersons to landscape supervisors occurs when they show they can take responsibility for landscaping operations and supervise the activities of other staff.

The qualification for landscape supervisors who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on the job is the Certificate IV in Horticulture (Landscape).

Priority skills are supervision for planting and construction works, preparing designs, providing staff supervision, costing projects and operating within a budget framework.

Landscape Manager

Landscape managers are likely to have significant responsibilities in managing a wide range of business activities:

  • Managing landscape projects
  • Designing landscape structures and features
  • Preparing estimates, quotes and tenders
  • Meeting and negotiating with clients
  • Managing business operations
  • Managing irrigation systems
  • Preparing reports
  • Providing specialist advice to clients

Landscape managers are promoted to their position when they have shown that they can successfully manage landscape operations as a business. Often they have worked as landscape tradespersons and landscape supervisors and have a good knowledge and experience of landscaping operations.

Priority skills areas are managing projects, designing landscape structures and features, preparing estimates, quotes and tenders and negotiating with clients.

* Source acknowledgement: Primary Skills Victoria »