For those who love plants and like to work in the great outdoors, Landscape Contracting is a career worth serious consideration.



While some individuals end up being landscapers by chance (starting to mow lawns when they lose another job) others made a conscious decision to enter the 'green industry' by completing a two-year or four-year college curriculum.

Most land grant universities offer agriculture curriculums ranging from horticulture, to landscape contracting, to arboriculture. For a complete list of land grant universities in the US see our list below.



  • Arborist - Tree care
  • Forester - Timber production
  • Greenhouse Management - Growing and retailing annuals and perennials
  • Green Industry Sales - Marketing and sales
  • Horticulturalist - Grower or plant care technician
  • Landscape Architect - Design professional level projects
  • Landscape Contractor - Landscape design, installation and maintenance
  • Landscape Designer - Design planting beds and landscapes
  • Lawn Technician - Lawn care industry
  • Nursery Management - Growing and selling trees & shrubs
  • Parks & Recreation - Park management & recreational activities
  • Turfgrass Management - Golf courses, athletic fields, recreational facilities, sod and grass seed industry
  • Writer - Garden writer

Golf Course Management
Turfgrass management is a rewarding career



One of the more difficult aspects of the landscape contracting field is dealing with the seasonal nature of the business. Landscape contractors in the northeastern United States typically have steady work for nine months out of the year, leaving three months in the winter to find other sources of income. Many contractors offer snow removal service, sell cordwood or pursue a secondary career that isn't dependant on good weather.


In many professions, the finished job never changes, and what's done is done. One of the greatest benefits of working with plants is seeing them grow and develop into more than what you started with. Whether it's seeing a tree sapling grow into a magnificent lawn tree, or watching a seeded lawn develop into a lush green stand of turf, there's nothing quite like it.

greenhouse management
Visual rewards of greenhouse management

I would encourage anyone with an interest in trees, turf or any aspect of the green industry to follow his or her interest. Begin by reading a book or taking an evening class in plant care. Then try an evening course at a local community college. From there, you can choose a curriculum in your field of interest at a state university. It's fun to study something you find interesting and really love!


Universities with 'Green' curriculums

Auburn University

University of Alaska

University of Arizona

University of Arkansas

University of California

Colorado State University

University of Connecticut

University of Delaware

University of Florida

University of Georgia

University of Hawaii

University of Idaho

University of Illinois

Purdue University

Iowa State University

Kansas State University

University of Kentucky

Lousiana State University

University of Maine

University of Maryland

University of Massachusetts

Michigan State University

University of Minnesota

Mississippi State University

University of Missouri

Montana State University

University of Nebraska

University of Nevada

University of New Hampshire

Rutgers University

New Mexico State University

Cornell University

North Carolina State

North Dakota State University

Ohio State University

Oklahoma State University

Oregon State University

Pennsylvania State University

University of Rhode Island

Clemson University

South Dakota State University

University of Tennessee

Texas A&M University

Utah State University

University of Vermont

Virginia Polytechnic & State U

Washington State University

West Virginia University

University of Wisconsin

University of Wyoming

University of Guelph, Canada


History Pages

Pittsburgh Polar Bear Club River Jump


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