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Landscape architect/designer: Planning verdant spaces is the job of the landscape architect (aka landscape designer). Landscape architects often work side by side with building architects, surveyors and engineers to design and plan projects like new subdivisions, public parks, college campuses, shopping centers, golf courses and industrial parks, and then produce detailed drawings to pull the projects together. They may specialize in a certain type of project, such as waterfront development, site construction, or environmental remediation (e.g., preserving wetlands). Landscape architects also play an important role in historic landscape preservation and restoration. This is the most technically oriented of the landscape businesses mentioned here, and a bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape architecture is usually required to enter the field.
Landscaper: In the most general sense, this is the type of person who installs and maintains plants, flowers, trees, sod, and other natural materials like rocks and mulch. Lawn care often is part of the landscape maintenance professional’s menu of services, plus he or she may also offer basic design services (a good eye and an equally good design software package make it possible). Finally, landscapers may offer add-on services, such as sprinkler installation or hardscape construction, to stay busy. We’ll discuss the numerous ways you can pump up your business a little later. Most states require landscapers to be licensed. Check with your state’s department of licensing, labor or contracting board to find out the requirements.
- Homeowners who don’t have the vision, skill or tools to design their own landscaping
- New homeowners who wish to update the existing landscaping
- Homeowners who plan to put their home on the market and want to improve its curb appeal with fresh or updated landscaping
- Builders of both residential and commercial properties who don’t already have their own landscaper on staff
- Homeowners who are frequently out of town on business
- Retirees who don’t care to do their own maintenance any longer
- “Snowbirds” with winter homes in warmer climates
- Golf course managers who may need help with maintenance
- Rental property or condominium association managers who are personnel-impaired
- Facilities managers for botanical gardens, historic buildings, municipalities and other government entities, universities, cemeteries and other public places with green spaces
Types of Green Industry Service Businesses
There are numerous ways to get into the lawn and landscaping industry. The basic types of lawn and landscaping businesses include:
- Lawn mowing/maintenance
- Sod installation/hydroseeding
- Weeding or fertilizer and/or pest control application
- Landscape care/maintenance services
- Landscape design/contracting services
- Landscape architecture services