Education, training and qualifications
Completion of a university or college program in agronomy, arboriculture, horticulture, landscaping, landscape design or landscape technology is usually required. However, some workers may learn through on-the-job training.
Work experience as a landscape and grounds maintenance labourer may be required for employment as a golf course superintendent, landscape gardener or landscaper.
In B.C., the Industry Training Authority (ITA) offers apprenticeship programs leading to trade certification for landscape horticulturists and production horticulturists. An apprenticeship program for arboriculturists is currently under review. These apprenticeships last approximately four years and can be started in secondary school, through entry-level training at colleges and technical institutes, or by direct entry to the workforce. All apprenticeships require workers to find a sponsor employer who is willing to participate in the program. For more information, see the ITA website at: www.itabc.ca.
Professional certification is available for qualified horticultural technicians, landscape professionals and landscape designers through the British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA). Although certification is not required, it will typically increase employment opportunities. To become certified, individuals must complete several years of work experience or a combination of work experience and a recognized post-secondary horticultural program, and must pass a series of written and practical examinations. BCLNA certification is transferable between provinces. For more information, see the BCLNA website at www.bclna.com.
Professional certification is also available for landscape and horticultural technologists and technicians through the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC). Completion of a diploma program and two years of work experience are required for Applied Science Technologist (AScT) designation and completion of a certificate program and two years of work experience are required for Certificate Technician (CTech) designation. For more information, see the ASTTBC website at www.asttbc.com.
Certification for arborists is available through the International Society of Arboriculture, Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNW-ISA). To become certified, arborists must complete three years of industry work experience, or two years plus a college degree in arboriculture, and pass an examination. For more information, see the PNW-ISA site at www.pnwisa.org.
A provincial licence to apply chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides may be required.
Workers already licensed or certified in another province or territory in a provincially regulated occupation will have their credentials recognized in B.C. For more detailed information, contact the provincial regulator. A list of provincial regulators can be found at: www.tilma.ca/pdf/BCRegulatoryAuthorities.pdf.
For program information on public post-secondary education in B.C., please see the Education Planner website at: www.educationplanner.ca.
View skills definitions
- Motor Coordination
- Manual Dexterity
- Clerical Ability