Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists (NOC 2225)

About this job

Landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists survey and assess landscapes; draw sketches and build models of landscape designs; construct and maintain gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments; advise clients on issues related to horticulture; breed, cultivate and study plants and treat injured and diseased trees and plants.

See what a day in the life of this job is like—watch WorkBC’s Career Trek video about this occupation.

Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

People in this occupation:

  • are employed by landscape designers and contractors, lawn service and tree care establishments, golf courses, nurseries and greenhouses and municipal, provincial and national parks, and may also be self-employed
  • must have a comprehensive knowledge of the qualities and care needs for ornamental and food plants, trees and shrubs
  • must be physically fit and able to bend and lift heavy objects
  • should have an artistic sense and have the ability to visualise completed landscaped environments
Common job titles
  • arborist / arboriculturist
  • floriculturist
  • greenskeeper / greens superintendent
  • specialist, lawn care / turfgrass mgmt
  • superintendent, golf course / greens
  • technician, hydroponics
  • arborist / arboriculturist
  • floriculturist
  • greenskeeper / greens superintendent
  • horticulturist
  • interior plantscape specialist
  • landscape gardener / designer / technician

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$50,054

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report

Duties

Arborists and tree service technicians

Arborists and tree service technicians examine trees and shrubs to diagnose problems and disease, and apply various treatments such as pruning, spraying, repairing damaged areas and injecting with treatment solutions.

Golf course superintendents

Golf course superintendents direct crews who maintain the health and appearance of golf courses and their surrounding landscapes, plant and move trees, and apply fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides.

Horticulturists

Horticulturists plan and co-ordinate the growth and use of plants for landscaping, ornamental uses and other purposes.

Landscape designers

Landscape designers and landscape architectural technicians and technologists survey and assess sites, prepare drawings, sketches and reports and perform other duties to assist landscape architects in designing landscaped environments.

Landscape gardeners

Landscape gardeners plant and maintain private and public lawns and gardens.

Landscapers

Landscapers plan and construct landscaped environments which may include trees, shrubberies, lawns, fences, decks, patios and other landscape structures.

Lawn care specialists

Lawn care specialists visit clients, assess the health of lawns, and apply fertilizer, pesticides and other lawn care products.

Work environment

Landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists generally have standard hours, however, extended work hours are common during peak seasons and there may be periods of seasonal unemployment. They typically work outside where they may be exposed to extreme weather conditions, though for landscape designers, some work is done indoors.

The work is often dirty and can involve the use of dangerous equipment, such as chain saws and chippers, and toxic chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides. Arborists are required to work at heights from ladders, from boom trucks or by climbing trees. Workers follow safety precautions to limit risk of injury.

Job requirements

Education, training & 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.

As of July 1, 2017 when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) came into force, you will not need significant additional training, experience, testing or assessment if your qualifications or certificates are recognized by a Canadian regulatory authority. This applies whether you were trained in Canada or internationally. Learn about labour mobility at www.workersmobility.ca. For information about labour mobility and foreign qualifications recognition, contact the B.C. regulator for your occupation.

Skills

  • Motor Coordination
  • Methodical
  • Object-Oriented
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Directive
  • Clerical Ability
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Agriculture Related
  • Horticulture/Floral Related

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Trades training resources

Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
Cariboo
Employment in 2016:
20
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
110
Average annual employment growth:
1.3%
Expected number of job openings:
50
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
1,690
Average annual employment growth:
0.9%
Expected number of job openings:
660
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
480
Average annual employment growth:
0.8%
Expected number of job openings:
170
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
790
Average annual employment growth:
0.7%
Expected number of job openings:
300

N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Insights from industry

As employment in this occupation tends to be seasonal, workers will experience months of strong employment growth.

Opporutnities will result from the need to replace workers who retire. There will also be openings that arise from turnover as workers leave the occupation due to the physical nature of the work and/or the relatively lower earnings.

The demand for landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists is connected to construction activity, population growth, and the overall health of the provincial economy. Growth in housing construction and renovation, parks development, and gardening and golfing activity have increased the demand for workers in this occupation, especially those involved in landscape design, landscaping and garden maintenance and greenskeeping services.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With experience, landscape and horticultural technologists and technicians can advance to supervisory positions or start their own business.

Additional resources