Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services (NOC 8255)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Contractors and supervisors of landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services co-ordinate and oversee the landscape and maintenance work for lawns, gardens, sports fields, golf courses, cemeteries, parks and indoor plantings.

This group includes landscaping and grounds maintenance contractors who own and operate their own businesses. It also includes supervisors who oversee nursery and greenhouse workers or landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers.

Common job titles
  • contractor, landscape design
  • contractor, tree removal / tree service
  • crew chief, greenhouse / nursery workers
  • foreperson, groundskeeping
  • groundskeeper / groundskeeping supervisor
  • supervisor, park maintenance

Duties

Contractors and supervisors of landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services:

  • Hire, train and supervise workers 
  • Co-ordinate the planting and upkeep of trees, gardens, lawns, shrubs and hedges
  • Organize the construction and maintenance of fences, decks, patios, walkways and retaining walls
  • Bid on contracts for landscaping and grounds maintenance work
  • Organize the materials and labour needed for jobs
  • Set work schedules and procedures
  • Co-ordinate activities with other groups working on job sites
  • Solve work-related problems
  • Write reports
  • Keep financial and staffing records
  • May provide snow removal services
  • May carry out some of the same hands-on duties as the workers they supervise

Work environment

People in this career work for landscaping, lawn care and tree service companies, cemeteries, golf courses, nurseries, greenhouses and the landscaping operations of public works departments and private businesses. Contractors own and operate their own businesses, and contract out their services to these organizations.

Supervisors and contractors may keep similar hours to their workers–often sunrise to sunset. During peak seasons, more work is available and longer hours are put in.

Most projects take place outside, where workers are exposed to the weather. Organizing, scheduling and other administrative duties usually take place indoors.

The work involved with hands-on tasks is physical, often dirty and sometimes noisy. It can involve power equipment and toxic chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides. It includes bending, lifting heavy objects, kneeling for long periods, and repetitive tasks like weeding and digging.

Insights from industry

Technology plays an important role in this work, especially for scheduling and communication.

As public interest in gardening and the environment has increased, the demand for supervisors and contractors has grown.

Workers in this industry often enjoy a great deal of job satisfaction.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Contractors and supervisors of landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services usually begin their careers as landscape or horticulture technicians or in other related hands-on roles.

With additional training and certification, they can advance or specialize in a particular area. In large companies, supervisors may move into more senior positions. More often, they go on to start their own business.

Additional resources