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Landscaping Occupations

It's always fun to have a job that gets you out into the sunshine rather than stuck behind a desk in a cubicle all day.

Certainly there can be days with rain, excessively hot or cold temperatures, and it can wear on you sometimes, but being a landscaper is one of the best trades that there is. Not only are you making someone's yard look great, but in many states no specific licensing or training is required to obtain a business license to do this job. If you like to work with your hands, are creative, and don't mind a challenge every now and again, being a landscaper is right for you.

Why Choose To Become a Landscaper
Landscaping is the perfection position for people who don't want to go through a long apprenticeship program in order to earn a good wage. Though some formal college education can be helpful for advanced landscaping concepts, what matters most is an understanding of what each job needs and being able to complete it with confidence.

You can be hired directly to be a landscaper at any age. Many landscapers get their start doing the every day menial tasks that keep a landscaping business open. That might include:

• pulling weeds,
• loading and hauling wheelbarrows full of mulch, bark, or stone,
• picking up cigarette butts and other litter, or
• taking lawn debris for disposal.

Let's be very clear being a landscaper might seem like something glamorous, but it's difficult to find glamor when you're being poked by 800 pounds of pine needles in places you'd never thought you'd be poked. Being a landscaper means earning a fair wage for a hard day's work.

Having Some Construction Knowledge Is Helpful

Though you may not really need any "official" experience to become a landscaper, it helps to have some skill development within the field of construction. Though landscapers will do easier jobs like mowing lawns, planting bushes and trees, or picking up trash for certain customers, the real money comes when you can completely remodel a yard.

• You'll need to know how to build retaining walls from materials like stone or concrete blocks.
• You'll need to understand water flow and erosion principles.
• You'll need to understand what plants grow well in what soil, in what climate area, and in what kind of light.
• You'll even need to know what to put on someone's lawn to help turn it a spectacular form of green!

Every community can benefit from the skills that a landscaper has. A well designed and implemented landscaping plan can add tremendous value to a home, make a business look to be more inviting, and can even help people relax because you've created an environment that is aesthetically pleasing.

Landscaping Reflects Your Personality
One of my favorite landscaping jobs I ever did was converting a 60 foot by 60 foot backyard into a flagstone patio. The job itself took about four weeks. We had to first remove all the sod. Then we had to prep the ground so that the patio would have a firm foundation.

As you work with flagstone, you quickly realize that building a patio is much like constructing a very large jigsaw puzzle. In the middle of the job, we realized that after a heavy storm, all the water would puddle in one spot on the new patio we were building, so we added a drain underneath the area too.

The end result? Absolutely spectacular. Together we put in over 1,000 combined hours on the patio. We had cuts, bruises, scrapes, and one guy broke a toe because he dropped a 300 pound stone on his foot. Not only did that job bring a group of employees together and turn them into a group of friends, but that patio is also reflection of all our hard work. That's really why it's awesome when you're a landscaper. Sure the work is hard, but you can also easily become lifelong friends with your work crew.

What Can You Do To Become a Landscaper?
Besides learning and enhancing your construction skills, the other primary thing that you can start doing right away is to learn how to take care of the plants, shrubs, and trees that you'll be utilizing in your job.

If you want to create the blueprints of landscapes, you may need to take a landscape architecture course based on your community's unique requirements. Remember that landscaping isn't all about glitz and glamor pruning trees and bushes all day pays the bills just as building a huge retaining wall does.

Most importantly and above all else, don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask the guy who sells fertilizer what would work best in your current situation. Talk to the lawn guy about what seeds you should use to patch up a yard. Talk to a farmer or a greenhouse owner about how they grow their plants and what the best way is to take care of them as they mature.

Knowledge is what will ultimately help you succeed in becoming a landscaper. You may not need a formal education to have one, but if you ask the right questions, you'll get a proper education anyway.

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