We all look for the same things in a new job. But what do you look for in a career? If you’ve never considered landscaping before, or are looking to make moves within the market, make this your time to start a new green industry career.
Employers are hiring and new contracts are in no short supply. The work is there for everyone — but not every company has the workers they need.
Now more than ever, landscaping companies are ready to grow. Here are five ways you can grow your green industry career with them.
It’s a tight labor market. That means job security.
Landscaping is not a part of the gig economy. Except for a few large brands, landscaping companies tend to be local small businesses with branch offices covering a region. We need people willing to work full time (and then some) to help us reach our goals.
Growing these small to medium businesses takes a reliable workforce. Training and retention are big considerations for smaller companies, and getting the best people to stay onboard often separates successful companies from those that struggle to get by.
The overall labor market in the United States is as tight as it’s ever been in 2019. In the landscaping industry, that goes double.
Walking into an entry-level job is easy when the labor market is this tight. Growing your career can be just as attainable, especially if you’re looking to grow and advance with the same company for the long haul.
Small companies offer room to carve out your niche
Small businesses have a lot of needs, and people at the top have to wear a lot of hats. Special skills can clear your path forward into new roles and promotions.
Maybe your background doesn’t include landscaping experience at all. While you’ll certainly learn the industry on the job, having a specialized skill set can be to your benefit.
Like every other industry, we need bookkeeping, sales and marketing, human resources management — you name it. A small- to medium-sized landscaping company might not have the budget to hire these positions in a dedicated fashion. However, special experience in these disciplines can help you move up in the company much more quickly.
It’s easy to think of landscaping as hands-on, outdoors work. For those who love those parts of the job, the work will be just that. But special business skills can be just as valuable as plant identification or hardscaping experience.
There is no end to what you can learn
What’s the best time to fertilize my herbaceous perennials?
Can I prune my overgrown oak tree this summer, or will I harm it by cutting branches during the growing season?
How many species of hydrangea are there???
Work with clients for more than a day, and you’re likely to answer questions you might have never considered before. Landscaping is as much art as science, and as a green industry professional, your clients will test your knowledge of the craft and the business constantly.
A horticulture degree might prepare you for hands-on plant care. Experience running a small business can get you ready to handle payroll, sales and client relations. However, there is no replacement for joining a team and doing the work yourself, and there is no end to how much you can learn in this industry.
Training and Education are available everywhere
Few people in any landscaping company walk in to a job with a four-year horticulture or landscape design degree. While it’s a good start, most solid companies will have positions that offer (but don’t require) further education.
If you want to climb up the ranks quickly, though, look for a company that offers chances to further your landscaping education.
Industry certifications are a common way to specialize your skill set. Pesticide application certifications, turf care and fertilization certifications and other training are great all-around industry skills that will transfer between companies and roles. You can find these though university extension programs, professional seminars and industry trade shows and in online courses, too.
(Pittsburgh note – Penn State Extension and Phipps Conservatory are excellent sources of continuing training and accreditation for nearly every landscaping and horticultural discipline.)
Your work will come to life before your eyes
Whether it’s perfect stripes on a lush lawn or the last course in a new retaining wall, your work in the green industry comes to life in front of you.
The work is hard, but there’s no wondering what comes of your labor. Your work will go as far as you take it, and opportunities to indulge your creativity are everywhere.
Is a green industry career in your future?
Look no further. Sylvan Gardens is always adding qualified new team members to our maintenance and design & installation divisions. If you’ve got other experience that you think may apply to a small business atmosphere, we want to hear from you, too.
Hit the button below to check out our Career Center, where you can browse available openings, learn about our company culture and submit your resume today.
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