Landscaper Kaihoahoa Whakapaipai Whenua

Landscapers design, develop, maintain and remodel gardens and landscapes.

Landscapers may do some or all of the following:

  • discuss and develop designs with clients
  • read and interpret plans and discuss design concepts with landscape architects
  • do basic planning and design work, and planting plans
  • calculate construction costs such as labour and materials
  • select seeds, bulbs and plants and plant these
  • construct decking, fencing, walls and courtyards, and lay down paving
  • install garden lighting, irrigation and ornaments.

Physical Requirements

Landscapers need to have a good level of fitness and must be strong, as their work involves bending, kneeling for long periods and heavy lifting.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for landscapers includes:

  • any building and construction work
  • any work in the horticulture industry
  • labouring work.

Personal Qualities

Landscapers need to be:

  • reliable and hard working
  • able to work independently or as part of a team.

Skills

Landscapers need to have knowledge of:

  • different plants and their required growing conditions
  • how to interpret and follow plans and drawings
  • construction methods and materials
  • design regulations, permits and plans
  • tiling and bricklaying.

Business skills are useful for landscapers who run their own business.

Conditions

Landscapers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but often work weekends
  • spend most of their time in gardens and construction sites
  • work in most weather conditions and in conditions that can be muddy
  • may have to travel locally or further away for jobs.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of three years' of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include English, maths, horticulture, biology and processing technologies.

Year 11 and 12 students can work towards a New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture through the National Trade Academy while still working towards NCEA. This usually includes off-site learning and some on-the-job training.

Related Courses

Landscapers can earn around $21-$23 per hour.

Pay for landscapers varies depending on experience, qualifications and where in New Zealand they work – in Auckland they can earn up to $4 an hour more.

  • Landscapers with no qualifications or in training can expect to earn between minimum wage and $23 an hour. 
  • With four years experience or more, landscapers usually earn between $24 and $28 an hour.
  • Experienced landscapers with extra responsibilities, in managerial positions or who run their own business can earn between $28 and $40 an hour.

Many landscapers are self-employed and how much they earn can depend on the success of their business.

Source: Registered Master Landscapers New Zealand, 2018. 

Landscapers may progress to a team leader or managerial role, or set up their own landscaping company. 

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a landscaper. However, horticultural or gardening experience is useful. A driver's licence is also preferred by most employers.

Many employers prefer to hire someone with relevant training. Landscape design courses are available through a number of polytechnics and you can train on the job and complete an apprenticeship in landscaping through the Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO).

Landscaper