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Landscaping

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October 14, 2007

Landscaping provides an array of interesting and rewarding jobs and careers. Arborists, golf course superintendents, greenhouse managers and sales personnel, landscape contractors and workers, lawn technicians, and horticulturists all play roles in our "green industries."

Through the vagaries of the housing market the landscaping business remains resilient. When people can't buy new homes, they improve their old ones; institutions always need maintenance for their landscapes.

Both experienced professionals and new graduates from the Landscape Contracting Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Stockbridge School of Agriculture are finding good jobs and salaries, according to the program's director Michael Davidsohn.

Visit umass.edu/stockbridge, landcarenetwork.org.

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

Average salary: $34,750, contractors; $53,800-plus for owners. Pay varies by region and size of company.

Demand: Good. Qualified job seekers are finding good work as homeowners upgrade properties; business, university, and institutional expansions and maintenance keep the market busy.

Qualifications: Two- or four-year degree in related field, plus experience and keeping current with business, horticulture, landscaping, and turf-care courses.

NURSERY/GREENHOUSE MANAGERS

Average salary: $43,290

Demand: Good. The job market correlates to that of landscaping, as nurseries and greenhouses supply contractors' demands for plants and materials for residential and commercial work.

Qualifications: Associate's or bachelor's degree plus experience; must keep current in technology and materials.

LANDSCAPING & GROUNDSKEEPING LABORERS

Average salary: $29,750

Demand: Good. The market remains good for maintenance and expansion projects; high turnover adds to demand.

Qualifications: On-the-job training; no educational requirements for entry level.

TURF MANAGEMENT

Average salary: $87,880, golf course superintendent; $91,400, with certification; assistant superintendent, $46,500. Superintendent salary range, 18-hole course: $72,000 to $130,000-plus, depending on size and prestige of course.

Demand: Fairly good. Despite limited new course construction, golf continues to grow in popularity; parks and athletic fields offer other career opportunities.

Qualifications: Associate's or bachelor's degree, experience, and current training in grasses, soils, and pest management.

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