Career Development

What Does a Landscape Manager Do?

Find out what a Landscape Manager does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Landscape Manager.

The Landscape Manager plays an integral role in ensuring the aesthetic and ecological health of outdoor spaces. This position involves overseeing the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes, ranging from public parks to private gardens. By coordinating teams of landscaping professionals, the Landscape Manager ensures projects are completed efficiently and to the highest standards. Balancing artistic vision with practical considerations, such as budget and environmental sustainability, this role requires a deep understanding of horticulture, as well as strong project management skills. The ultimate aim is to create and maintain spaces that are not only visually appealing but also conducive to the well-being of the community and local wildlife.

Landscape Manager Job Duties

  • Oversee the design and implementation of landscaping projects, ensuring they meet client specifications and budget requirements.
  • Manage the maintenance of landscapes, including scheduling regular lawn care, pruning, fertilizing, and irrigation system upkeep.
  • Coordinate the procurement of plants, materials, and equipment necessary for landscaping projects and maintenance activities.
  • Lead, train, and supervise landscaping teams, ensuring they adhere to safety standards and deliver high-quality work.
  • Develop and implement pest and disease management strategies to maintain healthy and vibrant landscapes.
  • Conduct site assessments to determine landscaping needs and potential challenges, such as soil quality and drainage issues.
  • Manage budgeting and financial planning for landscaping projects, including cost estimation, billing, and expense tracking.
  • Advocate for environmentally sustainable practices in landscaping, including the use of native plants, water conservation techniques, and organic fertilizers.

Landscape Manager Salary & Outlook

Factors affecting a Landscape Manager’s salary include years of experience, size and prestige of the employing company, scope of managed projects (residential vs. commercial, public vs. private), and specialized skills in sustainable practices or advanced landscape design. Leadership abilities and a track record of successful project management also significantly influence earnings.

  • Median Annual Salary: $59,325 ($28.52/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $86,500 ($41.59/hour)

The employment of landscape managers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing urbanization requiring sustainable green spaces, heightened awareness of environmental impacts, and the desire for aesthetically pleasing outdoor areas in residential, commercial, and public sectors, necessitating skilled Landscape Managers to design, implement, and maintain these spaces efficiently.

Landscape Manager Job Requirements

Education: A Landscape Manager typically holds a Bachelor’s Degree in fields such as Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, or Environmental Science, with coursework in plant science, design, and management. Those with High School Diplomas often supplement their education with relevant college courses. An Associate’s Degree or Post-Secondary Certificate in landscape technology or a related field can also be pathways into this career, emphasizing practical skills in plant care, design principles, and project management. Advanced education often correlates with higher responsibilities and roles within the industry.

Experience: Landscape Managers typically emerge from a blend of on-the-job training and formal training programs, honing skills in project management, design, and horticulture. Experience in supervising teams, managing budgets, and client relations is crucial. They often gain expertise through progressive responsibilities in landscaping projects, including maintenance, installation, and design. Continuous learning through workshops and industry seminars helps them stay updated on sustainable practices, safety protocols, and technological advancements in landscaping tools and equipment.

Certifications & Licenses: Landscape Manager positions may require or benefit from certifications such as Certified Landscape Professional (CLP) or Landscape Industry Certified Manager. Some roles might need a pesticide application license or a local landscaping license, depending on regional regulations. No certifications or licenses are universally required across all locations or employers.

Landscape Manager Skills

Irrigation Management: Designing and maintaining efficient watering systems is crucial for the health of landscapes, conservation of water, and reduction of costs. Landscape Managers must find the right balance between the needs of plants, prevailing climate conditions, and the latest technological advancements to fine-tune irrigation schedules and equipment for optimal performance.

Horticulture Knowledge: A deep understanding of plant species, their growth patterns, and environmental needs allows Landscape Managers to create and sustain outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and sustainable. Their expertise in selecting the right plants for various locations, soil types, and climates ensures gardens and landscapes flourish, achieving aesthetic and ecological objectives.

Landscape Design: The creation of functional and visually appealing outdoor areas relies on a comprehensive knowledge of plant species, hardscape materials, and the surrounding environment. By applying this knowledge, Landscape Managers develop designs that fulfill client expectations while promoting sustainability and environmental harmony.

Pest Control: Managing unwanted flora and fauna effectively requires knowledge of local ecosystems and the implementation of sustainable integrated pest management strategies. Landscape Managers use a combination of chemical, biological, and mechanical methods to keep environments healthy and visually appealing, while preserving the ecological balance.

Soil Management: Understanding soil composition and its adjustment to support various plant types is critical for their health and growth. By managing pH levels, nutrients, and moisture content, Landscape Managers ensure the soil is in the best condition for landscapes to prosper.

Project Budgeting: Keeping landscape projects within budgetary limits ensures resources are allocated efficiently, without sacrificing the quality or scope of the project. This skill involves meticulous attention to detail, accurate expense forecasting, effective negotiation with suppliers, and the flexibility to adjust plans to maintain financial control.

Landscape Manager Work Environment

A Landscape Manager operates primarily outdoors, navigating through varying weather conditions and terrains. Their workspace extends beyond traditional offices to gardens, parks, and commercial properties, requiring a dynamic approach to daily tasks. The use of specialized tools and equipment is fundamental, from handheld devices for detailed work to larger machinery for extensive landscaping projects.

Work hours may vary, often aligning with seasonal demands and project deadlines, necessitating a degree of flexibility. The dress code is practical, focusing on safety and comfort, incorporating protective gear when necessary.

The role fosters a collaborative culture, with frequent interactions among team members and clients, emphasizing clear communication and teamwork. Health and safety are paramount, given the physical nature of the job and the use of machinery.

Opportunities for professional development are available, encouraging the acquisition of new skills and knowledge in landscape design, horticulture, and environmental sustainability. Technology plays a supportive role, enhancing project planning, client communication, and design work.

Advancement Prospects

Landscape Managers can ascend to senior management roles within large landscaping firms or public sector organizations, overseeing multiple projects and teams. Advancement often involves transitioning from hands-on project work to strategic planning and client relations, requiring a deep understanding of landscape design, project management, and budgeting.

To achieve these senior positions, Landscape Managers should focus on building a portfolio of successful projects, demonstrating their ability to manage complex landscapes and lead diverse teams. Specializing in sustainable landscaping practices or restoration projects can also distinguish a candidate in this field.

Entrepreneurship offers another path, with experienced Landscape Managers starting their own firms. This requires not only landscaping expertise but also business acumen, including marketing and financial management skills. Success in this avenue is marked by the ability to secure and deliver on significant contracts, thereby establishing a reputation for quality and reliability in the industry.


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