The great outdoors, a hearty dose of manual labor and neat, pretty greenery. If those sound like the ingredients for a satisfying workday, why not consider going into landscaping?
The good news: Breaking into landscaping requires little in the way of educational prerequisites or experience. If you’re entirely new to the business, working with an established landscaper, gardener or greenhouse owner will probably be enough to acquire the basic skills of the trade. (Google can go a long way toward finding businesses to which you’re interested in applying.)
If you get a job at a landscaping business, you’ll most likely be working at a school, public park, business or private residence. You’ll learn how to plant, seed, trim and mow effectively — and, if you’re diligent, you should soon have a solid understanding of how greenery fits into different kinds of spaces.
The biggest downside of landscaping is the low pay; the median hourly wage for a landscaper was a mere $11.13 as of 2008. If you live in less temperate parts of the country, the seasonal aspect of the job can also be a stumbling block.
One way to sidestep these problems is to parlay the skills you’ve learned into eventually opening your own business. Or you might consider taking classes in landscape architecture. Design work, while it requires a mastery of many different skills, is more lucrative than average landscaping work.