LAWN CARE SPECIALIST
Lawns can often make up a significant portion of a residential, commercial, or public outdoor space. While it may appear that lawns are easy to manage, there is quite a bit of science and maintenance that is required to properly care for a lawn. Lawn care specialists are landscaping professionals that are experts in all things related to lawn care. They are responsible for seeding lawns, applying fertilizers, controlling pests and weeds, and ensuring clients are equipped with the knowledge to adequately care for their lawns. Lawn care specialists are problem solvers who assess the needs of lawns and make plans to care for and maintain them.
LAWN CARE TECHNICIAN, LAWN TECHNICIAN, LAWN CARE PROFESSIONAL
Lawn care specialists play an important role in landscaping, horticulture, and grounds maintenance. In general, they:
- Visit clients to assess the health of lawns
- Inspect lawns for weeds, insect, and diseases
- Identify unhealthy lawns; analyze, diagnose, and specify treatments
- Apply fertilizers, pesticides, and other lawn care products
- Aerate, dethatch, slit-seed, and roll lawns
Lawn care specialists are in demand across many industries. Lawn care specialists can be employed by:
Lawn care specialists can advance in their field by obtaining further education and on-the-job training while staying up to date on the latest best practices in lawn care maintenance. With enough experience, lawn care specialists may advance to management positions at landscaping and grounds maintenance companies. Some may also start their own companies or work as consultants.
Future employment prospects for lawn care specialists in Ontario are positive. In 2020, there were over 500 job postings for lawn care specialists and other landscape technicians across Ontario.
In Ontario, the median annual wage for a Lawn Care Specialist is 39,520. Pending experience, responsibilities, location, hours of work, and qualifications a Lawn Care Specialist can expect to make between $32,240 and $57,283.
HOW DO I BECOME A LAWN CARE SPECIALIST IN ONTARIO?
Similar to other occupations in landscaping and horticulture, there is no singular path to becoming a lawn care specialist. In Ontario, some people will begin as landscape or grounds maintenance labourers and later acquire additional training and experiences to specialize in lawn care. There are courses and certificates available for lawn care specialists to ensure they are trained on the proper application of pesticides and other materials. Many lawn care employers look to hire new people who are interested in horticulture and grounds maintenance, regardless of their experience, so long as they are hard working, eager to learn, and have an interest in lawn care. However, it is considered an asset to have education or experience in horticulture.
Many Ontario colleges and universities offer horticulture programs, which will give you a solid foundation in horticulture knowledge and expertise that is an asset many employers look for. There are also several industry associations that provide certification in pesticide application, which is essential for many lawn care specialists.
Examples of in-school training can include, but is not limited to:
- Plant science, botany and plant identification
- Plant material and plant-handling techniques
- Plant propagation techniques and plant production
- Turf grass management
- Landscape construction
- Pest management
- Landscape equipment maintenance
- Irrigation (components, pipe layout and spray rates)
- Site layout, and grading and drainage
- Workplace communication and applied trade mathematics
- Applied safety procedures and first aid
HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED LAWN CARE SPECIALIST?
Individuals looking to obtain certification for lawn care can do so through industry associations. For example, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association offers a national Lawn Care Technician program.