2023 Best Online Certificate in Landscaping Programs

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Explore the best certificate in landscaping online programs for 2023. Develop essential skills in landscape design, plant care, and business management.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in landscaping or even running a landscaping business, you might consider earning an undergraduate certificate in landscaping.

Best Online Certificate in Landscaping Programs

Whether you have experience in landscaping or are new to the field, a certificate program can help you develop skills that are beneficial to landscape professionals in various careers and industries.

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The knowledge and skills gained from a landscaping certificate can be used in a range of landscaping projects, from small-scale residential landscaping to large-scale commercial properties.

Online Certificate in Landscaping Programs

Woman taking Online Certificate in Landscaping

Online landscaping certificate programs are beneficial for individuals looking to expand their skills and knowledge in the field. You can learn about all aspects of landscaping design, construction, and maintenance.

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Many programs can be completed in less than 1 year, allowing students and professionals to earn their credentials and put their skills to use fairly quickly. Some of the topics and skills for landscaping that are typically covered in landscape certificate programs include:

  • Landscape design and installation
  • Irrigation systems
  • Landscape plants and plant care
  • Horticultural best practices
  • Business, marketing, and finance skills
  • Relevant computer software and programs
  • Communication skills
  • Physical and chemical properties of soil

While coursework will vary by program, some of your courses will likely cover pruning techniques, ornamental plant care, soil fundamentals, and water management drainage.

Since many graduates open and run their own landscaping businesses, most programs also include courses on fundamental business skills. Other careers that graduates tend to pursue include landscape technician, manager, and supervisor.

Graduates may also work for nurseries or landscaping companies. They might advise customers, maintain landscapes, and construct irrigation systems. Successful landscaping requires many individual components to work well together, from soil drainage to plant choices and pest control.

Earning a landscape certificate could help set you apart from competitors by demonstrating your competency in the field.

Landscaping Careers & Salaries

Landscaping Certificate Careers & Salaries

The knowledge gained from a landscaping certificate can be beneficial for a variety of roles in the field. While many graduates go on to operate landscaping businesses, others advance their careers by moving into project management or grounds supervisory positions.

Graduates interested in working specifically with trees can also find jobs as tree cutters, which requires precise and careful skills. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, listed below are some careers associated with or related to the field of landscaping.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers $48,800
Tree Trimmers and Pruners $46,960
Agricultural Technicians $40,430
Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation $38,270
Pest Control Workers $37,540
Construction Laborers and Helpers $37,520
Grounds Maintenance Workers, All Other $36,540
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers $34,420
Forest and Conservation Workers $30,550
Agricultural Workers $29,680

Some professionals use their skills to work on recreational and commercial properties, including golf courses, amusement parks, sports fields, schools, and business parks.

Others choose to work on residential properties, including designing, constructing, and providing seasonal maintenance. Employment can also be found in retail spaces, including nurseries, lawn and garden supply stores, and farm supply stores.

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Landscape professionals may also find employment opportunities within the government, including in the Department of Public Works.

Landscaping Certificate Online Curriculum & Courses

students taking Landscaping Certificate

Below are some common courses you may take as you earn your landscape certificate:

  • Introduction to Landscape Design: This course introduces you to the landscape design process, including inventory, analysis, design, and development.
  • Caring for Ornamental Plants: Students will learn the best methods for ornamental plant care, including pruning times and techniques, soil testing, and soil compaction.
  • Introduction to Pruning Techniques: This course introduces you to the science of pruning, including how and when to prune for maximum plant and tree care.
  • Water Management and Drainage: Students will examine common drainage problems and solutions, including proper grading techniques and the evaluation of soil conditions.
  • Introduction to Plant Identification: This course provides you with valuable methods for identifying plants, trees, and shrubs through clues found on the plants.
  • Integrated Pest Management: Students will study pest identification and management, focusing on safely handling and using pesticides.
  • Plant Growth and Development: This course focuses on principles of plant growth, including seed germination and environmental factors that affect plant development.
  • Fundamentals of Soils: Students in this course will examine how the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil affect plant growth.
  • Establishing and Running an Agribusiness: This course focuses on the essential business principles to own and operate a successful agribusiness.
  • Fundamental Chemistry: Students in this course study the fundamental principles of chemistry, including acids and bases, principles of measurement, and nomenclature.

The specific coursework and required number of courses can vary from program to program.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Certificate in Landscaping

Admissions requirements will vary by school and program, but here are some common requirements for undergraduate certificate programs:

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Online admissions application and possible application fee
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Personal essay or statement of intent

In addition to the above requirements, some programs may require proof of identification. A growing number of schools no longer require SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admissions, but this requirement can vary by school.

Online Landscape Design Certificate Programs Accreditation

University offering Online Landscape Design Certificate

As you look into programs for landscape certificates, one factor to consider is the school’s accreditation status. Schools that are accredited have been evaluated by an accrediting agency and have been found to meet national educational standards.

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In addition, attending an accredited school can also be an eligibility factor for financial aid opportunities. To learn more about recognized accrediting organizations, and to see if your school is appropriately accredited, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

Landscaping Licensure and Certifications

Man with Landscape Technician Certification

There are a number of industry certifications that landscape professionals can earn to demonstrate their credibility and competency. Some certifications, such as landscape design certification, demonstrate specific skill sets.

Here are some examples:

  • Landscape Technician Certification: This credential demonstrates proficiency and expertise in exterior landscaping, including installation, maintenance, and irrigation.
  • Business Manager Certification: This credential demonstrates proficiency in management strategies, including finance, operations, customer relations, and human resource management.
  • Certified Irrigation Contractor: This credential certifies that contractors or subcontractors can install, maintain, and repair irrigation systems.

Gaining additional certifications may help increase your job opportunities, your earning potential, and your marketability.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Certificate in Landscaping Financial Aid

As you look into landscape certificate programs, you might also explore what financial aid resources are available to help you with the program’s cost.

If you’re currently employed, particularly in a related field, you can see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement or assistance. You can also look into any scholarship opportunities provided through schools or outside organizations.

Financial assistance may also be available through government loans and grants. To learn more about these need-based opportunities, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website.

What Can You Do with a Landscape Certificate?

Landscaping & Groundskeeping Workers working together

A landscaping certificate program can help you develop necessary skills for the technical aspects of landscaping, and it can also cover fundamental skills for running a business. This is especially beneficial for individuals who are interested in opening their own landscaping business.

Many graduates pursue management and supervisory positions in landscaping-related businesses. They might also work as tree trimmers and pruners, pesticide handlers, and landscaping and groundskeeping workers. The knowledge gained throughout this certificate program can also be used in other related careers, including pest control and conservation work.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Landscape Certificate Online?

Woman getting Landscape Certificate Online

The time needed to complete your landscaping certificate will vary based on several factors, including the program curriculum and your schedule.

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Most landscape certificate programs can be completed in less than 1 year, usually in just 1 or 2 semesters. It may take longer if you are taking courses part-time or if your program curriculum offers more coursework. Some programs are self-paced, allowing you to finish your courses sooner or to take longer if needed.

What’s the Difference Between a Landscape Certificate vs. Certification?

Landscaping certificates and landscaping certifications are two distinct accomplishments that landscape professionals can earn.

Landscaping Certificate Landscaping Certification
  • Academic non-degree credential
  • Available to both newcomers in the field and experienced professionals
  • Based on completing academic coursework and requirements
  • No ongoing training required
  • Professional industry credential
  • Requires prior work experience
  • Based on meeting and exceeding industry standards, usually through an exam
  • Demonstrates knowledge and commitment to ongoing training

If you are new to the industry, earning an academic certificate could be the first step toward developing knowledge to qualify for employment. You could then gain the experience required for certification.

Is a Certificate in Landscaping Worth It?

Trimmer with an Online Certificate in Landscaping

Yes, a certificate in landscaping is worth it for many students. Students can gain a wealth of knowledge in a range of areas, from learning essential chemistry to understanding irrigation and business practices.

You can apply your learned skills in a variety of landscaping careers, and some graduates even start their own landscaping business. Landscape professionals with formal training may also advance their careers into management or supervisory positions.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 5% job growth for landscaping and groundskeeping workers over the next ten years, which is as fast as the average growth for all occupations.

Universities Offering Online Certificates in Landscaping Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Clemson University

Clemson University campus

Clemson University offers an online program to become a South Carolina Certified Landscaper. The program is commonly offered in the fall, spring, and summer. The program typically must be completed within 90 days. The program does not meet the needs for pesticide licenses and instead tends to focus on the horticulture aspect.

Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

County College of Morris

County College of Morris campus

The County College of Morris offers certificate programs in Landscape and Horticultural Design with the option to take some classes online. Concentrations include Landscape Design, Grounds Maintenance, Landscape Contractor, and Garden Center. Each program required the completion of 18 to 20 credits and may be finished in just 3 years.

County College of Morris is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

Oregon State University offers an online certificate program in Sustainable Landscaping. Courses include Why Maintain Landscapes and Conservation and Restoration. Up to 2 CEH units from the Oregon Landscape Contractors’ Board may be earned through the program. The program is typically 10 weeks long and is usually taught in an asynchronous format. A final project must also be completed.

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University campus

Pennsylvania State University offers landscape courses through its PennState Extension program. Course topics may include plant identification and usage, pruning trees and shrubs, and pest and disease management. The program is set up for contractors to purchase programs for their employees. Courses may be studied at any time and are often taught in an asynchronous format.

The Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Washington State University

Washington State University campus

Washington State University’s Continuing Education program offers a certificate in Low Impact Development online, face-to-face, and in hybrid formats. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements are commonly taught in the program. Most programs consist of 3 to 5 modules, each of which typically take 1 to 2 hours to complete. CEUs may also be earned.

WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Certificate in Landscaping Online

student getting Certificate in Landscaping Online

An undergraduate certificate program in landscaping can help you developed specialized knowledge and skill sets for helping to design and maintain thriving landscapes.

Some graduates go on to run their own landscaping business, manage a business, become a supervisor, or use their knowledge in related fields. Earning a landscaping certificate can help you enhance your skill set, grow your qualifications, and expand your job opportunities. With experience, you can also pursue industry certifications to further enhance your career and earning potential. Some pursue a bachelors and masters in landscape architecture online or an online masters in architecture to become an architect.

You can start looking into online landscaping certificate programs from accredited schools today to find the program option that’s right for you.

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Kathryn holds a Bachelor's degree in English Education from the University of Delaware, and an ESL certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from Duke University. Kathryn has spent her entire career in education, with a focus on helping students of all ages ensure they have the necessary skills to maximize their educational opportunities.