Top 11 Landscaper Certifications
This article provides an overview of the best certifications for landscapers, including what they involve and how to obtain them.
Published 17 min read
Certifications for a landscaper are important in the job market because they prove that the individual has achieved a certain level of knowledge, expertise and experience. Having certifications can help make an individual stand out among other applicants since it shows employers that they have taken the time to invest in their professional development. Additionally, some certifications may be required by employers or state regulations in order to work in certain roles. Certifications also demonstrate that individuals are committed to staying up-to-date with industry standards and best practices, which is essential in any profession.
The article reviews the top certifications for Landscapers and explains how they can help advance a landscaper's career.
What are Landscaper Certifications?
Landscaper Certification is a formal recognition that a landscaper has obtained the necessary training and knowledge to perform landscaping tasks professionally. It can be obtained by taking courses, passing exams, or completing other forms of instruction related to the field of landscaping. By becoming certified, a landscaper can demonstrate their commitment to the profession and their proficiency in specific areas of expertise.
This certification can be especially beneficial for those looking to start or advance their career in landscape design and maintenance. It shows potential employers that they have taken the time and effort to obtain specialized knowledge in an area of expertise, which can help them stand out from other applicants when seeking employment or promotional opportunities. Additionally, being certified can give a landscaper access to resources such as industry-specific conferences and workshops that may not be available otherwise. Finally, having certification may make it easier for landscapers to obtain insurance coverage for their business as insurers may consider certified professionals less risky than those without any form of credentialing.
Pro Tip: If you are looking to become a certified landscaper, make sure to research the requirements for certification in your state. Some states require certain certifications and/or licensing before you can begin working as a professional landscaper. Additionally, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices by attending seminars, workshops, and conferences.
Related: What does a Landscaper do?
Top 11 Landscaper Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Landscapers today.
1. Certified Landscape Professional (CLP)
Certified Landscape Professional (CLP) is a professional certification program offered by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and experience in the landscape industry. The certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as plant identification, soils, turfgrass management, pest control, irrigation systems, landscape design and construction.
To become certified, applicants must first complete a PLANET-approved training program or have at least three years of relevant work experience. Applicants must also pass the CLP exam with a score of 70% or higher. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.
The cost for the CLP certification varies depending on the type of training program taken and whether or not you are a member of PLANET. Generally speaking, it costs between $400 and $600 to become certified.
Once certified, individuals can use the CLP designation on their business cards and other promotional materials to demonstrate their expertise in the field. The certification is valid for five years before renewal is required.
2. Certified Landscape Technician (CLT)
Certified Landscape Technician (CLT) is a certification program offered by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). The CLT credential is designed to recognize the knowledge and experience of individuals working in the landscape industry. To become certified, an individual must pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as plant identification, soil science, pest management, irrigation, and turfgrass maintenance.
The CLT certification process typically takes about 6-8 weeks to complete. To get started, applicants must first register for the exam with PLANET and pay the $250 fee. Once registered, applicants will receive a study guide which outlines all of the topics covered on the exam. Applicants should then spend time studying and preparing for the exam. The actual exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes two hours to complete.
Once applicants have successfully completed the exam, they will be awarded their Certified Landscape Technician credential. This credential is valid for three years and can be renewed by taking continuing education courses or retaking the exam at no additional cost.
In total, obtaining a Certified Landscape Technician credential typically costs around $250-$300 depending on whether or not additional continuing education courses are taken.
3. Certified Landscape Designer (CLD)
A Certified Landscape Designer (CLD) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of competency in landscape design. The CLD designation is awarded by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), an international organization dedicated to advancing the profession of landscape design.
In order to become a CLD, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements. Applicants must have either a degree in landscape architecture or horticulture, or at least four years of experience in the field. They must also pass an exam administered by the APLD.
The certification process typically takes between six and twelve months to complete, depending on the individual’s background and experience. Applicants are required to submit documentation of their education and experience, as well as a portfolio demonstrating their design skills. They must also take and pass the APLD certification exam.
The cost for becoming a CLD varies depending on the applicant’s circumstances, but generally ranges from $500-$1000 USD, including application fees, exam fees, and any other associated costs.
4. Certified Irrigation Contractor (CIC)
A Certified Irrigation Contractor (CIC) is a professional designation that shows an individual has met the qualifications to install and maintain irrigation systems. The CIC designation is awarded by the Irrigation Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation practices.
To become a CIC, applicants must have at least three years of experience in the irrigation industry and pass an exam administered by the Irrigation Association. The exam covers topics such as water management, design principles, system components, installation techniques, and maintenance procedures.
The application process typically takes several weeks to complete. Applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their experience in the irrigation industry and payment of a fee. Once approved, applicants can take the exam at one of the Irrigation Association's testing centers or online.
The cost for becoming a Certified Irrigation Contractor varies depending on whether you are taking the exam online or in person. The cost for taking the exam online is $250 while taking it in person costs $350. In addition to this fee, applicants must also pay an annual renewal fee of $50 to maintain their certification status.
5. Certified Turfgrass Professional (CTP)
Certified Turfgrass Professional (CTP) is a certification program offered by the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and proficiency in turfgrass management. The CTP designation requires the completion of an extensive course curriculum and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.
The CTP program consists of two parts: an online course and an in-person exam. The online course covers topics such as turfgrass science, turfgrass maintenance, pest control, soil fertility, irrigation, and other related topics. The in-person exam consists of multiple choice questions that must be completed within two hours.
To become a Certified Turfgrass Professional, applicants must first complete the online course and then register for the in-person exam. Applicants are encouraged to study for the exam prior to taking it. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CTP certification from PLCAA.
The cost for the CTP program is $299 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. This fee covers both the online course and in-person exam.
6. Certified Arborist (CA)
A Certified Arborist (CA) is a professional who has achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing an examination developed by some of the nation's leading experts on tree care. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) administers the certification program and awards the CA credential.
In order to become a CA, you must have at least three years of full-time practical work experience in arboriculture or a related field, as well as complete an approved educational program. Once these requirements are met, you can apply for the exam which consists of two parts: a written portion and a practical portion. The written portion covers topics such as tree biology, diagnosis, pruning, cabling, fertilization, pest management, safety practices and urban forestry. The practical portion requires candidates to demonstrate their skills in diagnosing problems with trees and prescribing appropriate treatments.
The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you live; however it typically ranges from $100-$200 USD. After passing both portions of the exam, you will receive your official CA certification from ISA.
7. Certified Horticultural Technician (CHT)
A Certified Horticultural Technician (CHT) is a professional designation that recognizes an individual’s knowledge and experience in the field of horticulture. This certification is awarded by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), which is a scientific society dedicated to advancing the science and practice of horticulture.
In order to become a CHT, individuals must have at least three years of verifiable work experience in horticulture, as well as complete an approved training program. The training program consists of courses such as plant identification, landscape design, soil science, pest management and more. After completing the training program, individuals must pass an examination administered by ASHS to receive their CHT certification.
The cost for becoming a CHT varies depending on the type of training program chosen. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000-$2,000 USD. It typically takes around two years to complete all requirements necessary for certification.
8. Certified Pesticide Applicator (CPA)
A Certified Pesticide Applicator (CPA) is an individual who has completed a state-approved training program and passed the required exams to be licensed to apply pesticides. The purpose of this certification is to ensure that only qualified individuals are applying pesticides in a safe and effective manner.
It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the necessary training and obtain CPA certification. To get certified, applicants must first register with their state’s pesticide regulatory agency, then take an approved training course, pass the written exam, and complete any additional requirements set by their state.
The cost of obtaining CPA certification varies by state but generally ranges from $50-$200. This fee usually covers the cost of the application process, the training materials, and any additional fees associated with taking the exam or completing other requirements.
9. Certified Plant Health Care Specialist (CPHCS)
Certified Plant Health Care Specialist (CPHCS) is a certification program offered by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). The program is designed to provide professional arborists and horticulturists with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive plant health care services. It includes topics such as plant pathology, pest management, soil science, tree biology, and more.
The CPHCS certification requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in the field of arboriculture or horticulture. Applicants must also pass an exam that covers topics such as plant identification, pest management, soil science, tree biology, and more.
To get certified as a CPHCS, applicants must first register for the exam through ISA's website. Once registered, applicants will receive study materials and instructions on how to prepare for the exam. After studying and preparing for the exam, applicants can then take the test at an approved testing center.
The cost of taking the CPHCS exam varies depending on where you are taking it. Generally speaking, it costs around $300-$400 USD for the registration fee plus any applicable taxes or fees associated with taking the test at a specific location.
10. Sustainable Landscape Professional (SLP)
Sustainable Landscape Professional (SLP) is a certification program offered by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). The SLP certification is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise in the principles and practices of sustainable landscape design, construction, and management. It is a voluntary program that recognizes the knowledge and experience of individuals who are dedicated to creating and managing landscapes that are ecologically responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable.
The SLP certification requires applicants to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as sustainable site design, soil health, water conservation, plant selection, stormwater management, and more. The exam is offered twice a year at locations across the United States. To apply for the exam, applicants must submit an application along with supporting documents such as transcripts or work experience letters.
The cost of taking the SLP exam varies depending on whether you are applying for an individual or group rate. An individual rate costs $350 while a group rate costs $1,000. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with travel expenses or other materials needed to take the exam.
Once you have passed the exam you will receive your SLP certificate within two weeks of passing. The certificate is valid for three years from the date of issue and can be renewed every three years by taking continuing education courses related to sustainable landscape design and management.
11. Rainwater Harvesting Certification Program
Rainwater Harvesting Certification Program is an online certification program that teaches individuals how to effectively capture, store, and use rainwater from their homes. The program covers topics such as rainwater harvesting systems, water conservation techniques, and the benefits of using harvested rainwater.
The program takes approximately eight hours to complete and consists of four modules. Each module includes a series of lectures, activities, quizzes, and assignments that are designed to help learners understand the concepts behind rainwater harvesting. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
To get started with the Rainwater Harvesting Certification Program, you must first create an account on the website. Once your account is created, you can purchase access to the program for $99 USD. After payment is received, you will be able to access all of the course materials and begin learning about rainwater harvesting.
The Rainwater Harvesting Certification Program provides a comprehensive overview of rainwater harvesting systems and techniques. It also offers guidance on how to install a system in your home or business and how to maintain it properly over time. The program also covers topics such as water conservation strategies and methods for reducing water usage in your home or business.
Do You Really Need a Landscaper Certificate?
When it comes to landscaping, there are many options available for those looking to pursue a career in the field. The most common is to obtain a landscaper certificate, which will provide an individual with the necessary education and training to be successful in the industry. However, it is important to consider whether or not obtaining this type of certification is truly necessary.
The truth is that while having a landscaper certificate can certainly increase one’s chances of success in the field, it is not necessarily required. Many employers may prefer individuals who have received some form of formal training or certification, but this does not mean that those without such credentials cannot find success in the industry. In fact, many individuals have found great success simply by gaining experience on the job and learning from seasoned professionals in the industry.
Additionally, there are certain areas of expertise that may require additional certifications or licenses beyond what would be offered through a basic landscaper certificate program. For example, if one wishes to specialize in lawn care or certain types of garden maintenance then they will likely need additional certifications or licenses specific to their area of expertise.
In conclusion, while having a landscaper certificate can certainly provide an individual with an advantage when seeking employment in the field, it is not necessarily required for all positions and individuals can still find success even without such credentials. Ultimately, it is important for each person to evaluate their own goals and needs before deciding whether or not obtaining a landscaper certificate would be beneficial for them.
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FAQs About Landscaper Certifications
1. What is a landscaper certification?
Answer: A landscaper certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a professional’s proficiency in certain aspects of landscape design, installation, and maintenance.
2. How do I become certified as a landscaper?
Answer: In order to become certified as a landscaper, you must complete an accredited course or program and pass an exam administered by the certifying organization.
3. What are the benefits of becoming a certified landscaper?
Answer: Becoming a certified landscaper can help you stand out from other professionals in the field and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers or clients. Certification can also open up opportunities for career advancement and increased earnings potential.
4. Are there any fees associated with obtaining a landscaper certification?
Answer: Yes, each certifying organization may have different fees associated with their courses or exams for obtaining certification. It is important to research each organization to understand the costs involved with certification.
5. How often do I need to renew my certification?
Answer: Most certifying organizations require renewal of certifications every three years in order to maintain validity of the credential. Renewal typically requires completing additional education or training hours as well as passing another exam administered by the certifying organization.