How to Become a Landscape Contractor


A landscape contractor is a landscape construction professional that owns or is employed by a landscape contracting business, and who plans and installs lawns, shrubs, trees or other plants as well as preparing property for landscaping. A landscape construction professional may also build or repair garden fountains, waterfalls or ponds, drainage and/or irrigation systems, as well as install fences, decks, patios, other landscape items, driveways, walking paths or retaining walls. Much like general contractors, landscape contractors are regulated and licensed by landscape contractor boards in almost every state.

Contact the landscape contractors board in your state to find out the requirements for a landscape contractor's license. The requirements for the Oregon landscape construction professional license are typical, and include two years of experience in the landscape business and/or an equivalent amount of classroom hours, passing at least one of a series of subject area exams, paying a $100 application fee to take the exam and paying an additional $95 fee for your license (renewable annually).

Complete the educational and experience prerequisites to be allowed to sit for the landscape contractors licensing exam in your state. Most state boards allow applicants at least a second opportunity to take the exam if they do not pass the first time.

Fill out the application to take the landscape contractors exam in your state. The application will require personal information including your Social Security number, and fees generally range from $75 to $150 to take an exam. Landscape contractor licensing exams include both technical sections involving calculation of water flow and water pressure in pipes and the like as well as sections on laws, good business practices and safety.

Take and pass the landscape contractors license exams required for the type of license you are seeking. You can usually get your results within a few days, but depending on the state, it can take as long as 30 to 60 days before you receive your license in the mail. Most states also require licensing for landscape contractor businesses, so after you get your license you must either go to work for a licensed landscape contractor business or start your own landscape company including getting a state license.

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