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What Do I Need To Do To Get My Landscaping License?

While The Requirements Vary From State to State, These Are Some of The Common Steps To Obtaining Your Landscaping License

If you’ve ever considered getting into professional landscaping, it might help to get all your proverbial ducks in a row before you start financing a ton of equipment. One of those ducks involves getting your landscaping license. While it might not be necessary for your smaller accounts, bidding out larger jobs will require that you meet some licensing requirements for landscaping professionally.

Things You’ll Need To Get Licensed

  • Experience
  • Pass the licensure exam
  • Get a contractor license bond
  • Earn certifications


First Things First

You’ll want to go ahead and call your state licensing department to figure out exactly what type of license you’ll need for the landscaping services you aim to provide. Are you planning on performing basic lawn care, or are you trying to get into landscape planning, installations, irrigation systems, walkways, driveways, or anything and everything you can?

landscaping license

The state licensing department can look at your experience, education, and credentials, and then direct you through the next steps you’ll need to go through to get a hold of your landscaping license.

Practical Experience

You might not need to have completed secondary education to get into some aspects of contract landscaping. But, the state will require that you have some amount of professional, hands-on experience in whatever field you’re aiming to get into. The number of practical, in-field hours you’ll need to complete will vary depending on your state.

Again, you’ll have to call the state licensing department to find out exactly what your state requires. They’ll look for your general knowledge of landscape planning and design, irrigation systems, planting and hardware, horticulture, and safety measures and practices.

Test Time

After you’ve satisfied your state’s experience requirements, you’ll need to pass the state’s licensure exam. As is the case with so many of the steps in this process, the particulars of this will vary from state to state. You’ll likely have your general landscaping knowledge tested, as well as your knowledge of safety practices and procedures. The exam will test you on issues in ecology, horticulture, fertilizers and pesticides, soil use, drainage, and erosion control.

More than likely, you’ll also need to pay an exam fee or licensing fee before the state will grant you your landscaping license.

landscaping license

Get Bonded

Once licensed, many states will require that you obtain a contractor license surety bond. Basically, a surety bond guarantees to the client and the state that you, as the contractor, will do quality work in the time you’ve contractually obligated yourself to do it in.

To get yourself bonded, you’ll need to come up with enough to cover the bond premium. For a $10,000 bond, this could mean as little as a few hundred dollars. Of course, the premium amount will depend on personal and business finances, credit scores, experience, and other factors.


Extra Certification

It never hurts to know more, and pursuing different professional certifications can expand your business. Being able to specialize in a few things opens you up to more job opportunities.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals is a good place to start here. They offer a variety of certifications. Some of the options here are exterior and interior landscape technician, horticultural technician, management certifications, and so on. These certifications might not be necessary for your landscaping license, but they could work toward getting your landscaping business accredited.


Common Licensing Requirements For Landscape Contractors

How to Get a Commercial License for Landscaping – Shanika Chapman

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