As a CEO in the commercial landscaping industry, what is some advice you can give college students who are not sure if the landscape industry is a long-term viable career option for them?

As a CEO in the commercial landscaping industry, what is some advice you can give college students who are not sure if the landscape industry is a long-term viable career option for them?

The first thing I would ask is what are you passionate about. I’m passionate about working outside. I like working with plants. I like beautifying commercial properties. If that’s something that you as an individual like doing, then that’s one good step in the right direction to working in the commercial landscape industry. Passion is absolute in anything you do for a career, and if you don’t have passion, you’ll work in that job, but eventually you’ll want to work somewhere else where you do have passion. So, passion is definitely number one.

Number two is opportunity. At least in Texas, and specifically in Houston, the opportunity for you to grow your career within the commercial landscaping industry has never been bigger. The landscape footprint for this city grows every single year. Think about the construction in neighborhoods they are building. They can’t build houses fast enough. Every time they build something, they have to put in a certain number trees, a certain number shrubs, a certain amount of turf, and that is opportunity for someone to take care of that landscape. With the right opportunity, you can start working on a landscape crew and work your way up to a field manager, or work your way up to an account manager, and then move into a branch manager position. The sky is the limit.

A lot of people these days don’t want to sit behind a computer screen all day crunching numbers or sitting on the phone all day. They want to go outside. They want diversity from day to day. There’s plenty of that in the commercial landscaping field because one day you might be dealing with grass issues, the next day you’re dealing with shrub issues. One day you’re planting a hundred plots of seasonal color for one of your best clients. The satisfaction in seeing the smile on your client’s face about the job you’ve done is a great feeling, and changing your atmosphere every single day is one of the great benefits of a landscaping career.

The commercial landscaping industry offer lots of jobs that pay great salaries, have great benefits and insurance plans to support you and your growing family. Starting out on a crew, you may start out at an entrance level pat rate. Once you move into a field manager role or account manager role you expect a salary and benefits package to be proud of, and then once you achieve a branch manager position you salary potential can be over six figures. Just like in any industry, you may have to start off at the bottom, but in the landscaping industry you can have the opportunity to move up. At LMC, over half of our management team has changed jobs in one form or another over the last 15 years. That means that our team is working for the right company in an industry that they are passionate about.

I wouldn’t say that commercial landscaping is recession proof; however, grass always needs to be mowed. In an industry that is deemed essential in a growing or shrinking economy, landscaping will always be needed in some form or fashion and that means security for your family that having to change industries or jobs is very unlikely, specifically if you do a really good job.

Lastly, Commercial Landscaping, Tree Trimming and Commercial Irrigation are industries in which you can continue to learn for your entire career. The national association that supports our industry, also has lots of material that you can use to learn. In addition to that, on the job opportunities to learn new parts of the industry are available every day. If you’re an account manager and you have very little irrigation experience, there are so many ways to get yourself some education on the subject. That is true with every single position. You can learn as much or as little as you want to, but the more skillset you have, the chances of you growing upward in any company is that much greater.

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