20 Pros and Cons of Being a Landscaper

Landscape

Sometimes, you might think you enjoy a certain type of work after trying it out a few times.

However, you should always consider the pros and cons of any occupation, such as landscaping, before committing to it for the long term.  

Pros of Being a Landscaper

1. Work Outdoors (If You Enjoy That)

Sometimes, working outdoors increases creative flow, boosts energy, and raises concentration levels.

In addition, people who work outside often seem more content with their lives overall because they are not couped up in a cubicle all day.

Of course, that may not be the case for people who cannot stand being outdoors.

Those that love it, however, seem to thrive off that natural outdoor energy.

If you want nothing more than to work outside for a living, then do it.

You probably will not regret it.

2. Nature Good For Well-Being

Tied to contentment when working outdoors, spending time in nature (green space) has reportedly decreased depression in people who spend enough time in it.

They also might experience less stress and anxiety when working outside.

That’s because the increased oxygen that comes from the green plants sets your serotonin levels right where they should be, which elevates your mood.

This mood-balancing you experience outdoors also can make you less angry and irritable—at least if it is not too hot.

3. The Physical Exercise Good for Body

The physical exercise you get when landscaping will release stress and tension in you.

This will help you sleep better at night, which your body, as well as your mind, needs to stay healthy.

Exercise from physical labor could also reduce your risk of heart disease, regulate insulin and glucose levels, and prevent cancer.

It also keeps both your bones and your muscles strong.

The strength you gain after spending large portions of your day lifting and moving can also improve your balance.

This could reduce the risk of falls when you are older.

4. Use Your Creativity

Some landscape positions allow you to incorporate your own ideas into a yard or lawn.

For instance, you might mix and match different colors of flowers, for instance.

You would also maybe line up evergreen trees to act as a privacy fence. 

In addition, you might add a pond with a fountain, place a stone walkway in between vegetable garden columns, or add birdhouses, and create a personal wildlife sanctuary.

Even placing edging around homes and adding the stone where you just planted bushes calls for the creativity that you have as a landscaper.

5. Set Your Own Hours (If Self-Employed)

You usually can set your own hours if you have your own landscaping business.

This allows you to continue with extracurricular activities, sports, or other hobbies.

Maybe you want to attend some classes at the local college.

Sometimes, working landscape jobs at varying hours gives you the freedom to also have a social life and family time.

6. Project and Task Variety

You might perform a variety of short-term jobs during your work hours, such as lawn care or bush trimming.

Other days, you perhaps might lay sod in a person’s yard or seed, water and fertilize grass, or plant some trees.

During spring or fall, you might also remove dead foliage, such as leaves and branches, from both business and commercial properties.

Part of your job might also include checking in on the health of outdoor plants and maybe even some indoor ones upon request.

7. Build Positive Relationships

You might perform the same tasks every season for a person.

For instance, you perhaps have a customer who always wants you to move their lawns, weed their vegetable gardens, or plow their driveway.

After a few years, you really get to know the people you work for well, and they become like friends to you.

8. Travel Job Opportunities

When working as a landscaper, you are not limited to your immediate location.

This could even award you the opportunity to see places where you always wanted to go.

Some companies might even reimburse transportation and lodging fees when you take these jobs. 

9. Short Training Periods

You do not even have to attend any horticulture or landscape architect classes if you do not want to, although it would help.

If you aspire to become a landscaper, you could start by performing side jobs for people you know.

If they like your work, they can recommend you to other people.

You could have a full work schedule within a few months just by showing customers what you can do.

10. Valuable Work Experience

Gaining work experience as a landscaper may fulfill you even if you continue as a laborer and do not decide to pursue landscape design.

However, your time spent working outside in residential yards and commercial lawns will benefit you.

Someday you can use this experience to create unique yards and lawn displays tailored to enhance the beauty of any outside area.

Cons of Being a Landscaper

1. Hard on the Body

You might feel sore if you work too many hours.

If you want to prevent aching, some amount of stretching may help.

However, it is important that you try to take some short walks to warm up your body before you start your day.

It might be hard to do this after work, however, when all you want to do is go straight home and set your feet free from the confinement of your work boots or safety shoes.  

2. Injury Risks

You may enjoy landscaping, but it doesn’t come without its risks.

For instance, you could step on a sharp object lying in the grass or accidentally hit yourself with a shovel or other tool.

In addition, you might breathe in pesticides after treating a lawn or garden.

Perhaps you decided to use a ladder to clean debris out of roof drainage troughs, and the ladder slipped out from under you.

Use caution, and to avoid as many injuries as possible, make sure you wear padded gardening gloves, a hard hat, a safety vest, long pants, and safety shoes.

When using ladders, you also should not stand on one of the top three rungs.

3. Hot or Rainy Weather

The sun beating on you and having sweat beam from your body can make it tough to want to wear pants, socks, gloves, and hats.

However, it is necessary if you want to protect yourself.

To combat the heat, you will need to stay hydrated and take as many breaks as allowed.

If you can find a place to cool off for a few minutes, do that.

Rainy weather, well, it might either delay a project for at least a couple of days.

Otherwise, you might have to trudge through in rain gear to finish the job.

That’s not much fun.

4.  Supply Shortages

If you have quite a few jobs, you might sometimes have problems securing the supplies for all of them.

This puts you in a tough position.

You do not want to tell people you can’t do a job for them.

This can frustrate both you and your customers and could cause you potential income loss.

5. Unrealistic Customer Demands

Some customers nickel-and-dime you so low that you end up losing money on the job. 

Others might try to convince you to perform duties outside your expertise, such as building a gazebo even though you told them you don’t do construction but just gardening and land design.

6. Fluctuating Workflow

Some weeks, you might have a half-dozen large jobs.

On other weeks, you might only work one or two days.

That is usually only when you first start, however.

If you are willing to work, you should not have to wait too long to find more projects to complete.

7. Deadline Pressure

This happens to anyone who ends up working for themselves.

All of a sudden everyone wants you to finish the job on the same day.

That is a good problem to have – most of the time.

It is not ideal, however, if you cannot finish all the jobs when they want you to.

8. Sometimes No Break Area

Some places, such as new construction homes, might not have bathrooms.

Other places might have their business doors locked during times when you have work scheduled.

Therefore, the only air conditioning or shelter you might have in your vehicle.

If you need to use a bathroom, it is maybe either in the woods or finds the nearest convenience store, if that store will even let you use the public bathroom.

9. High Materials Cost (If Contractor)

You might not have to worry about high material costs if you are a payroll employee.

However, as an independent contractor or self-employed business owner, you will have to invest in at least some equipment and supplies of your own.

Of course, the advantage is that you own it and can keep it instead of returning it to your employer at the end of your shift.

10. Inconvenient Work Schedules (If Not Self-Employed)

You cannot always set your own hours if employed by a company full time as a payroll employee.

You might have trouble negotiating with them concerning times off, and the company you work for may not always grant you time off when you want it.

If you are an independent contractor, you might have more freedom to tell them “no” if you do not want to participate in a job.

However, you might feel pressured to take the work even when you do not want it out of fear of them offering the hours to someone else.

Pros and Cons of Being a Landscaper – Summary Table

Pros of Being a LandscaperCons of Being a Landscaper
1. Work Outdoors (If You Enjoy That)1. Hard on the Body
2. Nature Good For Well-Being2. Injury Risks
3. The Physical Exercise Good for Body3. Hot or Rainy Weather
4. Use Your Creativity4.  Supply Shortages
5. Set Your Own Hours (If Self-Employed)5. Unrealistic Customer Demands
6. Project and Task Variety6. Fluctuating Workflow
7. Build Positive Relationships7. Deadline Pressure
8. Travel Job Opportunities8. Sometimes No Break Area
9. Short Training Periods9. High Materials Cost (If Contractor)
10. Valuable Work Experience10. Inconvenient Work Schedules (If Not Self-Employed)

Should you become a landscaper?

If you cannot think of any job you would rather do all day every day then you can become a landscaper.

You also would like this kind of work if you welcome any chance to move your muscles and perform physical labor.

Some people might not enjoy it if they’re in chronic pain or have other health problems, however.

If you do decide to become a landscaper, good luck!

Jamie Willis