Kaihoahoa Whakapaipai Whenua
Landscapers design, develop, maintain and remodel gardens and landscapes.
Landscapers in training usually earn
$23 per hour
Experienced landscapers usually earn
$25-$36 per hour
Source: Seek, Trade Me, 2023
Pay for landscapers varies depending on experience, qualifications and where in New Zealand they work.
- Landscapers with no qualifications or in training can expect to earn minimum wage or a little more.
- Landscapers usually earn $25 to $36 an hour.
Experienced landscapers with extra responsibilities, in managerial positions or who run their own business can earn more.
However for those who are self-employed, what they earn depends on the success of their business.
Source: careers.govt.nz research, Seek, 2023, Trade Me 2023..
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information on minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Landscapers may do some or all of the following:
- discuss and develop designs with clients
- read and interpret plans and discuss design concepts with landscape architects
- do basic planning and design work, and planting plans
- calculate construction costs such as labour and materials
- select seeds, bulbs and plants and plant these
- construct decking, fencing, walls and courtyards, and lay down paving
- install garden lighting, irrigation and ornaments.
Skills and knowledge
Landscapers need to have knowledge of:
- different plants and their required growing conditions
- how to interpret and follow plans and drawings
- construction methods and materials
- design regulations, permits and plans
- tiling and bricklaying.
Business skills are useful for landscapers who run their own business.
- usually work regular business hours, but often work weekends
- spend most of their time in gardens and construction sites
- work in most weather conditions and in conditions that can be muddy
- may have to travel locally or further away for jobs.
There are no specific requirements to become a landscaper. However, horticultural or gardening experience is useful. A driver's licence is also preferred by most employers.
Many employers prefer to hire someone with relevant training. Landscape design courses are available through a number of polytechnics and you can train on the job and complete an apprenticeship in landscaping through the Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO).
A minimum of three years' of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include English, maths, horticulture, biology and processing technologies.
Year 11 and 12 students can work towards a New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture through the National Trade Academy while still working towards NCEA. This usually includes off-site learning and some on-the-job training.
Landscapers need to be:
- reliable and hard working
- able to work independently or as part of a team.
If you want to move up, you need to have an understanding of maths for calculating numbers of plants and working out quantities of paving, mulch or bark.
Elle Anderson – President, Landscaping New Zealand
Useful experience for landscapers includes:
- any building and construction work
- any work in the horticulture industry
- labouring work.
Landscapers need to have a good level of fitness and must be strong, as their work involves bending, kneeling for long periods and heavy lifting.
Find out more about training
- Landscaping New Zealand
- (09) 444 4345 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.lianz.org.nz
- Primary Industry Training Organisation
- 0800 208020 - email@example.com - www.primaryito.ac.nz
- Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
- (03) 325 2811 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.rnzih.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
The amount of landscaping work available is strongly linked to the state of the building industry. Increased residential and commercial building activity, especially in Auckland, has contributed to steady demand for landscapers.
Most job opportunities for those starting out in the industry are in larger cities like Auckland and Christchurch. A trend towards the construction of high-end buildings in these cities is also creating opportunities for landscapers to work on bigger landscaping projects.
According to the Census, 4,881 landscapers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Increase your chances of finding work
Graduates and those new to the industry can increase their chances of finding work by:
- making the most of networking opportunities, such as attending branch meetings of the Landscaping New Zealand (LIANZ).
- contacting potential employers by phone, or making a time to meet face-to-face
- approaching landscape companies in spring/summer when there is more chance of being hired.
Landscapers usually need to work on site in hands-on roles for a few years and develop a good understanding of the practicalities of the work before progressing to design jobs.There is greater competition for landscape design roles, and you need to get established in the industry before you can secure contract design work.
Most landscapers work for small businesses
Landscapers usually work for small private firms. Many are also self-employed.
- Morrison, T, 'NZ residential building consents highest in 10 years', July 2016, (www.scoop.co.nz).
- Morrison, W, Texture Group, accredited member of Registered Master Landscapers New Zealand, Careers Directorate - Tertiary Education Commission interview, August 2017.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Landscapers may progress to a team leader or managerial role, or set up their own landscaping company.
Last updated 18 December 2023