Many Florida residents and government officials understand that improperly landscaped yards in Florida can negatively impact the quality and balance of Florida’s many natural waterways. You generally don’t need a license to landscape your own property in Florida. You do need licensing to perform landscaping duties professionally for others. Different types of licenses are required, depending on the landscaping services offered.
General Yard Maintenance
Taking care of your yard and gardens at home does not require a landscaping license unless you want to use pesticides. The University of Florida offers free guides teaching you do-it-yourself, Florida-friendly landscaping principles that benefit both your property and Florida’s ecosystem as a whole. These principles are meant to educate Floridians on plant selection, efficient watering, proper fertilizing and mulching, wildlife concerns, proper pest control, recycling and protecting Florida’s soil and water from pollution.
Florida requires any person or business applying pesticides to yards and outdoor property for the purpose of growing food to be certified and licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You need a private applicator license issued by FDACS before taking care of your own farm, orchard, garden, grove and other property with a pesticide or weed killer. Government employees who landscape parks, public roadsides, government office property, state university property and other public areas as part of their jobs are required to have a public applicator license. You need a commercial applicator license to apply pesticides to residences and other properties as a business service.
You can mow, trim, plant and otherwise maintain yards for residences and businesses as a “landscape designer” as long as you have a business license issued from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations office. You do not need any special landscaping licenses to be a landscape designer in Florida. If desired, FDACS issues a Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Certification that you can acquire in order to legally spray certain pesticides in gardens or apply approved anti-weed products to your clients’ private properties.
Licensing is required to actually contour the land or plan and oversee construction of fences, retaining walls, fountains, irrigation systems and other structures on any piece of property in Florida. Registered landscape architects handle this type of work and are licensed by the state to practice landscape architecture. Many landscape architects have graduate degrees specifically in landscape architecture and have passed the state’s Landscape Architect Registration Examination.
2016 Salary Information for Landscape Architects
Landscape architects earned a median annual salary of $63,480 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, landscape architects earned a 25th percentile salary of $48,990, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,530, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 24,700 people were employed in the U.S. as landscape architects.
- University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: A Guide to Florida-Friendly Landscaping
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Pesticide Applicator Certification and Licensing in Florida; 2010
- FloridaYards.org: Landscaping Principles for Florida-Friendly Yards
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupation Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition -- Landscape Architects
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Landscape Architects
- Career Trend: Landscape Architects
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images