Grow a landscaping career with apprenticeship

Landscape horticulturists are comfortable working in the mud, but they also get to construct and design landscape plans.
Landscape horticulturists are comfortable working in the mud, but they also get to construct and design landscape plans.

Spring is on its way and opportunities are blooming in the skilled trades – especially for trades such as landscape horticulture.
Terena Hantelman is a journeyperson landscape horticulturist. It wasn’t her first career choice. Hantelman initially studied science at university but quickly realized that although she was doing well in her courses, it just wasn’t for her.
“I realized that it was going to be a long, expensive path to get me where I wanted to go,” she explains. “I felt that my professors weren’t really able to be there for me or teach me the way I needed to be taught. I just didn’t feel it was the right path for me.”
Hantelman, who worked at a garden centre to support herself while going to school, realized that her job was the kind of work she really enjoyed. After making the transition from university student to an apprentice in the landscape trade, she knew she’d found her passion. “Working at the garden centre was fun; it was physical and I was learning something new every day. It was hands-on and I loved it. So I decided to keep going with it.”
Apprenticeship programs in Manitoba consist of approximately 80 per cent on-the-job, practical training and 20 per cent in-school technical training. The landscape horticulturist apprenticeship program involves three levels – each level lasting an average of one year – and leads to interprovincial Red Seal certification. The Red Seal Program is Canada’s standard of excellence in the skilled trades. With Red Seal certification, your credentials are recognized across the country so you can work in any province or territory.
Creative solutions
Working in this trade means studying, growing, tending, and transplanting flowers, shrubbery and other plants. Landscape horticulturists also perform landscape construction, designing and building landscape plans to suit client needs. “It’s very creative in the sense that you get to work with plants, shapes, colours and design,” says Hantelman. “You also get to find creative solutions to solve problems on a daily basis.”
While the majority of work in the trade occurs during the warmer months, Hantelman says it is possible to find work year-round. “I’ve always been able to work year-round by working at greenhouses and garden centres. I’ve spent thirteen years in this trade and have easily worked at least eleven months of the year, every year,” she adds.
Working in the trades can also expand into other career paths in the future, including the potential to start your own business. Hantelman recently became an instructor, teaching apprentices about the trade during their technical training periods.
“As long as you work hard and do networking, there are always opportunities. Some landscapers just want to do their work, and that’s okay, too. But opportunities are definitely there for those who have experience in the trade and want to move forward.”
Hantelman adds that the key to her success is loving what she does. “With this job, you have to be adaptable and you have to love what you do,” she maintains. “It is without a doubt my passion.”
For more information on apprenticeship and the landscape horticulture trade, visit Apprenticeship Manitoba online at http://www.manitoba.ca/tradecareers.
-Apprenticeship Manitoba

2 thoughts on “Grow a landscaping career with apprenticeship”

  1. A very good read, i myself did the landscape technician course after 10 years in the trade. It is a very good way too grasp knowledge on all forms of landscaping as there is a horticulture side and a hardscape side. Landscaping is a very good career choice if you plan on exploring the entrepreneur side of things. Good luck on the journey!

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