If you want to work as a landscaper, your state may require you to get a landscape contractor license. The requirements you must meet to obtain this license will vary depending on your location.
In this post, we will outline the common requirements for landscaping licenses across the country and the steps you need to take to get your license.
Meet the basic requirements
Most states require landscaping contractors to have a certain level of education or industry experience to be eligible for a license. How much experience you need varies across states. For instance, in California landscaping contractors must have at least four years of work experience while those in Oregon only need two years of landscaping-related experience.
In addition to the experience requirement, all states require contractors to be at least 18 years of age with a valid form of ID.
Pass the pre-licensure examination
Several states require landscaping contractors to complete a pre-licensing education course and pass a knowledge test. These exams test the contractor’s general landscaping knowledge and ability to identify different types of plants.
Exams are typically administered in-person at local testing centers. Some states require you to take the exam prior to submitting an application while others will only let you take the exam after your application has been approved.
Get a landscaping surety bond
Many states require contractors to get a surety bond as part of the licensing process. The bonds offer protection to the state and the contractor’s customers in the event they are damaged by the contractor’s work.
The government agency that mandates the bond sets the total bond amount. Below are the required amounts for a few popular landscaping contractor bonds:
- Oregon Landscaping Bonds: $3,000 or more
- North Carolina Landscaping Bonds: $10,000
- Mississippi Landscaping Bonds: $1,000
Landscapers only need to pay a small percentage of this amount as a premium, typically around 1%. When the surety company issues your bond, they will evaluate your industry experience, financial history, and other factors to determine your exact premium.
Submit landscaping license application
Once you have met all the pre-licensing requirements, the final step to getting your landscaping license is to submit your license application to the appropriate regulatory agency. Depending on your location, you can complete the application process online or by mail.
When completing the application, you will need to provide various supporting documents to verify that you meet all the qualifications. This may include:
- Professional references
- Proof of liability insurance (for business licenses)
- Work experience verification
Most states have an application fee that you must pay when submitting your application.
Renewing your landscaping license
Landscaping licenses are typically valid for one or several years. Some states require you to complete a specified amount of continuing education courses during the licensing period to be eligible for renewal.
Beyond that, the renewal process typically involves filling out an application similar to the one you initially submitted as well as paying a renewal fee.
Professional certifications for landscapers
In addition to the required state licenses, many landscaping contractors will obtain additional professional certifications. These can help you further your knowledge while also making you appear more professional and trustworthy to potential clients.
There are a number of landscaping certifications you get. Below are few popular choices offered through the National Association of Landcare Professionals:
- Landscape Industry Certified Manager
- Landscape Industry Certified Technician
- Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Technician
Get your landscaping bond online with EZ Surety
This post has given an overview of the process of obtaining a landscaping license. Before you apply, you should check with your local jurisdiction to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements.
Once you do, EZ Surety Bonds can help you breeze through the application process with our quick and simple online bonding service. Browse our collection of landscaping bonds to find the bond you need and apply online today.