Landscape Contractor (Commercial)

License required by 47 states

62nd most burdensome licensing requirements.

20th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Landscape contractors contract with clients to landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Work may involve any of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, and installing sprinklers or mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.

Typically, only contractors require licenses, not the landscapers who work for them. In some states, licensing requirements differ based on the setting. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. Other states require the same license regardless of the setting, and this report records that license in both settings. Many states have contract minimums before the contractor’s license applies. See Appendix B for details.

Forty-seven states license landscape contractors working on commercial properties. Eight states require between two and five years of experience working under a licensed contractor, while Alabama and Mississippi require completion of three contracted jobs. Mississippi also requires two years of college. Thirty-seven require no education or experience. On average, states require 228 days of education and experience, $235 in fees, and about one exam—the 62nd most burdensome of the 102 occupations studied.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Arkansas 47 $330 1825 5 years 1 0 0
2 Nevada 47 $1,253 1460 4 years 2 0 18
3 California 47 $579 1460 4 years 3 0 18
4 Hawaii 47 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
5 Arizona 47 $586 1460 4 years 2 0 18
6 Mississippi 47 $640 797 2 years 3 jobs, contractors 3 0 0
7 Virginia 47 $320 731 8 clock hours 2 years 1 0 18
8 Oregon 47 $730 730 2 years 1 0 0
9 Utah 47 $589 733 20 clock hours 2 years 0 0 0
10 Alabama 47 $721 67 3 jobs, contractors 3 0 0
11 Louisiana 47 $674 0 3 0 18
12 North Carolina 47 $75 0 1 0 18
13 North Dakota 47 $175 0 0 0 18
14 Tennessee 47 $505 0 1 0 0
15 Georgia 47 $75 0 0 0 18
16 D C 47 $655 0 0 0 0
17 West Virginia 47 $192 0 1 0 0
18 Alaska 47 $300 0 0 0 0
19 Washington 47 $176 0 0 0 0
20 Minnesota 47 $150 0 0 0 0
21 Idaho 47 $130 0 0 0 0
22 Ohio 47 $125 0 0 0 0
22 South Dakota 47 $125 0 0 0 0
24 Nebraska 47 $115 0 0 0 0
25 Maryland 47 $100 0 0 0 0
25 New York 47 $100 0 0 0 0
25 Oklahoma 47 $100 0 0 0 0
28 Colorado 47 $90 0 0 0 0
29 Kansas 47 $85 0 0 0 0
30 Iowa 47 $75 0 0 0 0
30 New Jersey 47 $75 0 0 0 0
30 New Mexico 47 $75 0 0 0 0
30 Texas 47 $75 0 0 0 0
34 Illinois 47 $50 0 0 0 0
34 Indiana 47 $50 0 0 0 0
34 Missouri 47 $50 0 0 0 0
37 Kentucky 47 $40 0 0 0 0
37 Pennsylvania 47 $40 0 0 0 0
39 Michigan 47 $35 0 0 0 0
40 Wisconsin 47 $30 0 0 0 0
41 Florida 47 $25 0 0 0 0
41 Maine 47 $25 0 0 0 0
41 Montana 47 $25 0 0 0 0
41 New Hampshire 47 $25 0 0 0 0
41 Wyoming 47 $25 0 0 0 0
46 Vermont 47 $20 0 0 0 0
47 Delaware 47 $0 0 0 0 0

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