HERNDON, Va. — The National Association of Landscape Professionals Foundation recently released a national employment survey of landscape industry firms. The data shows approximately 60,000 professional level positions will need to be filled this year with an additional 240,000 labor positions.

“Careers in the landscape industry are one of the best kept secrets, and we want to change that,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, CEO of NALP. “There are tens of thousands of open positions at all levels of landscape industry companies, and most offer good benefits and pay.”

The Stevenson Company, a nationally recognized market research firm, recently surveyed 195 landscape companies and found that executives and management-level positions are the hardest positions to fill. This is particularly true of the small (less than 10 employees) and medium-sized (10 to 99 employees) firms.

Forty percent of those interviewed expect to hire management positions in the next year. Most executives and management positions are paid a yearly salary, have health insurance and are offered a retirement plan. All levels of compensation increase with company size.

Average executive salaries range from $54,000 to $115,000, while manager salaries average $50,000 at companies with more than 10 employees.

“When people think of landscape jobs, they mainly think about the hourly labor positions. However, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the industry in sales, design, project management and executive level positions,” said Miles Kuperus, Landscape Industry Certified, Foundation president. “Those positions require horticultural or business knowledge and they are a great career choice for students coming out of college landscape programs or those transferring from another career.”

The research project is part of the Foundation initiative to raise the visibility of landscape industry careers and attract more people into the field. Visit the website to access the Key Findings Report and an infographic. The full report, including landscape industry salary and benefits data by region and company size, can be accessed by NALP members and Foundation donors in the NALP Member Center.