Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship

Effective September 1, 2018 the program standards and curriculum for the Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship are changing as a result of the Harmonization initiative to align training standards nationally for all Red Seal Trades.

What is a Landscape Horticulturist? 

Landscape Horticulturalists plan, construct, and maintain residential and commercial environments. Landscape Horticulturalists work in maintenance and/or construction & installation.

  • Landscape Maintenance and Lawn Care
    • Maintains the landscape of residential homes and commercial properties
  • Landscape Construction & Installation
    • Installs softscapes (plants and other organic materials) and hardscapes (using materials such as wood  or stone, building retaining walls, water features and many other projects) based on a design.


Typical Duties

  • Landscape Maintenance and Lawn Care
    • Identify plants
    • Plant flowers, shrubs, trees, and grass
    • Spread top soil
    • Lay sod
    • Prune small trees, shrubs and perennials
    • Maintain a lawn (cut, rake, fertilize, aerate, and water lawns)
    • Control and prevent weeds and diseases using Integrated Pest Management methods
    • Operate equipment (mowers, string trimmers, edgers and back pack blowers)
  • Landscape Construction and Installation
    • Identify plants
    • Install walls, patios and water features
    • Layout and install plants, trees, and sod to a specific design
    • Operate equipment (chainsaws, skid steers, and excavators)


Apprenticeship Info

Training Standard

Effective September 1, 2018 the program standards and curriculum for the Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship are changing as a result of the Harmonization initiative to align training standards nationally for all Red Seal Trades.

If you are a current apprentice who has completed at least one level of technical training in school go to the information page on Harmonization and please feel free to contact with any questions.

 All new Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist Apprentices beginning their technical training after September 1, 2018 will manage their apprenticeship under these new standards. Apprentices will need to ensure the technical training they are registering for is the new program standard. Training institutions will differentiate between course offerings by stating it is “Harmonized” until all levels under the new program content have been phased in and prior content levels are phased out. All level 1 block training classes after September 1st 2018 will be in the new format. All foundation programs where the program begins after September 1, 2019 will be in the new format.

More information on Harmonization


What is an apprenticeship in Landscape Horticulture?

Download a pdf copy of the following apprentice info:

Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship – 2012 – Apprentices who have completed at least one level of technical training before September 2018

Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship (HL) 2018Apprentices who begin technical training after September 2018

  • Landscape Horticulturist program
  • The process can take up to 4 years to complete with technical training in school and on the job work experience training
  • There are two options for schooling
    1. Complete Level 1 to 4 (block release); six weeks of school for each level over 4 years or
    2. Complete a Foundation Program (equivalent to Level 1 and 2) at an ITA approved college; then transfer to designated training institution to complete Level 3 and 4. Go to our Training Options page for a list of training institutions that offer the foundation and block release levels.
  • Technical training for levels 1-4 cover basic core horticulture and Landscape specific knowledge and skills
  • Apprentices who begin level 1 technical training after September 2018, require 5,280 workplace hours, with confirmation of hours by your employer sponsor. Apprentices who have completed at least one level of  technical training before September 2018 require 6,480 workplace hours, unless they transition to the harmonized training standard.
  • Upon completion of all schooling and hours, you are awarded a Red Seal Certificate of Qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship as a Landscape Horticulturist.

Foundation Programs

  • Foundation programs provide students with the core knowledge and skills required in horticulture
  • The courses will be conducted in a classroom and may include some fieldwork on or off campus
  • Foundation students do not require a sponsor to participate
  • These programs vary in length from 9-10 months depending upon the training provider
  • Upon successful completion of the program, a student will receive;
    • Horticulture Certificate from the training institution
    • Letter of Completion from the ITA (Industry Training Authority)
    • Credit for 500 work based hours
    • Credit for Level 1 and 2 of the Horticulture apprenticeship program. This allows the student to enter level 3 of the Landscape Apprenticeship program
  • Click here for a list of Training Institutions that offer a foundation program
  • Click here for a link to ITA’s website with more information.
    • Please refer to the Program Profile and Program Outline links below for the current version.


Steps to become a Landscape Horticulturist Apprentice

  • You must have a Sponsor who is either a Certified Tradesperson or has Sign-Off Authority and has registered with the ITA. Click here for Sponsor information. can be your sponsor for the school duration if you do not have employment in the field.
  • Complete the Apprenticeship and Sponsor Registration Form with your sponsor and mail or fax to ITA (contact info is on the form).
  • Register with your chosen training institution
  • Track your hours along with your employer by filling out the Work-Based Training Report
  • Read the Apprentice/Trainee Guide and the 6 Steps to Success guide provided by ITA
  • Remember that you may be eligible for tax credits starting at $1000 per completed level. Foundation programs are not eligible for tax credits.
  • After completing Level 4 and logging 6,480 hours, your ‘Recommend for Certification’ form must be signed by your sponsor. This form is provided by ITA upon completing of all training and work based hours.
  • Contact ITA Customer Service for any assistance


Sponsor Info

  • Click here to find out how to become a Sponsor
  • For information to apply for Sign-Off Authority, click here
  • For information to challenge the Red Seal Landscape Horticulture exam, click here


What does it cost?

These costs are based on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University program and are subject to change. For other training institution costs, see training options for contact information

  • A $10 non-refundable Apprentice Evaluation fee will be charged for each registration
  • Tuition Fees – Fall 2014 fees are $820 per 6 week session (not including additional student fees)
  • Required Texts – Approximately $300 for per level
  • Additional Costs – Field trips, CSA safety footwear, rain gear, accommodations, basic school supplies and study materials.
  • Employment Insurance Eligibility – You may be eligible to collect Employment Insurance benefits during you school session, and additional benefits such as travel or lodging allowance. Contact your local Human Resources and Skills Development Center at
  • Canada Apprentice Loan – You can apply for up to $4,000 in interest-free loans per period of technical training. The money will be available to you to help pay for tuition, tools, equipment and living expenses, to cover forgone wages or to help support your family.  For more information, visit the Government of Canada, Canada Apprentice Loan initiative

Related Links


Job Titles

  • Equipment Operator
  • Horticultural Technician – Parks Department
  • Landscape Technician
  • Landscape Installer


What can I make?

Private Sector

  • Entry Level Labour – $15/hr
  • Technician Skilled Labour- $18/hr
  • Supervisor – $24/hr +

Municipal Sector

  • Horticulture Apprentice – $24/hr +
  • Park Attendant – $25/hr
  • Gardener I – $29/hr
  • Gardener II – $33/hr
  • Sub Foreman – $34/hr


Additional Certifications

Landscape Industry Certified Technician – This program is designed for employees in the horticulture industry who are involved in the technical application of skill and knowledge.