Explore the Program

The Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program provides a structure for the education most needed by industry technicians through a combination of on-the-job training, classroom instruction, and professional development to earn a Certificate of Completion in Apprenticeship, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Apprenticeship Handbook



Click the headings below to learn more.

What do apprentices learn?

Training is focused on maintenance, installation, and irrigation. More specifically, apprentices learn how to perform the following tasks under the direction of a company-provided mentor:
  • Organize equipment, tools and materials for maintenance projects, load truck
  • Maintain tools, equipment; check and advise vehicle maintenance
  • Mow, edge, and trim turf areas and use backpack blower
  • Weed, rake and cultivate shrub, groundcover and turf areas
  • Plant, cultivate, maintain flowerbeds and potted plants
  • Prune shrubs and trees
  • Install trees and shrubs; adjust stakes and guy wire; and adjust hose ties
  • Apply fertilizers
  • Apply specific herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides
  • Read, analyze, and measure job sites or blueprints
  • Renovate, seed, and sod lawns
  • Aerate, vertical mow, and top dress existing turf areas
  • Water, prune, fertilize, mulch, and perform leaf removal
  • Program automatic and manual watering schedules
  • Make minor adjustments and repairs to irrigation and/or low voltage lighting systems
  • Clean paving and hardscaping with hand and power tools and equipment
  • Identify correctly the plants and flowers used on projects under maintenance and care

Apprentices are expected to complete program requirements in 12-18 months, though some may take a bit longer.

How does the program work?

  • You select current employees or hire new workers to enter your apprenticeship program. (You may be surprised at how the apprenticeship program can open new opportunities in recruiting!)
  • Register the apprentice with NALP and track his/her hours and competencies.
  • Follow the guidelines set-out by the program for on-the-job training, paying progressively higher wages as skills increase. The program requires 2,000 hours of on-the-job training divided into 17 skill areas. The Apprenticeship Handbook tells you all you need to know.
  • The apprentice will complete a minimum of 144 hours of education in the classroom or through NALP’s online training in maintenance, installation, and irrigation.
  • You'll identify an experienced mentor to work with each apprentice.
  • Once the apprentice completes all the requirements, he/she will receive a certificate from the Department of Labor.

*Need financial support to offer the Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program? Many states offer grant funding to help defray costs associated with training apprentices and many offer tax credits to companies managing these programs. Click here to contact your state’s apprenticeship office to learn what support may be available to you.

Who can be an apprentice?

Anyone who is interested in learning the competencies of the landscape profession! Apprenticeships are particularly appealing to high school students that would rather learn through on-the-job training than attend college, veterans considering a second career, and those currently working who are ready to learn a new craft.

To become an eligible apprentice, applicants must:

    1.  Be 16 years or older
    2.  Provide proof of completion of high school, GED or equivalent
    3.  Be eligible to work in the U.S.
    4.  Be able to pass substance abuse screening if required by the employer
    5.  Be physically able to perform duties of a landscape professional

What are the requirements for a business to offer the apprenticeship program?

  • Have been in business for at least one year
  • Hire new workers or select current employees to be apprentices
  • Ensure that the apprentices are trained in the core competencies
  • Supervise and/or train the apprentice constantly
  • Identify an experienced mentor to work with each apprentice
  • Pay progressively higher wages as skills increase
  • Provide necessary participant information to NALP
  • Enroll participants and invest in the necessary required online training
  • Track hours and competencies

How much does it cost to participate in the program?

Company Enrollment Fee - $500 Members; $750 Non-NALP Members
Fee Per Apprentice - $100 Members; $200 Non-NALP Members
On-Line Training Per Apprentice (Optional) - $737 (for three courses) Members; $921 (for three courses) Non-Members
Apprentice Hold Over Fee (Annual, for apprentices not completing the program after two years) - $50