Deciding the Best Way to Pay Your Landscape Crews

Landscaper crew salaries LMN
Photos provided by LMN

By Mark Bradley

Deciding what to pay landscape crews can be challenging. After all, a competitive salary can make the difference between a happy crew member and one who’s looking for a new job.

What influences landscaper salaries

Salaries for landscapers in North America can vary widely, ranging from $28,000 to more than $50,000 annually. With such a wide spectrum, it’s critical to understand what influences these numbers.

1. Location and experience: Location and experience play a big role. For example, landscapers in states with a higher cost of living typically earn more. Additionally, residential landscape crews tend to earn less than their commercial counterparts. As of May 2023, Glassdoor lists an average entry-level U.S. landscaper’s salary at $37,650, while places it at $32,045, with California landscapers potentially earning more than $40,000.

2. Education and certification: Landscapers with degrees or certifications typically earn more. According to Glassdoor, for each year of added experience, a landscaper’s salary can increase by approximately $1,992. The complexity of tasks a landscaper handles can also influence their salary. Skills like planting, hardscape installation, pruning, operating specialized equipment, and diagnosing plant health issues can command higher salaries.

3. Specialization and credentials: Niche knowledge, certifications and special accreditations can significantly boost a landscaper’s earning potential. Degrees in Landscape Architecture or Horticulture can elevate a candidate’s profile, and certifications can further validate their skills.

Strategies to enhance landscaper salaries

Offering competitive salaries is not just about attracting talent. It’s about retaining it. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Stay informed: Knowledge is your most powerful tool. Regularly check platforms such as Glassdoor and Indeed to gauge what competitors are offering.
  • Offer perks: If stretching the salary isn’t feasible, consider the environment and benefits you provide. Training opportunities, health coverage and growth prospects can be as enticing as a large paycheck.
  • Promote growth: Ensure your landscapers see a future in your organization. A clear path to career advancement can be a significant incentive.
  • Streamline operations: Consider investing in landscape business management software. These tools can help you manage budgets, projects and payroll more efficiently, allowing you to focus on talent acquisition and retention.


For some, the dream is to be their own boss. Self-employed landscapers often have the potential to earn significantly more than those employed by companies. While self-employment offers freedom, it also brings its own set of challenges – from managing paperwork to handling customer complaints. However, the rewards can be substantial, with some self-employed landscapers earning up to $80,000 or more annually.

Landscape business owners and self-employed landscapers’ salaries vary even more depending on the size of the business and the number of employees and clients. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a self-employed landscaper is $77,960 a year as of May 2023.


Deciding what to pay your landscapers involves careful consideration of various factors, from location and experience to job responsibilities. By staying informed and using the strategies outlined here, you can attract and retain top talent, ensuring the continued success of your business.

Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is CEO of Landscape Management Network (LMN). Bradley co-founded LMN in 2009 based on his company’s need for landscape software that didn’t exist. He credits LMN – now a leading business management software – as a catalyst for helping him scale TBG Landscape from backyard business into one of the Top 100 landscape contractors in North America. Since his first lawn care customer in 1999, Bradley has been passionate about educating the industry on best practices for building better businesses. For more information, visit

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