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Landscape Contractor (Residential)

License required in 48 states

66th most burdensome licensing requirements among moderate-income occupations

19th most heavily regulated occupation among moderate-income occupations

What They Do

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.

Licensing

Forty-eight states license landscape contractors working on residential properties. On average, states require 198 days in education and experience and $203 in fees. Thirteen states also require at least one exam (California requires three). These requirements rank as the 66th most burdensome.

License to Work

The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2017.

States Ranked by Average Licensing Burden for 102 Lower-Income Occupations

More Burdensome Less Burdensom
Based on data released in November 2017

State Licensing Requirements

Select a chart to view:
Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Nevada 48 $1,253 1460 4 years 2 0 18
2 California 48 $579 1460 4 years 3 0 18
3 Hawaii 48 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
4 Arizona 48 $586 1460 4 years 2 0 18
5 Maryland 48 $533 730 2 years 1 0 18
6 Virginia 48 $320 731 8 clock hours 2 years 1 0 18
7 Oregon 48 $730 730 2 years 1 0 0
8 Utah 48 $589 733 20 clock hours 2 years 0 0 0
9 Mississippi 48 $0 730 2 years 1 0 0
10 Louisiana 48 $214 0 1 0 18
11 North Carolina 48 $75 0 1 0 18
12 Alabama 48 $325 0 2 0 0
13 Tennessee 48 $505 0 1 0 0
14 North Dakota 48 $175 0 0 0 18
15 Georgia 48 $75 0 0 0 18
16 West Virginia 48 $192 0 1 0 0
17 D C 48 $442 0 0 0 0
18 Alaska 48 $300 0 0 0 0
19 Arkansas 48 $200 0 0 0 0
20 New Jersey 48 $185 0 0 0 0
21 Washington 48 $176 0 0 0 0
22 Minnesota 48 $150 0 0 0 0
23 Idaho 48 $130 0 0 0 0
24 Ohio 48 $125 0 0 0 0
24 South Dakota 48 $125 0 0 0 0
26 Nebraska 48 $115 0 0 0 0
27 New York 48 $100 0 0 0 0
27 Oklahoma 48 $100 0 0 0 0
29 Colorado 48 $90 0 0 0 0
30 Kansas 48 $85 0 0 0 0
31 Iowa 48 $75 0 0 0 0
31 New Mexico 48 $75 0 0 0 0
31 Texas 48 $75 0 0 0 0
34 Illinois 48 $50 0 0 0 0
34 Indiana 48 $50 0 0 0 0
34 Missouri 48 $50 0 0 0 0
37 Kentucky 48 $40 0 0 0 0
37 Pennsylvania 48 $40 0 0 0 0
39 Michigan 48 $35 0 0 0 0
40 Wisconsin 48 $30 0 0 0 0
41 Florida 48 $25 0 0 0 0
41 Maine 48 $25 0 0 0 0
41 Montana 48 $25 0 0 0 0
41 New Hampshire 48 $25 0 0 0 0
41 Wyoming 48 $25 0 0 0 0
46 Vermont 48 $20 0 0 0 0
47 Connecticut 48 $0 0 0 0 0
47 Delaware 48 $0 0 0 0 0