School of Agriculture, Plant, and Animal Sciences

Landscape Contracting

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Vermont Technical College will join with Castleton University and Northern Vermont University to become Vermont State University on July 1, 2023.

Visit to learn more about Landscape Contracting for fall 2023.

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The Landscape Contracting program prepares students for a wide range of successful careers in the green industry. Students gain technical, business, creative, and scientific skills necessary to grow a variety of plant crops and to design and manage landscapes that enhance the environment and the daily lives of those who use them.

Specifically, students learn to create comprehensive and holistic landscapes by integrating fundamental design principles and cultural and aesthetic knowledge of ornamental plants and the natural systems that support them.  Students also gain technical skills in materials and methods of construction; site engineering, such as grading and drainage; greenhouse and nursery environmental systems; integrated pest management; and the use of appropriate computer applications. Students will become fluent in design practices such as analyzing a site for the best design fit, taking site measurements and creating base maps, developing conceptual design ideas, and creating planting plans and master plans for real-world residential and community projects.  Students also develop a wide range of horticultural skills, including identifying and propagating woody and herbaceous ornamental plants, diagnosing and creating preventive plans for insect and disease problems, and managing nutrients and water for plant crops.

A student with an Associate of Applied Science in Landscape Contracting will be able to:

  1. Graphic Communication Skills: Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of freehand sketching, board drafting, and presentation graphics for the formulation, exploration, and communication of design ideas
  2. Communication Skills:
    1. Demonstrate a high level of ability to communicate technical and theoretical information through both the written and spoken word
    2. Demonstrate a high-level ability to verbally communicate design ideas effectively to clients and jury
  3. Technical Skills:
    1. Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of the materials and methods of construction
    2. Create plans for the installation, operation, and maintenance of greenhouse and nursery environmental systems
  4. Design Skills:
    1. Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of fundamental design principles, theory, and practice
    2. Perform cost estimates related to design and construction
  5. Horticultural Skills:
    1. Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of the identification of woody ornamental plants
    2. Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of the identification of herbaceous ornamental plants
    3. Explain the concepts and techniques of integrated pest management and use that knowledge to make management recommendations
    4. Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of the propagation and production of herbaceous and woody ornamental plants
    5. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of soils and their properties as they apply to the landscape industry
    6. Demonstrate an appropriate mastery of landscape applications such as plant selection, cultural requirements, cultural practices, and maintenance
  6. Business Skills:
    1. Demonstrate the ability to examine and analyze the practical aspects of organizing and managing a small business
    2. Create contract proposals (short form and long form) that protect the interests of the contract and client
    3. Write solid specifications that lay out the responsibilities of all participating parties
    4. Demonstrate the principles of professional conduct in all aspects of client/customer and employee/employer relations

Some courses are offered every other year.

Curriculum Details


Job Projections

Landscape Supervisors
That Translates Into



National data: occupational openings, projected 2019-2029 annual average (source: BLS)

Placement Rate






Vermont Tech data: 6 Month Outcome Survey, Class of 2019. National Data: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) First Destinations for the College Class of 2018 (October 2018)


  • Henderson's Tree and Garden
  • Ground Level Landscaping
  • Broadleaf
  • Cedar Hill Nursery
  • Chippers
  • S&D Landscapes LLC
  • East Hill Tree Farm
  • Frost Gardens
  • Gilbreath Landscapes
  • MJS Lawncare and Lawnscape Inc
  • Pellettierie Associates
  • Rugg Valley Landscaping
  • Grass Gauchos LLC
  • Hedgehog Hill Apiary
  • Henderson’s Tree Service
  • Town of Hanover, NH
  • King Enterprises
  • Di Stefano Landscaping
  • Cuttin' it Close

Job Titles

  • Owner
  • Manager
  • Landscaper
  • Franchise Manager
  • Nursery Worker/Grafter
  • Lead Stocker
  • Gardener
  • Landscape Management

Leah Jacobs

• Non-traditional student going into a full-time course schedule • Greatly enjoyed all her classes • In the process of starting a business
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  • 15

    On August 9, 2022, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) would award a $1.2 million grant to Vermont Technical College to expand the college’s agricultural workforce development and entrepreneurship training programs. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and will support the establishment of agricultural and food entrepreneurship coursework designed…

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  • 18

    Vermont Technical College has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the state’s Working Lands program to increase meat processing courses at the school. State agriculture officials say the money will create a number of certificate opportunities for students. Officials say about 70 students a year will learn the trade which ultimately will help address workforce shortages in the industry. “Vermont livestock producers…

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  • 17

    Vermont State University, the first statewide, hybrid higher education institution in the United States, launched its unified brand identity and logo during a live virtual broadcast today. The unveiling is a major milestone in a transformation process unifying three institutions – Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College. Sixteen months ago, the Vermont State Colleges System initiated a…

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Jack Beauparlant

  • I am able to dig in and get my hands dirty in the field during class.
  • I enjoy Vermont Tech’s small class size.
  • I am so happy to know more about landscaping than I ever thought possible.
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Katie Colligan

  • I want to follow in my father's footsteps
  • I don't want to be another face in the crowd
  • I want to break down barriers for women in Auto Tech
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Brendan Rowley

  • I work on a 4th-gen family farm
  • I participated in the 2+2 program
  • I received a wide range of experience
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Jenny Yang

  • I was a TRIO mentor and tour guide.
  • I’m pursuing my dream career.
  • I’m doing this all on my own, but I felt supported at school.
  • I was excited to enter into my field so quickly.
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Jonas Hastings

  • Default content.
  • Should be in list format.
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Zachary Crowne

  • Vermont Tech helped me feel more confident as a student.
  • I have built confidence as a student.
  • I landed a job as a diesel technician at Milton Caterpillar in Richmond.
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