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Landscaping and Carpentry Essay


Choosing a career is a choice that one should approach with a plethora of knowledge on all options, weighing the pros and cons of each career, and ultimately choosing what is the best long term option for him/herThis is somewhat awkward.. According to U.S. News author Tim Tyrell-Smith, there are key questions that one should ask oneself when making this choice: What are your natural talents?, What’s your work style?, Where do you like to work?, Do you enjoy social interactions?, How important is work-life balance?, How do you deal with stress?, and How much money do you desire to make? (Tyrell-Smith. 2010)

One should also consider the educational training needed for a particular field. The final career choice and ultimate option should be one that may even include guidance from a career counselor or school advisor. In this report, the previous questions will be explored in order to choose between a career in Landscaping or Carpentry. In this formal report, a comparison will be made between 2 careers. The career choices are Landscaping and Carpentry. These two careers have similarities as well as differences.

In preparing this comparison between Landscaping and Carpentry, statistics were compared from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Educational requirements, salary and defining characteristics of Landscaping and Carpentry were compared and analyzed from the American Nursery and Landscape Association and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.


Landscaping can be described as the ability to create useful and attractive outdoor environments. This will be accomplished by using natural materials such as land, trees, and shrubs as well as considering climate. These materials will be used to create attractive spaces for homes, buildings, highways and parks. Landscaping is definitely a career that will flourish depending on one’s natural talent in creating beauty where there previously was none or creating a focal point that will catch a passerby’s attention. Landscapers must converse with clients, listen to clients ideas and expectations, they will draw/sketch proposed plans as well as interject his/her knowledge on all things related to the job offering professional suggestions. The ultimate goal of the Landscaper is having a completely satisfied client and self pride from the job. Those that are interested in Landscaping as a career will improve their chances in finding employment if one is properly educated/trained in the field.


There are a couple of options when one becomes educated in the field of Landscaping. There is the option to complete 4-5 years in a college/university as well as attending a trade school that provides licensing upon completion of requirements/courses. In addition to this, those that took High School courses at schools that provide vocational training; have an added jump upon entering this field’s educational training. The classes/training in the Landscaping field can include but aren’t limited to; Mathematics, Horticulture, Social Science, Engineering, and Business. When one is considering Landscaping as a career, it is important to consider the starting salary as well as employment options.

Employment and Compensation

Most Landscapers, especially those that are employed by firms, will experience at least 2-3 years of being an apprentice before being classified as a skilled Landscaper. Whether one works for a firm or is self employed as a Landscaper, the number of jobs completed, years as a Landscaper as well as visuals that reflect jobs completed, will help one Landscaper shine above others being considered for a job. The Median salary for Landscaping Architects is $53, 120 per year for those that are self employed and a median of $74, 508 for those that work at the government level.( U.S. Department of Labor, 2011) U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26% of Landscapers are self employed. There are pros to being a self employed Landscaper. There is the ability to pick your own work hours, clients, vacations and availability.

The pleasure and pride that can accompany owning one’s own business is also a pro of being self employed. All profits are controlled by the Landscaper. As there are pros, there are also cons to being self employed. Self employed Landscapers are responsible for their own health benefits which can become expensive especially if the Landscaper has a family to consider or becomes injured on the job. The self employed Landscaper will also have to manage any losses that the business may come across. Depending on the geographical location of the Landscaper, working conditions and consistency may vary.

Work Conditions

A Landscaper must take into consideration that he/she will be working outdoors in various climate and weather conditions. This can also prove to be a hindrance as this career in some regions, can come with down time during winter months. Some Landscapers make the choice in providing snow removal to clients as a way to still provide a safe and attractive environment for homes or businesses.


Carpentry is defined by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America as a skilled craftsperson, who reads blue prints, works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture and other objects. This may include manual labor and various working conditions. Carpenters must not only have the ability to visualize the finished product but be able to endure strenuous work days. Depending on the ranking of the Carpenter or whether he or she is self employed, there may be contact with clients. Carpenters spend a vast majority of their time working with their hands and equipment but must also be prepared to quickly and accurately solve mathematical problems concerning the job. (Maguire, 2008). Though the United States doesn’t have formal requirements other than trade unions, there are a couple of training options for Carpentry.


Vocational training or Trade School are both possibilities when one is choosing how to prepare for a career in Carpentry. Whether training happens at a Vocational or Trade School, there are 2-4 years spent as an apprentice under a skilled Carpenter. During this time, the carpentry apprentice will become familiar with building layout, rough framing, inside/outside finishing and mathematical problem solving as it’s concerned to Carpentry. There will also be training for the use of machines, tools, and equipment. Training can also be taught in the various carpentry specialties. A Finisher/Joiner specializes in cabinetry, furniture making, fine woodworking, model building, etc. A Ships Carpenter is trained in ship building, maintenance and repair. Potential Carpenters need to consider the employment status as well as the compensation and mobility within a company. (Maguire, 2008).

Employment and Compensation

About 33% of all Carpenters are self employed. (Bureau of Labor and Statistics May 2011) Being self employed requires that the Carpenter acquire all equipment needed for various jobs as well as managing employees as most jobs require multiple workers. Employers looking to hire Carpenters favor those that have 3-4 years of apprentice experience in the classroom over those that did not receive formal training. There is also the opportunity of advancement when working for a Carpentry company and becoming a supervisor over multiple job sites.

Being bilingual in English and Spanish is also a plus because the Carpentry industry is heavily populated with those that speak Spanish. (Rosenberg-McKay, 2010). Carpenters may experience periods of unemployment when self employed versus those that work for a company because of the short term nature of construction jobs. There is also the winter down time in the Northern areas. Building activity strongly depends on the state of the economy. (Rosenberg-McKay, 2010). Based on all of the information that has been given, I strongly recommend Landscaping as a career choice.


Choosing a career is an extremely important decisionThis is so obvious that you should just omit it from your conclusion.. When considering between Landscaping and Carpentry, the pros of Landscaping outweigh those associated with Carpentry For whom? This is a question you could answer if you’d conducted an interview.. Both careers offer a higher chance for success if one is educated/trained well in the field. There is also possible down time in both fields. Though these things are true, choosing a career path in Landscaping is my recommendation.

I highly recommend Landscaping for the following reasons:

1. Landscaping offers education that can be obtained through Trade/Vocational Schools as well as Universities. Through University programs, a Landscaper can earn a Bachelors Degree as well as obtain a Master’s Degree in the field. During the 4-5 year programs, one would gain not only knowledge but have an opportunity to have a vast amount of experience provided through the school. 2. While both careers offer an opportunity to converse with clients, Landscaping offers a higher chance to add personal creativity another quality you could have assessed in an interview to a job from the client or Landscaper. Landscapers can also offer visuals of pervious jobs/ideas that the client can take into consideration in creating their outdoor space whether for a home, park or business. 3. Of the 4 seasons, Landscaping tends to flourish during spring, summer and fall.

Though those are peak seasons for this career path, Landscaping in areas that deal with cold and snowy winters, offer a slightly different opportunity for during this season that will allow less down time. Most businesses as well as homes require snow removal and also the desire to keep a level of positive appearance even in a cold season. Making spaces safe and clear for all that need access. 4. While compensation isn’t the only driving force when considering a career, Landscaping offers and higher salary opportunity. Landscaping has a median Salary of $53,120 versus Carpentry’s median salary of $40,010. On the higher end of salary possibilities, Landscaping is $74,508 while Carpentry is $71,890. Both paths can lead to self employment which offers about the same cons, but there are more Landscapers employed with companies/firms that in Carpentry by a difference of 8%.

There was a lot to consider when researching Landscaping and Carpentry as careers. The four previous stated reasons explain why I highly recommend Landscaping over Carpentry.  Formatting: 20 points – everything but an interview and a letter of transmittal. Content: 55 points – no interview or letter of transmittal. References: 20 points – you have only four references.
Style: 22 points. Some redundancy.
Mechanics: 15 points – fine.
Total grade: 132 points.

American Nursery and Landscape Association. (2008). General Format. Retrieved from
American Society of Landscaping Architects. (2012). General Format. Retrieved from
Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Employment and Salary. (2011, May). General Format. Retrieved from http://data.bls.gov.search/query/results?cx=013738036195919377644%3A6in0hfrg150&q=landscaping Macguire, Byron. (2008). Carpentry in Commercial Construction. General Format. Retrieved

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