Career Decision

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ACA Lawn Care, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. ACA Lawn Care

    ACA Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I am 17 years of age and will be graduating high school in May. I like to do lawn maintenance. But many people say I should't do Landscape Management. Their is a great two-year program at the local community college. Their are many careers going through my head. Careers such as medical technician, electrical engineer, or just major in business and see where it gets me. I have about 16 yards that I care for and business is growing, but my town is very small and not enough to support a descent business. I was thinking of moving near Memphis in the Southhaven area. What would you do?
     
  2. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    Ahhh.....................to be young again.

    I was an electronics technician for 16 years before I started my lawn/snow business and I have kicked myself more than once for not staying in school and getting an engineering degree. There are lots of opportunities for an engineer.

    I would think a medical career would be a good choice also, there will always be sick people.

    If you are passionate about the green industry and like the work than I say get the 2-year degree and go for it.

    Any job/career is a risk these days, you have to do what you like. You can never go too wrong with a good education.

    You could always get an engineering degree and mow lawns part time. After you get your first job then you can determine if you want to keep mowing part time or sell the lawn business. Also remember that you don't have an employer giving you benefits when you have your own business............benefits are a huge part of a compensation package.

    The best advice I can give you is be sure you like what you are doing, it doesn't matter if you are a brain surgeon or a ditch digger, be sure you like your job or every day will be hell. If you have a passion or desire for something, half of the battle is won.

    I think I have rambled on for long enough, hope some of this has helped. One more piece of advice...................work on your spelling : ).

    Joel B.
     
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Many colleges now offer a golf course management program. Met a guy in Snowass (near Aspen, CO) that went through the program at a college in New York and the Snowmass golf course pursued him. Many upscale courses around the country that would seem appealing to work for.
     
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    A majority of my family is still in Iuka. Growing up I spent a lot of time down there. I still make it down to Iuka a few times a year.

    The decision is yours. Not an easy one. PM me, I might have a few ideas for you.
     
  5. bugspit

    bugspit LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 769

    Continue with school and work towards a Masters Degree in this field or business.

    Think long term...where do you want to be in 20, 30 years.

    Keep doing what you enjoy but get a good education, in 10 more years you will have a much better picture of your future.
     
  6. firekilr2

    firekilr2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Just remember doing the work is the easy part. Running the business is the hard part. Business degree would give you a sound background for the business end, and if you end up not wanting to do something else the business degree will take you in many different directions. Good luck
     
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Just a friendly piece of advise.Stay away from the business degree.It's pretty much useless in this day and age.I know several people who have gotten their business degree and they're making a whopping 12-14 dollars per hour.They're not fresh out of school either.Business degrees are a dime a dozen.
    Engineering pays well,but alot of that work is being outsourced to other countries now.Ain't free trade grand?
    Software developers make good money,but again,it's being outsourced more and more.Heck,hospitals are even outsourcing their XRAY technicians to other countries.They can send the XRAY over the internet and Haji in India can read it for a lower price.
    Medical technician would be a good field.Repairing dyalisis(sp?) machines,ultrasound machines,etc.,,They don't pay all that well,but you get some good benefits.
    I have an electronic engineering degree and luckily I work at a small engineering firm that pays well and has great benefits.Most other people I know in my field do not have it so well.
    If I were your age again and had my life ahead of me,I'd go for the horticulture degree.Learn all you can about landscaping.You have the time to build your reputation and your business.In 10 years you could have a great business and be making more than your peers who'll be working at the nearby furniture factory or electronic factory.
    Also,you're pretty close to Tupelo.I'd target Tupelo,Pontotoc,Iuka,Red Bay,etc.,,All of the nearby towns.You could make a trip to one town one day and another the next day.Expand your territory even more for landscaping jobs.There's a bit of money to be made in your area as most lawn guys over there charge high prices,but leave much to be desired in quality.Go for some of the commercial business' also,like mortuary's,factories,small business'.
     
  8. shepoutside

    shepoutside LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    I say do what your heart tells you to do. If you love what you do, it's not a job. You spend a lot of time at "work" so best to do what you love, not what pays the most. I have many rich-unhappy people that now have a life style to keep up, and can not change. I am a computer programer by diploma, and still remember the day it snow'd, and I though I miss'd out on something grand, as I was stuck in a humidity/temp/dust/though enviromennt ( yes, 20 years ago ;P ) and knew that very day, I was an outside person. Quit the next day, and never been as happy as I have been the last 20 some years. Many ppl go for the doe, but also think of what you love to do too !!! Best of luck in what-ever you decide !!!!!
     
  9. ACA Lawn Care

    ACA Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I go to Tishomingo County High School, and you would not believe how many students are majoring in business. When I started mowing, I told myself, I am not going to make a career out of mowing grass. I also thought about going to Mississippi State and getting the Degree. I am filling out all these scholarship forms and it says, "What are you career goals". I still am not 100% sure. But I am leaning closer to Landscaping, on the count of I just bought a new BP Stihl 340 to help with leaf cleanup.

    Thanks guys, for all the help.
     
  10. bugspit

    bugspit LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 769

    Might want to check out Agricultural Engineering, theres a wide varity of specialites including landscaping. Might also check out the local Extension service and talk to some of these guys.

    Best of luck, and ditto to shepoutside.
     

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