Life as a landscape employee

Jeremyg5

LawnSite Member
I am turning 21 in a couple months and have been landscaping since my junior year of high school with a friend who started his company in high school. He has grown the company fairly well having a good amount of residential and commercial properties and connections. I am currently making $18/hr without any benefits.

I was wondering how comfortable is the living being a landscape employee or anyone who still does landscaping as their full time occupation. Is it worth whole sticking around or should I go back to college? Has anyone started a side hustle? I was possibly thinking of starting a stump grinding company for the weekends and winters. Just wanting to know if being a landscape employee is a comfortable occupation to keep.
thankyou
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
Are you a crew leader? $18 an HR is strong in our neck of the woods. In the past I've told my crew guy look I can do benefits, medical, dental, you name it. But I'll pay just a tad above min wage. So what do you want? Earn 2x min wage or min wage and a bunch of benefits? They all said they wanted the paycheck. But if he's growing his biz, crew leader, manager of crew leaders with maybe benes at that point. That's what I'd do. But I don't know his financials.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
I actually did quite a lot of college. Most of it while still cutting lawns. Got my MBA. Got into a financial doctorate program. But quit after the first semester. It wasn't for me. At all. I really enjoy what I do. I think that's a large part of any career. If you enjoy what you do I really don't think it's a job. I look forward to the next day. Even with all the BS from the previous days.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
What kind of landscaping work are you doing? I'd go with the recommendation of go to college, maybe study something turf related. Start your own hustle with the experience you have. Owner always makes more than the employee.
 

Capt J-rod

LawnSite Senior Member
Do both... I worked construction and went to school at night. Got my associates and in 2007 everything kinda crashed. I was laid off so it was time to finish the degree full time. Got an engineering degree and went back to work, only in the office this time. Since I was used to being broke, aka construction lay offs and college, I saved all of the money I could, did side jobs and bought a trashed duplex. Lived in 1/2 and remodeled it. The rent made most of my payment. Met my wife and we eventually bought a trashed little house that I fixed up and we lived in. Duplex keep on chugging along. We bought another house and rented out the other three. I now have five and I no longer do any engineering. I tell my buddy, when you work in the field and the boss shows up once a week you get yelled at to get it done... In the office you get yelled at everyday!!! Look into Dave Ramsey financially and start off slow. You will get there if you do it right. I am now looking for yet another trashed house to gut and remodel. Prices are stupid right now, but it will eventually correct. Finally don't be afraid to jump out on your own. Never burn a bridge, but also never be afraid to tackle it yourself. Don't borrow money to buy stupid stuff. Look all around and you will soon realize that you are surrounded by "debt slaves" that work for the banks and payment books. Good luck and work hard. The dream is alive, you just have to make it happen.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
That book from the either late 90s or early 2000s... The millionaire next door. Most of the millionaires are those living in modest homes, might have a plumbing or dare I say it lawn rig in their drive. No fancy sports cars etc. I need to re read that book. Most of the broke (by net worth) are those living in very very nice homes, nice cars, etc. Couldn't run two real nickels together if they had to.
 

Mowing monkey.

LawnSite Bronze Member
I’m 22 and I quite college after the first semester. I don’t regret the decision at all. I’m doing more construction and less mowing now though.
 

eggy

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Seymour Indiana
I’ve worked for a small mom and pop for a long time. It’s ok no advancement typical 2-3% yearly wage increase. Not getting rich but ok for our area. I don’t get benefits either it runs me about $5 a hour to cover health insurance and IRA contribution. I would really suggest college or even a vocational school.... or consider getting on at a parks and recreation department, college grounds or hospital grounds crew. Better benefits, stable schedules and advancement. As I type this I’m watching MLB day live and always wondered what sports turf would be like as well..
 
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