Im curious as to what people pay the help in different areas. PT or FT? Just a flunky or a supervisor? Nobody seems to want to talk when you ask them in person-afraid Im gonna steal their guy with a fifty cent raise? Hahaha.
When wages are concerned, I think a lot of it has to deal with the area you are in and the competition you have. In my area; Wyo., the lawn companies usually start people at about $6.00 / hr. depending on experience. This is really low I think. In bigger areas you probably have to start people at about $8.00 - $10.00 /hr. This business is hard to keep employees because its seasonal work and very demanding physically. Why go to work for a lawn co. when you can make the same at the mall doing a lot less work. If you want info in your area, call some of the companies and see what the starting wage is.
I pay my migrant workers $7.00 and $8.50 an hour. My foreman gets $11.00 and hour. I let the guys who have been with me, take home the a few trucks. My company is based in NJ. It may seem a lot but, money motivates everyone and this guys bust their balls, so I make up the extra couple bucks a day in production time.. Just my 2 cents....
Around here, (PIttsburgh suburb) there are a ton of ads in the local paper in the spring advertising for landscape laborers. The starting wages listed are $6.50-$7.00/hour. To me, this is low. It is hard, heavy, dirty work. The hours are often lond, and you must work under varying weather conditions.
However, I don't see how one can pay an employee a deacent living wage in this trade. With the going rates so low, it can be impossible to retain and pay a worker a wage similar to that of an experienced professional tradesman, ie. plumber electrictian, carpenter, ect... I know that some of the masters of the trade are paying their best employees around $25/hour plus the benefit package. How many lawn care co'sor landscapers have employees that earn that wage???
It all depends on where you are Iam in northwest subs. of Chicago Iam paying labors to start $ 6.00 an hour foreman $ 9 to 12 an hour. A buddy of mine pays labors $ 5.50 an hour starting and foreman 10 an hour. Now about 200 miles south of me in southern IL. they are paying foreman $8 an hour Managers $ 12 an hour thats at the big companies in springfeild IL.
And to be fair some of the big boys around me in chicagoland are starting labors at $ 8 an hour foreman at 12 an hour for maintenance for landscape install labors making from $9 to 13 an hour foreman 13 to 18 an hour. Mangers range from low $30s to $60 range depending on time and knowledge. Freind of mine sold his company and went to work as a install manger his starting pay was $ 45,000 plus benfits and bonus plans and paid time off in winter. One more area that I know about northern florida labors bare min. foreman $ 7 an hour thats what my uncle pays his guys and they think they are makeing great money. Think about that once.
P.S. Companys (big boys) here that pay more also have 100 to 300 employies at peak time of year.
As most people said, it's very subjective to your local economy, state min. wage laws (ours are higher than most), and competition. With today's labor market and unemployment at an all time low, it's almost impossible to keep good reliable workers for very long without paying a decent wage.
For just laborers (doesn't matter to me if they speak english, just that they are drug free, legal, and show up on time) I start at $7.50. They just do labor, at the instruction of the crew lead.
For a crew lead / Driver, I pay $8 - $9.50 DOE. And he must speak fluent english, be drug free, etc.
I start my foreman (#2 guy in the whole company, behind me) out at $10 and give him 90 day goals. If he meets those 90 day goals and all other work performance is good, he gets a 50 cent raise. That occurs every 90 days for the first year. So at the end of the first year he will make $12 an hour and should be well worth it.
One more thing on employees. Hire for character and reliability. You can train them to do everything else. Experience is overrated IMO. If I get an experienced one too, that can sometimes be a bonus, but I look for character first and foremost. having been screwed on mulitple occasions over the past few years, I find that it's the only way to go.
Lewis Landscape Services
Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services
All the Flunkys/laborers in my area are billed out to the customer at $45/50 per hour. Even with insurance and other stuff, being paid $6/8 per hour sounds like it puts a lot of money in the owners pockets. I'm I missing something???? Thanks,
I will have one FT guy to do all the work. He will work with me on landscaping jobs but all the mowing he will do himself. I will start him out at $10/hr for the first 2 weeks and than $12/hr for the next 2 weks if there are no problems and $14/hr the next 2 weeks after that. Half way through the summer he may get a $1 raise if I am satisfied with his work. Money talks and you get what you pay for. Hopefully I will too.
Does anyone pay on a commision basis? I have been trying to figure out how to pay guys since I am new at this. I am a commision salesman now and think that if you pay by performance it can be a win win situation. ie a percentage of gross for the week.
What do you think?
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