Landscape & Turf Management

Graduates of the landscape and turf management program gain a strong background that prepares them for self-employment or employment with a landscape company or other organization involved with the upkeep of their grounds.

Topics of study include arboriculture; chemicals; fertilizers; flowering plants; greenhouse management; landscape mechanics and design; computer assisted design (Land CADD); Nursery management; soils; working in the greenhouse planting bedding plant plugs for the coming season; landscape skill development, and turf grass management. No part-time or evening classes are available. Topics also include Plant ID, Weed ID, Disease Management, and Insects.

Employment Stats

  • Program Length 12 months (Diploma)
  • Cost $5,099

About Program

Chattanooga State's Landscape & Turf Management program provides students with the technical instruction and skills development necessary to prepare them for employment in the landscape and turf industry.

Topics included in the program are:

  • Landscape Construction, Installation, and Maintenance
  • Irrigation Design, Installation, Troubleshooting, and Repair
  • Turf grass Management for Sports Fields, Golf Courses, and Residences
  • Planting Design and Plant Identification
  • Arboriculture and Pruning
  • Greenhouse Operation and Management

Students gain practical experience through field work on the program’s golf green and turf demonstration area, Chattanooga State’s baseball and softball fields, and campus landscape beds and greenhouse. Students learn the principles and techniques to construct and maintain landscapes through the safe and proper use and operation of landscape equipment such as: Skid-steer Loaders, Zero-turn Mowers, Reel Mowers (Riding and Walk-behind), Hand-held Power Equipment, and Hand Tools. Projects throughout the program are designed to reinforce the classroom knowledge and give students an opportunity to practice the skills needed to be successful in the landscape industry.

Technical Diploma

Through this program, students are trained with the necessary skills and knowledge to work at Golf Courses and Sports Fields, Landscape Construction and Maintenance companies, Irrigation companies, and in the Nursery industry.

Job Expectations

Technicians may work outside in all types of weather, in hot greenhouse and nursery environments, and be required to frequently travel to remote job locations. Some landscape operations typically start work as early as 5:00 – 6:00 AM to avoid summer heat. Hazards include injuries from working with and around heavy equipment and power equipment, strains from heavy lifting, eye and ear damage from equipment, repeated stress injuries, and dangers due to handling fertilizer and chemicals. Appropriate safety equipment is necessary when handling fertilizer and chemicals because contact can cause skin damage, frostbite, blindness, or other health problems. Appropriate personal protective equipment is necessary when operating power equipment to protect from injuries due to loud noise, flying objects, and blades.

Expected Earnings

Earnings as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are as follows: Median hourly wages of landscaping and grounds keeping workers were $13.51 in May 2017. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.09 and $14.01 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.66 per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.55.

Medial hourly wages of pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation were $16.74 in April 2018. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.61 and $17.86 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.66 per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.59.

Median hourly wages of tree trimmers and pruners were $17.53 in May 2017. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.50 and $18.18 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.62 per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $22.34. Median hourly wages in the services to buildings and dwellings industry were $14.04 in May 2017.

Median hourly wages of first-line supervisors/manages of landscaping, lawn service, and grounds keeping workers were $19.19 in May 2017. The middle 50 percent earned between $15.22 and $24.90 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12.57 per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $31.33.

Course Schedule

Students may enroll during the fall, spring or summer term provided space is available. Students who are eligible to enroll will be given an opportunity to register for one of the open seats during the enrollment period for each term.

  • Full-time classes
  • Day Classes Only
  • Enrollment is limited to 20 students in each class
Full-Time Program Schedule for (semester) (Hours)
Semester Day Class Evening Class Days
Fall (450 hours) 7:45am – 2:30pm Not Available Monday - Friday
Spring (450 hours) 7:45am – 2:30pm Not Available Monday - Friday
Summer (390 hours) 7:45am – 2:45pm Not Available Monday - Friday


Tools and Supplies cost for the program are approximately $200.00

Required Supplies:                                                                                                            

  • Digital Camera (camera, phone, or tab-let)
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Clipboard and/or Field Notebook
  • Drafting Scales (Architect and Engineer)
  • Scientific or Construction Calculator
  • Flash drive (1 GB min)
  • Headphones


Required Tools:

  • Work gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Ear plugs
  • Hard Hat
  • Hand Pruners


Optional Supplies:

  • Rain Gear
  • Wide rimmed hat
  • Knee pads
  • Sun screen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Padlock or combination lock for locker
  • 100' or 300' Measuring Tape
  • Leatherman-type Multi-tool


 Revised: June 20th, 2018

 The instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus in writing during the course of the semester


3 semesters – 1,290 clock hours - *Tuition will increase every fall semester
*Fall 450 hours $1,383
Spring 450 hours $1,383
Summer 390 hours $1,383
Tools (estimate) $200.00
Books (estimate) $750.00

TCAT Special Fees

Charged in Addition to Maintenance and Tuition

  • Credit by Examination Fee - The regular course fee is charged for each special examination and must be paid prior to taking the examination. Non-refundable. (See Academic Regulations.)
  • Credit for Life Experience Fees - Assessment Fee for Experiential Learning $45.00.  Experiential Learning Credit $15.00 per credit hour in excess of 3.0 credit hours. $90.00 maximum.
  • High School Equivalency Test (Hi-SET) - $75
  • Placement Test Fees - ACT - $45.00. (Refer to Admissions Policy.)


Textbooks costs for the program are approximately $800.00

Required Textbooks:

  • Mathematics for the Green Industry: Essential Calculations for Horticulture and Landscape Pro-fessionals. Agnew, Michael Lewis. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008.
  • What Tree Is That? Lincoln, NE: Arbor Day Foundation, 2009. (Summer/Fall)
  • An Illustrated Guide to Pruning. Gilman, Edward F. 3rd ed. Albany, NY: Delmar Thomson Learning, 2011. (Fall)
  • Landscape Construction. Sauter, David. 3rd ed. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2011. (Fall)
  • Applying Pesticides Correctly. PB 1109. UT Extension. (Summer)
  • Turf and Ornamental Pesticides Manual. PB 1652. UT Extension. (Summer)
  • Simplified Irrigation Design. Melby, Pete. 2nd ed. Wiley, 1995 (Spring)


Optional Textbooks:

  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. 6th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Pub., 2009.
  • Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Dirr, Michael. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.


Spring Semester

  • Irrigation System Design
  • Irrigation Installation, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting
  • Greenhouse Operation and Management
  • Landscape for Life


Summer Semester

  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Turfgrass Management
  • Pesticide Application
  • Plant Identification
  • Weed Identification


Fall Semester

  • Landscape Installation
  • Landscape Construction
  • Arboriculture and Pruning
  • Small Engine Repair and Maintenance
  • Small Engine Service
  • Disease Identification

Career Opportunities

Greens Keeper / Golf Course Maintenance Technician
Sports Field / Parks and Recreation Maintenance Technician
Landscape Construction Crewmember / Foreman
Irrigation Technician
Nursery and Landscape Supply Salesperson