Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship




If you are considering a career in the landscape industry or are currently working as a landscaper, becoming an apprentice would be the first step to your Journeyperson certification.

The Burnaby School District’s Community & Continuing Education office is an authorized industry training provider of Common Core Level 1 and Common Core Level 2 for the Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship.

The course fee covers all textbooks and materials.

Financial support and guidance

  • Landscape Horticulturist is now a Red Seal Trade — see Industry Training Authority ( for details.
  • Most students will qualify for financial support through the federal government’s employment insurance (EI) program; applications should be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the start of class. Visit the Service Canada website for details.
  • For information about grants and tax credits available for this apprenticeship program, see the attached file from
  • Apprenticeship student loans are available at Apprentice Loans.
  • Hort Education BC provides guidance to apprentices and will sponsor students for the first level (Common Core Level 1). Visit the Hort Education BC website for details.


Students should meet all the following prerequisites before registering:

  • Grade 10 English or equivalent
  • Physically fit
  • Students entering Level 1 must either attend an information session or email the program coordinator Karen Flynn ( for details on Industry Training Authority (ITA BC) and Employment Insurance (EI) registration


To receive the Journeyperson certification, students must complete 4 courses (called levels) and the required workplace hours (5280 hours).

Burnaby Community & Continuing Education is offering Level 1 and Level 2 of the Journeyperson certification. Students can then transfer to Kwantlen Polytechnic University or another institution to complete the remaining Level 3 and Level 4 courses.


Upon completion of your apprenticeship, you will receive Journeyperson certification. This identifies you as an expert in the field and gives you the opportunity to qualify for higher paying jobs that require professional certification.

Landscape Horticulturists identify, propagate, cultivate, grow and maintain plants and manage injured and diseased trees and plants. They create and modify landscapes by measuring, designing and interpreting plans. They construct and maintain gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscape environments. Landscape Horticulturists install and maintain hard landscape elements such as retaining walls, patios, walkways and water features. In addition, they advise clients on issues related to horticulture and landscape construction. They are employed by landscape designers, architects and contractors, lawn service and tree care establishments, recreation facilities, golf courses, parks, nurseries, greenhouses and municipal, provincial and federal governments. They may also be self-employed. For detailed course information, refer to the Program Outline available on the ITA website: then ‘find my trade’, then Horticulturist, Landscape.


Catherine Dale

After a decade of maintenance work in the horticulture industry, I started to wonder if there were better ways to deal with landscape problems. I realized I was treating the symptoms, not the causes, of the sick landscapes I was supposed to be caring for – that the conventional approach was not working. I began to explore organic principles and realized that the key to landscape health was working with nature, not warring against it. Time for an awakening!

In partnership with the Burnaby School District and Gaia College, I instruct the Organic Master Gardener and Organic Horticulture Specialist programs. I also instruct the Plant Identification course and guest lecture in the Ecological Landscape Design program. These courses are designed for professional and home gardeners to learn how to manage the landscape in an environmentally friendly way.

I also teach the Residential Landscape Technician program – for 20 years! It is an entry-level program to landscapers, many of whom have started their own businesses.

I work with the BC Landscape and Nursery Association, instructing the Horticulture Basics program, preparing and presenting entry-level information to new landscape employees across the province.

Burnaby School District’s Community & Continuing Education Services have been approved by the Industry Training Authority as a Training Provider for the Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship, so I coordinate the instructors and learning material in this program. Graduates of this program become trade certified in Landscape Horticulture, a Red Seal program.

Other qualifications:

  • Qualified for my Journeyperson certification in Landscape Horticulture in the early 1990’s
  • Instructor at Capilano College’s Horticulture program in 2005-2006 teaching Soils and Integrated Pest Management
  • SOUL certified in Organic Landcare, 2005
  • Over 30 years of experience in the horticulture industry, working for several municipalities, golf courses, private gardens, restoring heritage gardens and organically managing the GVRD’s compost demonstration garden
  • “Educator of the Year” award from the BC Landscape and Nursery Association, 2004
  • Awarded the City of Burnaby’s Environmental Award for work at the Eagles Estate Heritage Garden on the shores of Deer Lake, 2006
  • Worked as head gardener on the mainland for the Land Conservancy restoring historical and cultural gardens
  • Completed the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma in Adult Education
  • Involved with the Communities in Bloom program
  • Instructing Horticulture programs for Corrections Canada inmates
  • Certified Permaculture Instructor

Peter Isaacson

Peter’s main interests lie in the ornamental horticulture industry because of its links to agriculture, the urban environment and the public. In his role as president of Desslsaa Horticultural Consultants Inc, he works on behalf of the ornamental nursery industry on pest management and pesticide related issues (minor uses, pesticide bylaws, risk reduction, IPM research). He also works with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), US IR-4 Program, NAFTA –Technical Working Group on pesticides and pesticide registrants to advance ornamental pesticide priorities, risk reduction and issues. He as conducted Integrated Pest Management presentations and training workshops for the nursery and landscape sectors across Canada, including wholesale nurseries, urban landscapers, local BC municipalities, retail garden centers and students.

Peter is a participant within the Institute of Sustainable Horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He plans and conducts research trials on pest control products (efficacy, phytotoxicity), assembling funding applications and writing of reports. He also produces technical writing in integrated pest management, entomology, plant pathology, weed science and pesticide risk reduction including trade journal articles, technical bulletins, landscape apprenticeship course development for HortEducation BC and writing of national nursery crop profiles for Agriculture and Agrifood Canada’s Pest Management Centre.

Other qualifications:

  • Ornamental plant health instructor in the School of Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Assisted in development of BC Horticulture Apprenticeship Plant Health curriculum
  • Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, National IPM/Minor Use Coordinator
  • BC Greenhouse Growers Association, Research and Technical Manager
  • Completion of Instructional Skills Workshop, Kwantlen Polytechnic Univserity
  • Completion of Maser of Pest Management, SFU
  • Completion of B.Sc. (Biology), University of Victoria

Tim Philpott – instructor for Soils module

Tim has been involved with soil science for many years as a teaching assistant in the Forest Science Faculty and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. He has a strong teaching background in soil science, forest measurements, ecology, climatology, geomatics and basic statistics and is an enthusiastic advocate for soil conservation and management. Tim is currently working toward a Doctorate in Forestry. He is president of the Pacific Regional Soil Science Society in Vancouver and an active participant in many associated societies, including the Vancouver Mycological Society and the Pacific Regional Soil Science Society.


I found all the teachers approachable and able to answer my questions. You can see the teacher’s primary goal is to ensure that we all learn and understand. They made every effort to make us comfortable with the subject matter.
The teachers were all great! Looking forward to seeing you all for level 2.
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