Landscape Certifications

Photograph by Jay Deputy

Photograph by Mike O’Hara

 Certifications for Landscapers

The Landscape Industry Certified Manager (Formerly CLP)
This designation is awarded those landscape business owners and professionals who pass a six-hour written exam that covers all aspects of working in the landscape industry. The exam is divided into five sections: Business; Risk, Law and Contracts; Human Resources and Health / Safety; Interior or Exterior Production / Operation and Horticulture; and Sales, Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations.

This written exam is offered annually at the LICH Conference or at the annual NALP (formnerly PLANET) Conference. Registration must be made through NALP.

Self study material and ordering information can be found on the LIC-Manager Page

The Landscape Industry Certified Technician: Exterior

This is a national testing program administered by the Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii Foundation (LICH-F) under a licensing agreement with the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), formerly PLANET. Currently offered in 22 states and four Canadian Provinces, the LICT certification program seeks to raise the standards of the landscape profession, recognize proficiency in the landscape workforce, upgrade the status of individual landscape professionals and provide employers and the public with a means of identifying qualified landscape professionals.

The Hawaii program offers certification in four areas, Turf Maintenance, Ornamental Maintenance, Softscape Installation and Irrigation. Each exam consists of four written exams and a series of hands-on field problems. Only one test can be taken at a time. Landscape certification is awarded to those applicants who receive 70% or higher on all of the field problems and written exams. An applicant can also be certified by retaking any missed problem(s) at a subsequent Certification test.

LICH member organizations offers an extensive training program to prepare for the exams and also self study training manuals are available from NALP. You can view more information about these opportunities and place an order for NALP Training manuals on our Training Page.

The Landscape Industry Certified Technician: Interior
This is a written test which has the same benefits and goals as the LICT-Exterior, but meeting the needs of the interior plant professional.

LICH will continue to expand and promote certification within the industry so that landscapers are validated for their expertise and the public is made increasingly aware of the value of a professional landscaper.

This written exam is offered annually at the LICH Conference. Registration must be made through NALP.

Self study materials are available from NALP. Local training classes can be offered if there is enough interest.


Arboriculture Certification

The tree care profession has experienced rapid growth over the past decade and there is a significant amount of knowledge required to perform at the highest level. ISA credentials help consumers identify qualified, knowledgeable tree care professionals.

Earning a credential is a voluntary activity, but it demonstrates that you have the proper knowledge and skills, as well as a high level of dedication to your profession and your community. International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists understand the importance of continued education and how it helps to make the world be a better place, one tree at a time.

The Aloha Arborist Association offers self-study programs and study groups to prepare one for the ISA Arborist Certification Exam. Visit the Aloha Arborist Association website and the ISA website for additional information.

Pesticide Certification

Pesticide Applicator Test

You need to be certified only if you use Restricted-Use Pesticides, those that have a greater chance of impacting the environment or human health. A dealer will not sell you a Restricted-Use Pesticide unless you are certified. To find out if a pesticide is restricted, contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Branch (HDOA).

There are two types of certified applicators: Private Applicators and Commercial Applicators. Private Applicators are those who are involved in agricultural production (farming) on land operated by themselves or their employer. Commercial Applicators make up the rest. There are 11 categories of Commercial Applicators ranging from Agricultural Plant Pest Control, Ornamental and Turf Pest Control, Termite Pest Control, and Demonstration and Research Pest Control. For your appropriate category, contact the HDOA’s Pesticides Branch.

To become certified, you must pass a written examination(s). Certifications are good for five years.  To arrange for testing, visit the HDOA’s Pesticides Branch website.

Pesticide Applicator Training

Pesticide Applicator Training is provided on all islands through the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources through the Extension Pesticides Programs at the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences. For more information visit their website.


Landscape Architect Licensure

Hawaii has a title and practice law meaning to use the title “Landscape Architect” or to practice the craft of landscape architecture requires a license in good standing. In Hawaii, the CLARB exam (L.A.R.E.) is administered only on Oahu. All candidates must submit state application form to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing and receive board approval in order to sit for any section(s) of the examination including the Hawaii State Exam.

The Hawaii State Exam is given with the CLARB exam. Filing deadline is March 10th and September 10th. The Hawaii State Exam is also offered monthly following the ‘Miscellaneous exam’ schedule found online.

For information on the State of Hawaii supplemental licensure examination visit the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing website.