Rutgers NJAES Training and Certification Programs

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Organic Land Care Certificate Program

This program provides education to landscapers and land care providers on organic practices for promoting healthy soil, enhancing biodiversity, and reducing polluted runoff from managed landscapes. Landscape professionals who have completed the certification program are added to the Rutgers “Find a Landscaper” database, which is searchable by county.

Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education

The program offers over 60 landscape and grounds management courses and a Landscape Management Certificate.

The Professional Fertilizer Applicator Certification and Training (ProFACT)

ProFACT provides online training and testing for professional fertilizer applicators seeking to become either certified or trained in order to meet the requirements of the New Jersey Fertilizer Law.

Professional Association and Certification Resources – NJ

New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NJASLA)

NJASLA provides information to Landscape Architecture professionals in New Jersey. Its annual meeting offers seminars, continuing education courses, and networking opportunities. The website’s resource page includes a list of green design resources.

New Jersey Nursery & Landscape Association

The Association offers training and continuing education through the Certified Nursery Landscape Professional (CNLP) program. The CNLP is an ongoing educational program designed to increase the skills of nurserymen, garden center employees, and landscapers throughout New Jersey.

New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association

The Association is a group of professional landscape contractors sharing information and resources. The NJLCA holds an annual trade show and conference, publishes a magazine, and provides information about becoming a Landscape Industry Certified Technician. The website also maintains a list of contractor members. Certification as a New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor is available through the New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor Examining Board.

Professional Association and Certification Resources – Regional and National

NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association)

NOFA offers an education and accreditation program based on its Standards for Organic Land Care. NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs) are added to a searchable database. NOFA’s other resources include an Organic Lawn Care Certificate course, workshops, webinars, lawn how-to videos, continuing education courses, and more.

Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) 

PLANET is a national trade association representing more than 100,000 landscape and lawn care industry professionals. The PLANET website offers landscape industry certifications and continuing education opportunities.


This EPA partnership program provides information about professional certification programs for landscape irrigation professionals.

Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA)

ELA advocates for responsible stewardship of land and natural resources in landscaping and horticultural practices. ELA provides a wide range of educational opportunities for its members, including a monthly newsletter, conferences, and webinars.

Association of Professional Landscape Designers

The association is an international organization that promotes the profession of landscape design and offers members a certification program and continuing education opportunities.

Rutgers NJAES Resources

Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory

This is a service unit that provides chemical and mechanical analyses of soils in New Jersey.

Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Laboratory

This is a full-service plant health diagnostic facility providing accurate diagnoses of plant health problems for the residents of New Jersey.


Rutgers has multiple resources for landscape, nursery, and turf professionals, including information and training about pest management and pesticide use.

Additional Resources – New Jersey

New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts

These districts are dedicated to protecting and conserving the state’s soil, water, and other natural resources.

The New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team

The team provides information about the identification and eradication of invasive plant species in New Jersey.

The Native Plant Society of New Jersey

The society has comprehensive lists of New Jersey native plants and information about the nurseries that stock them.

Additional Resources – Regional and National

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)

SITES has developed a comprehensive, voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes. It is used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, policy-makers, and others to guide land design and development. The SITES website offers professional education programs and materials for professionals in the land design and development industries.