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Groundskeeper vs. Landscaper: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A groundskeeper is responsible for the upkeep of a property, while a landscaper designs and installs outdoor spaces. Both roles are important in keeping properties looking their best, but the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of each job are different. In this article, we compare the job titles of groundskeeper and landscaper, including their duties, necessary skills and average salaries.

What is a Groundskeeper?

Groundskeepers are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of outdoor spaces on a property. This can include mowing lawns, trimming hedges, watering plants, removing debris and maintaining walkways and parking areas. Groundskeepers may also be responsible for larger projects such as installing irrigation systems or new landscaping features. In some cases, Groundskeepers may also provide basic custodial or janitorial services for the property. They typically work for commercial or residential properties, such as office buildings, schools, hospitals or private homes.

What is a Landscaper?

Landscapers are responsible for the care and maintenance of outdoor spaces, including both public and private gardens, parks and lawns. They use a variety of tools and equipment to plant, fertilize, water and otherwise care for different types of plants, trees and shrubs. Landscapers also design new outdoor spaces, including gardens, patios and walkways. They may create plans for these spaces using computer-aided design (CAD) software. In addition to plant care and design, landscapers also perform hardscape work, which involves installing features such as fences, decks, retaining walls and irrigation systems.

Groundskeeper vs. Landscaper

Here are the main differences between a groundskeeper and a landscaper.

Job Duties

Groundskeepers have more extensive job duties than landscapers. They’re responsible for the maintenance of a property, which can include mowing grass, trimming bushes and trees, cleaning buildings and equipment and performing other tasks related to keeping a location functional.

Landscapers are typically hired to perform specific jobs, such as installing new lawns or designing flower beds. Their job duties may change from project to project, depending on their employer’s needs. Landscapers may also perform general maintenance around a site, like sweeping and watering.

Job Requirements

Most groundskeepers and landscapers have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some learn their trade through on-the-job training, while others may receive formal education at a technical school, community college, or 4-year university. Many professional organizations offer certification programs that groundskeepers and landscapers can use to improve their skills and demonstrate their commitment to the profession.

Work Environment

Groundskeepers and landscapers work in different environments. Groundskeepers typically work outdoors, often on sports fields or other large areas of land. They may also work inside buildings, such as stadiums, to maintain the grounds there. Landscapers usually work outside, but they may occasionally work inside a building to care for indoor plants.

Both professions can be physically demanding because they involve manual labor. However, landscapers may spend more time working with heavy machinery than groundskeepers do. This is because landscapers use lawnmowers, tractors and other equipment to complete their jobs.


Both groundskeepers and landscapers need to have a strong understanding of horticulture, as they will be responsible for taking care of plants and grass. They also both need to have physical strength and stamina, as the job often requires lifting heavy objects and being on your feet for long periods of time.

Groundskeepers typically work more with maintaining existing landscapes, while landscapers are responsible for creating new designs. As a result, landscapers often need to have design skills to create attractive and functional outdoor spaces. They may also use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create their plans. In contrast, groundskeepers do not typically need design skills, but they need to have strong attention to detail to ensure they are properly caring for the landscape. For example, they need to know how to identify different types of plants and grasses and understand the best methods for watering, fertilizing and trimming them.


The average salary for a groundskeeper is $37,092 per year, while the average salary for a landscaper is $39,544 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the type of work you’re doing, your location and your experience level.


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