Career Development

What Does a Groundskeeper Do?

Find out what a groundskeeper does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a groundskeeper.

Groundskeepers are responsible for the upkeep of public and private spaces. They maintain lawns, gardens, parks, playgrounds, etc., ensuring that they’re clean, safe, and presentable at all times. Groundskeepers may also be responsible for planting new vegetation or trees, removing dead ones, and performing other landscaping duties.

Groundskeepers work hard to ensure that their area is well-maintained. This often means working outdoors in all types of weather—they might spend hours each day cutting grass, raking leaves, trimming bushes, etc.

Groundskeeper Job Duties

Groundskeepers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Mowing grass and trimming bushes
  • Inspecting grounds for hazards such as exposed wiring or animal nests
  • Installing irrigation systems, fertilizing lawns, and mowing grass on a regular basis as part of a preventive maintenance program
  • Planting new trees and shrubs, maintaining existing plants, removing dead branches, and trimming bushes and trees
  • Monitoring insect and rodent populations on the property for signs of infestation
  • Planting new trees and shrubs, pruning existing ones, and maintaining the grounds of public parks or other properties
  • Fertilizing lawns and maintaining lawn mowers and other equipment for cutting grass
  • Spraying insecticides and fungicides to control pests that threaten plants or other organisms on the property
  • Removing weeds or other unwanted vegetation from concrete slabs or other hard surfaces using hand tools such as rakes and shovels

Groundskeeper Salary & Outlook

Groundskeepers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for. Some groundskeepers may also receive benefits, such as health insurance, 401k contributions, and paid vacation days.

  • Median Annual Salary: $33,500 ($16.11/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $54,500 ($26.2/hour)

The employment of groundskeepers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for groundskeeping services will increase as more people move to cities and towns and spend time outdoors. In addition, the need to conserve water and reduce pollution will lead to more efficient irrigation systems, which will require groundskeepers to maintain them.

Groundskeeper Job Requirements

Groundskeepers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Groundskeepers typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed a two-year associate degree in horticulture or landscape management. These programs teach students about the principles of plant science, landscape design, irrigation, soil science, landscape installation and landscape maintenance.

Training & Experience: Most groundskeepers receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning about the specific equipment and chemicals used by the company, as well as the preferred methods for completing various tasks. Training may also include instruction on how to use the computer system the company uses to track work orders and other information.

Some groundskeepers may receive additional training in the form of a certificate or associate’s degree. For example, a groundskeeper who works in a park may receive training in the form of a certificate in park management. A groundskeeper who works in a golf course may receive training in the form of a certificate in golf course management.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Groundskeeper Skills

Groundskeepers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Maintenance skills: Groundskeepers are responsible for keeping the grounds of a property in good condition. This includes mowing grass, trimming bushes, raking leaves, shoveling snow and performing other maintenance tasks. Maintenance skills are an important part of a groundskeeper’s job.

Communication skills: Groundskeepers often work in teams, so communication skills can help them work with their colleagues efficiently. Groundskeepers can also use communication skills to communicate with the public, such as when they’re explaining the rules of a park or answering questions about the park’s facilities. Groundskeepers can also use communication skills to communicate with their supervisors, when they’re requesting time off or submitting their work.

Safety knowledge: Groundskeepers are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for their coworkers and the public. Safety knowledge is an important skill for groundskeepers to have, as it allows them to identify potential hazards and take the necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Groundskeepers can also use their safety knowledge to train others on how to work safely.

Physical fitness: Groundskeepers often have physical fitness skills that allow them to complete their work duties. They often have to lift and carry heavy objects, walk long distances and work outdoors in all types of weather. Having physical fitness skills can help them complete their work duties efficiently and safely.

Attention to detail: Groundskeepers are responsible for maintaining the appearance of a property, including its landscaping, outdoor furniture and other features. Attention to detail is a necessary skill for groundskeepers to ensure that they complete all of their duties to the standards of their employer. Groundskeepers may also use attention to detail to identify potential hazards on the property, such as exposed electrical wires or a broken sprinkler system.

Groundskeeper Work Environment

Groundskeepers work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, including hot sun, cold winters, and rain or snow. They use a variety of tools and equipment, such as lawn mowers, tractors, and snowplows, and they may be exposed to hazardous materials, such as pesticides. Groundskeepers typically work a 40-hour week, but they may have to work overtime, weekends, and holidays to maintain the grounds. The work can be physically demanding, and groundskeepers may be exposed to injuries from equipment or chemicals.

Groundskeeper Trends

Here are three trends influencing how groundskeepers work. Groundskeepers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Attention to Sustainability

As the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability, groundskeepers will need to focus on creating environmentally-friendly lawns and gardens.

This trend means that groundskeepers will need to be familiar with a variety of sustainable landscaping techniques, such as using native plants, recycling water, and using organic fertilizers. They will also need to be able to communicate the benefits of sustainability to their clients in order to convince them to adopt these practices.

More Use of Technology

Groundskeepers are increasingly turning to technology to help them do their jobs more efficiently. This is due to the increasing popularity of smart devices, which allow groundskeepers to monitor and manage their work from anywhere.

As technology becomes more prevalent in the industry, groundskeepers will need to learn how to use it effectively in order to stay competitive. This includes learning how to use software to track tasks and manage projects, as well as utilizing mobile apps to communicate with coworkers and customers.

A Focus on Customer Service

As customer service becomes more important in today’s economy, groundskeepers can capitalize on this trend by developing skills in this area.

By focusing on customer service, groundskeepers can provide a better experience for customers and improve their overall perception of the company. In addition, they can also develop skills that can be applied to other areas of business, such as sales and marketing.

How to Become a Groundskeeper

A groundskeeper career can be a great way to start your working life. It’s a physically demanding job that requires hard work and dedication, but it also offers many opportunities for growth. As you gain experience, you may move up the ranks and take on more responsibility. You could also specialize in a particular area of landscaping, such as planting or irrigation.

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and technologies. Read industry publications, attend workshops and training sessions, and network with other professionals. This will help you develop new skills and keep your knowledge base fresh.

Advancement Prospects

Groundskeepers can advance to positions such as supervisor or head groundskeeper. With experience, some groundskeepers may become self-employed landscapers or arborists. Some may move into related occupations, such as horticulturist, nursery worker, or florist.

Groundskeeper Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are proud of our beautiful and well-maintained grounds. We are looking for a groundskeeper to join our team and help us keep our grounds looking their best. The ideal candidate will have experience in landscaping, horticulture, or a related field. They will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including mowing, trimming, planting, watering, and fertilizing. They will also be responsible for cleaning up leaves and debris, and snow removal in the winter. The groundskeeper will work closely with the Facilities Manager to ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely and efficient manner.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain the appearance of all assigned areas, including but not limited to weeding, edging, mulching, pruning, and trimming
  • Plant annuals, perennials, vegetables, shrubs, and trees as needed or directed
  • Operate a variety of powered equipment, such as mowers, trimmers, blowers, and tillers
  • Rake, bag, and remove leaves, debris, and trash from assigned areas
  • Spread topsoil, fertilizer, and other amendments as needed
  • Install, maintain, and repair irrigation systems
  • Monitor horticultural pests and diseases, taking action as necessary to prevent spread
  • Assist with snow removal in winter months
  • Keep storage areas for tools, equipment, and supplies clean, organized, and safe
  • Adhere to all safety protocols and procedures
  • Report any maintenance issues or concerns to supervisor in a timely manner
  • Perform additional duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven groundskeeping experience
  • Working knowledge of landscaping tools and equipment
  • Ability to lift 50+ pounds
  • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
  • Excellent time-management skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in horticulture, landscape design, or related field
  • 2+ years professional groundskeeping experience
  • Leadership experience
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • Pesticide application certification

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