Career Development

What Does a Groundsman Do?

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

Groundsmen are responsible for maintaining the physical appearance of an area. They commonly work on large properties such as parks, golf courses, or commercial lots. Their duties may include mowing grass, planting and pruning trees and shrubs, clearing debris, etc.

Groundsmen must be detail-oriented and hardworking individuals who take pride in their work. They often have a lot of autonomy when it comes to performing their job duties—they’re expected to show up on time every day and get the job done without much oversight from supervisors.

Groundsman Job Duties

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

  • Maintaining sports grounds by performing tasks such as raking, mowing, and trimming the grass
  • Inspecting the field to identify problems such as weeds, insects, or other issues that may affect playability
  • Cleaning and repairing equipment such as mowers and rakes
  • Repairing any damage to the field caused by events such as concerts or soccer tournaments
  • Picking up trash from the stands after games or events have ended
  • Maintaining the facilities for a particular sport or recreational activity such as a stadium or skating rink
  • Maintaining the grass on fields by fertilizing, seeding, aerating, and spraying with pesticides
  • Applying chemicals to fields to prevent disease or kill weeds, insects, or other pests
  • Installing new grass seed or other types of turf, such as rubber or artificial grass, on fields that need repair or replacing

Groundsman Salary & Outlook

Groundsmen are typically paid hourly, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors. Some of the most important factors include years of experience, level of education, and size of the company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $79,500 ($38.22/hour)

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

Demand for grounds maintenance services will increase as more people move into new housing developments and commercial properties are built or renovated. Groundskeepers will be needed to maintain these properties.

Related: In-Depth Groundsman Salary Guide

Groundsman Job Requirements

Groundsmen typically need to have the following qualifications:

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

Training & Experience: Most groundsmen learn the specific skills and techniques they need for their role while on the job. Training may last for a few weeks to a few months, depending on the size and complexity of the property. Training often includes instruction on how to operate machinery, how to prune and maintain plants, how to mow lawns and how to use pesticides and fertilizers.

Some groundsmen may receive additional training in the form of certifications. For example, a groundsman who works in a public park may need to obtain a certification from the local government to use pesticides. Groundsmen who work in golf courses may need to complete a certification program to learn how to maintain the course.

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

Groundsman Skills

Groundsmen need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Groundsmen use technical skills to operate and maintain groundskeeping equipment. This includes knowing how to operate and maintain a variety of tools, machinery and vehicles. Groundsmen also use technical skills to identify and treat plant diseases and pests. They use these skills to identify and apply the correct treatment to maintain the health of the grounds.

Communication skills: Groundsmen communicate with their supervisors and coworkers to understand their duties and responsibilities. They also communicate with customers to answer questions and resolve issues. Groundsmen use verbal and nonverbal communication skills to instruct coworkers and train new employees.

Physical fitness: Groundsmen often use physical fitness skills to complete their work. They may need to lift heavy materials, work in extreme weather conditions and walk long distances. Physical fitness can help them complete their work efficiently and safely. Groundsmen may also use physical fitness skills to maintain their equipment, which can include climbing, lifting and moving.

Problem-solving skills: Groundsmen may need to solve problems that arise while maintaining the grounds of a large property. For example, if a sprinkler system malfunctions, a groundsman may need to find the source of the problem and repair it. This may involve using tools and following a specific process to find the problem and fix it.

Teamwork skills: Groundsmen often work with other employees to complete their duties. They may work with groundskeepers, gardeners, maintenance workers and other groundsmen to ensure the grounds are clean and safe. Working as a team can help you complete tasks more efficiently and improve the overall quality of your work.

Groundsman Work Environment

The work environment for a groundsman is usually outdoors, and the job may require working in all types of weather conditions. Groundsmen may work for landscaping companies, golf courses, cemeteries, or other businesses that maintain outdoor areas. They use a variety of power and hand-operated equipment, such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, hedge trimmers, and chain saws, to perform their duties. Groundsmen may also be responsible for applying pesticides and herbicides, and they may need to have a license to do this work. Some groundsmen work in teams of two or more, while others work alone. The job may require lifting heavy objects, such as bags of fertilizer or mulch, and working in awkward positions.

Groundsman Trends

Here are three trends influencing how groundsmen work. Groundsmen 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, groundsmen will need to adapt their practices to meet the new demands.

One way that groundsmen can adapt is by focusing on creating sustainable landscapes. This means using plants and materials that require less water and fertilizer, as well as designing gardens that are easier to maintain. In addition, groundsmen can also focus on educating the public about the benefits of sustainability.

More Use of Technology in Grounds Maintenance

As technology advances, grounds maintenance is becoming increasingly automated. This is leading to an increased use of technology in the industry, which is having a number of important implications for those who work in it.

For example, groundsmen are now able to utilize drones to inspect large areas quickly and efficiently. They can also use GPS systems to track the location of equipment and supplies, which helps to reduce waste and improve efficiency. Additionally, there is an increasing demand for groundsmen who are familiar with software such as AutoCAD, which allows them to create and edit designs for landscaping projects.

The Importance of Customer Service

As customer service becomes more important in business, groundskeepers will need to develop skills in this area.

Customer service is essential for any company that wants to be successful, as it allows businesses to build relationships with their customers and keep them happy. Groundskeepers can help to ensure that customers are satisfied by providing excellent service and maintaining the property in a clean and safe condition.

How to Become a Groundsman

A groundsman 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 personal growth. As you progress in your career, you’ll have the chance to learn new skills and take on more responsibility. You may even be able to move up the ranks and become a supervisor or manager.

If you want to become a groundsman, there are a few things you should consider. First, make sure you have the physical stamina required for this type of work. You’ll need to be able to lift heavy objects and work long hours outdoors in all weather conditions. Second, develop your communication skills so that you can effectively communicate with customers and other staff members. And finally, stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends so that you can keep your knowledge base current.

Related: How to Write a Groundsman Resume

Advancement Prospects

Groundsmen can advance their careers by becoming supervisors or managers. Some may move into related occupations, such as arborists, landscape architects, or park and recreation managers. Some groundsmen may become self-employed.

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