Grounds Maintenance Worker Job Description
If there are any particularly nice public outdoor areas that you enjoy visiting, you can thank a grounds maintenance worker for keeping it looking healthy and attractive.
There are many different types of grounds maintenance workers, each with their own unique skill set and responsibilities. Landscapers, groundskeepers, greenskeepers, tree trimmers, and pesticide handlers are a few examples of specialized grounds maintenance workers.
Depending on the position, grounds maintenance workers may also be expected to maintain equipment and tools needed to do the job. Experience with small engine repair can be a very useful skill in this profession.
Responsibilities for grounds maintenance workers include:
- Fertilizing, mowing, and otherwise caring for lawns and fields.
- Trimming trees, hedges, shrubs, and other plants.
- Planting flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Work Environment and Schedule
Grounds maintenance workers work outside all year round, so the quality of their working environment depends entirely on the weather. In hot, cold, or rainy climates, they have to take the proper precautions to ensure they remain as comfortable as possible.
In the profession as a whole, grounds maintenance workers experience more injuries and illnesses than those in most other occupations. This is a very physically demanding occupation, and it’s very common for workers to use power tools, chemicals, and other dangerous equipment. Taking the proper safety precautions is necessary.
Much of the work for grounds maintenance workers is seasonal. In most locations, there are fewer opportunities for landscaping work in the winter, while the spring and summer can be extremely busy. In more consistent climates, work may be more steady throughout the year.
Because of the seasonality, the working schedule for grounds maintenance workers can vary dramatically. In the summer and spring, some people work twelve hour days six or seven days a week, while not working much at all in the winter.
How to Become a Grounds Maintenance Worker
The training and education required for grounds maintenance workers depends on the type of work being performed. For instance, most landscapers will be trained on the job and there are rarely any educational requirements for the position. On the other hand, greenskeepers and groundskeepers who maintain world class parks or sporting facilities will be required to have extensive work experience and possibly a degree in landscape design, horticulture, or arboriculture.
For those seeking a certification in landscaping, the International Society of Arborculture, the Tree Care Industry Association, and the Professional Landcare Network all have certifications available.
Most employers do not require a certification, though earning one can be a good way to develop your professional skills.
There are currently grounds maintenance workers in the United States, with new grounds maintenance worker job openings created each year.
Grounds Maintenance Worker jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Grounds Maintenance Worker Salaries
Grounds Maintenance Worker salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most grounds maintenance workers make between per year, or per hour.