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Become A Gardener

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Working As A Gardener

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $27,300

    Average Salary

What Does A Gardener Do

Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy in order to provide a pleasant outdoor environment.

Duties

Grounds maintenance workers typically do the following:

  • Mow, edge, and fertilize lawns
  • Weed and mulch landscape beds
  • Trim hedges, shrubs, and small trees
  • Remove dead, damaged, or unwanted trees
  • Plant flowers, trees, and shrubs
  • Water lawns, landscapes, and gardens
  • Monitor and maintain plant health

Grounds maintenance workers are generally under the direction of a professional grounds manager and perform a variety of tasks to achieve a pleasant and functional outdoor environment. They also care for indoor gardens and plantings in commercial and public facilities, such as malls, hotels, and botanical gardens.

The following are examples of types of grounds maintenance workers:

Landscaping workers plant trees, flowers, and shrubs to create new outdoor spaces or upgrade existing ones. They also trim, fertilize, mulch, and water plants. Some grade and install lawns or construct hardscapes such as walkways, patios, and decks. Others help install lighting or sprinkler systems. Landscaping workers are employed in a variety of residential and commercial settings, such as homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels and motels.

Groundskeeping workers, also called groundskeepers, maintain grounds. They care for plants and trees, rake and mulch leaves, and clear snow from walkways. They work on athletic fields, golf courses, cemeteries, university campuses, and parks, as well as in many of the same settings that landscaping workers work. They also see to the proper upkeep of sidewalks, parking lots, fountains, fences, planters, and benches, as well as groundskeeping equipment.

Groundskeeping workers who care for athletic fields keep natural and artificial turf in top condition, mark out boundaries, and paint turf with team logos and names before events. They mow, water, fertilize, and aerate the fields regularly. They must ensure that the underlying soil on fields with natural turf has the composition required to allow proper drainage and to support the grass used on the field. In sports venues, they vacuum and disinfect synthetic turf to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and they remove the turf and replace the cushioning pad periodically.

Groundskeepers in parks and recreation facilities care for lawns, trees, and shrubs; maintain playgrounds; clean buildings; and keep parking lots, picnic areas, and other public spaces free of litter. They also may erect and dismantle snow fences and maintain swimming pools. These workers inspect buildings and equipment, make needed repairs, and keep everything freshly painted.

Some groundskeepers specialize in caring for cemeteries and memorial gardens. They dig graves to specified depths, generally using a backhoe. They mow grass regularly, apply fertilizers and other chemicals, prune shrubs and trees, plant flowers, and remove debris from graves.

Greenskeepers maintain golf courses. Their work is similar to that of groundskeepers, but they also periodically relocate holes on putting greens and maintain benches and tee markers along the course and provide more intense turf maintenance. In addition, greenskeepers keep canopies, benches, and tee markers repaired and freshly painted.

Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators apply herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides on plants or the soil to prevent or control weeds, insects, and diseases. Those who work for chemical lawn or tree service firms are more specialized, inspecting lawns for problems and applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals to stimulate growth and prevent or control weeds, diseases, or insect infestations.

Tree trimmers and pruners, also called arborists, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to clear utility lines, roads, and sidewalks. Although many of these workers strive to improve the appearance and health of trees and plants, some specialize in diagnosing and treating tree diseases. Others specialize in pruning, trimming, and shaping ornamental trees and shrubs. Tree trimmers and pruners use chain saws, chippers, and stump grinders while on the job. When trimming near power lines, they usually work on truck-mounted lifts and use power pruners.

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How To Become A Gardener

Most grounds maintenance workers need no formal education and are trained on the job. Most states require licensing for workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers.

Education

Although most grounds maintenance jobs have no education requirements, some employers may require formal education or certification in areas such as landscape design, horticulture, or arboriculture.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers to be licensed. Obtaining a license usually involves passing a test on the proper use and disposal of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers seven certifications in landscaping and grounds maintenance for workers at various experience levels.

The Tree Care Industry Association offers certification for tree care safety professionals.

The International Society of Arboriculture offers six certifications for workers at various experience levels.

The Professional Grounds Management Society offers certification for workers at various experience levels.

Training

A short period of on-the-job training is usually enough to teach new hires the skills they need, which often include how to plant and maintain areas and how to use mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, small tractors, and other equipment. Large institutional employers such as golf courses, university campuses, or municipalities may supplement on-the-job training with coursework in horticulture or small-engine repair.

Advancement

Grounds maintenance workers who have good communication skills may become crew leaders or advance into other supervisory positions. Becoming a manager or a landscape contractor may require some formal education and several years of related work experience. Some workers use their experience to start their own landscaping companies.

Important Qualities

Physical stamina. Grounds maintenance workers must be capable of doing physically strenuous labor for long hours, occasionally in extreme heat or cold.

Self-motivated. Because they often work with little supervision, grounds maintenance workers must be able to do their job independently.

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Gardener jobs

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Gardener Demographics

Gender

Male

53.1%

Female

45.3%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

74.9%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.1%

French

15.3%

German

3.2%

Japanese

2.4%

Portuguese

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Hmong

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Swedish

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Braille

0.8%

Norwegian

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%
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Gardener Education

Schools

Michigan State University

7.6%

Pikes Peak Community College

6.8%

University of Rhode Island

6.1%

Cornell University

6.1%

Iowa State University

6.1%

Utah State University

6.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.3%

Humboldt State University

5.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.3%

Northern Michigan University

5.3%

University of California - Berkeley

4.5%

University of Maine

4.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.5%

Northland College

3.8%

Fresno City College

3.8%

University of New Hampshire

3.8%

Temple University

3.8%

University of Montana

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

University of Vermont

3.8%
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Majors

Plant Sciences

16.5%

Business

9.3%

Biology

7.3%

Psychology

7.1%

Fine Arts

6.8%

Environmental Science

6.4%

Applied Horticulture

4.9%

Liberal Arts

4.6%

General Studies

4.0%

English

4.0%

Accounting

3.5%

Computer Science

3.3%

Graphic Design

3.3%

Nursing

3.1%

Communication

2.9%

Elementary Education

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Landscape Architecture

2.7%

Anthropology

2.6%

Education

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.1%

Other

37.7%

Associate

10.8%

Masters

4.9%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

1.8%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Real Gardener Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Topiary Gardener Gilmer Farms Inc. Miami, FL Jan 14, 2011 $37,149
Gardener Shanti Bithi Nursery Stamford, CT Dec 09, 2010 $33,100
General Maintenance and Gardener Palm Desert, SPE, LLC CA Feb 01, 2013 $30,908
Gardener/Groundskeeper Showplace Freehold, NJ Apr 15, 2016 $30,262
Gardener Bartolini Landscaping Inc. Jefferson Valley-Yorktown, NY Nov 20, 2009 $28,926
Gardener Complete Landscaping Service, Inc. Reston, VA Nov 12, 2009 $28,863
Vineyard & Vegetable Gardener RMV Farms LLC NY Jul 15, 2016 $25,044
Gardener U.S.A. Lawns Lutz, FL Apr 01, 2016 $23,354
Gardener Fieldstone Landscape Services Clearwater, FL May 04, 2016 $23,354
Gardener Earth Ridgecrest, CA Jul 23, 2008 $22,602
Gardener Alpha One Environmental Landscape Orange, CA Mar 04, 2011 $22,185
Gardener Fairway Landscape & Irrigation, Inc. Riverside, CA Apr 28, 2009 $22,143

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Top Skills for A Gardener

WaterLawnsCleanFlowerBedsYardCustomerServiceSkillsPestManagementPruneIrrigationSystemsHandToolsPlantMaterialCulturalRequirementsPlantFlowersResponsibilitiesiLandscapeDesignGroundsMaintenanceChainSawsHedgeTrimmersSnowRemovalWaterPlantsPlantCareLandscapeMaintenance

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Top Gardener Skills

  1. Water Lawns
  2. Clean Flower Beds
  3. Yard
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Water lawns, trees, or plants, using portable sprinkler systems, hoses, or watering cans.
  • Trim or pick flowers and clean flower beds.
  • Job responsibilities included picking avocados, trimming foliage, mulching branches and yard waste, clearing undergrowth.
  • Trimmed plants, loaded van for delivery, planted new plants.Accomplishments Developed customer service skills Learned to manage tasks independently and efficiently
  • Pruned trees, cultivated shrub and flower beds, repaired irrigation, maintained turf, controlled weeds, cleaned.

Top Gardener Employers

Gardener Videos

Just the Job Video - Gardener

Gardening Tips & Tricks : Becoming a Master Gardener

Just the Job Video - Landscape Gardener

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