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Become A Ground Worker

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Working As A Ground Worker

  • 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

  • $20,073

    Average Salary

What Does A Ground Worker 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 Ground Worker

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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Ground Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

84.3%

Female

14.4%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

65.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

10.1%

Asian

5.6%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.1%

German

10.3%

French

6.9%

Carrier

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

Shona

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

Dakota

3.4%
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Ground Worker Education

Schools

Franciscan University of Steubenville

8.8%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

7.5%

Brigham Young University

6.3%

Saint Louis University-

6.3%

Ferris State University

6.3%

Liberty University

6.3%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

5.0%

Brigham Young University - Idaho

5.0%

University of Minnesota - Crookston

5.0%

Central Michigan University

5.0%

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

5.0%

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

3.8%

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

3.8%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.8%

Lane Community College

3.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.8%

Northern Michigan University

3.8%

Western Illinois University

3.8%

Tidewater Community College

3.8%

University of Phoenix

3.8%
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Majors

Business

17.9%

Criminal Justice

8.8%

Biology

6.7%

General Studies

6.3%

Psychology

5.6%

Kinesiology

5.3%

Environmental Science

5.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Computer Science

4.2%

Automotive Technology

3.9%

Liberal Arts

3.9%

Plant Sciences

3.9%

Construction Management

3.9%

Education

3.5%

Graphic Design

3.5%

Management

2.8%

English

2.8%

Communication

2.8%

Precision Metal Working

2.5%

Mechanical Engineering

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.5%

Other

31.8%

Associate

15.0%

Certificate

6.0%

Masters

3.8%

Diploma

2.2%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Real Ground Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Landscaping and Groundsteeping Workers John R. Schleef, Inc. Greenlawn, NY Nov 16, 2009 $33,768
Landscape and Groundskeep Worker Tanto Irrigation, LLC Elmsford, NY Feb 15, 2016 $33,309
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Worker Lawns Etc. LLC Brookfield, CT May 03, 2016 $32,599
Landscaping & Groundkeeping Workers Lewis Landscaping, Ltd Poughkeepsie, NY Sep 04, 2008 $31,305
Landscaping & Grounds Keeping Worker Robert S. Kaufman Pacifica, CA Jul 20, 2010 $30,136
Landscaping and Grounds-Keeping Workers Property Services Unlimited, Inc. Westbury, NY Jul 17, 2008 $30,115
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Worker Earth Science, LLC. Plainsboro, NJ Jul 17, 2008 $30,074 -
$31,305
Landscaping and Ground Skeeping Worker Prestige Landscaping, Inc. North Brunswick, NJ Jun 01, 2012 $29,682
Landscape and Groundskeep Worker Sunshine Sprinkler Systems Inc. Corcoran, MN May 18, 2016 $29,489
Landscaping and Ground Keeping Workers Zambito Landscaping Marlboro, NY Jan 25, 2010 $29,218
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers Wbtscc, Inc. Rye, NH May 18, 2015 $28,988
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers Wbtscc, Inc. NH Apr 01, 2014 $28,988
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Worker Placid Property Maintenance Corp. New Windsor, NY Feb 26, 2010 $28,863 -
$29,114
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Worker Placid Property Maintenance Corp. New Windsor, NY May 18, 2011 $28,091
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers Jimenez Nursery & Landscape Carpinteria, CA May 29, 2012 $26,526
Landscape and Groundskeep Worker Midwest Landscaping, Inc. Horace, ND Apr 15, 2016 $26,463
Landscaping & Ground Keeping Worker Turf Masters Inc. NJ Feb 10, 2010 $26,317
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers Jordon Mulch Services Inc. IL May 16, 2013 $25,900
Landscaping and Groundkeeping Workers Superior Landscaping LLC Somerset, NJ Aug 05, 2008 $25,712
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers G. Shrubber Landscape & Irrigation LLC UT Apr 01, 2015 $25,691
Landscape & Groundskeep Worker Promontory Ranch Club Park City, UT May 06, 2016 $25,503
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers G. Shrubber Landscape and Irrigation LLC Salt Lake City, UT Apr 27, 2016 $25,503
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers G. Shrubber Landscape & Irrigation LLC UT Apr 01, 2014 $23,750
Landscape and Groundskeep Worker It's Magic, Inc. Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ Mar 23, 2016 $23,625
Landscaping and Grounds Workers Hancock Glen Inc. TX Apr 01, 2015 $23,604
Landscaping and Grounds-Keeping Workers Response Landscaping MA Mar 15, 2013 $23,583
Landscaping and Grounds-Keeping Workers Thompson and Shearer Farm Supply, Inc. Nicholasville, KY Feb 22, 2016 $23,541
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Worker Grand Hotel LLC Mackinac Island, MI Apr 01, 2016 $23,520
Grounds Worker Evergreen Enterprises Limited CT Mar 01, 2013 $23,479
Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers The Parish Group LLC LA Mar 01, 2014 $22,957

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Top Skills for A Ground Worker

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  1. Flower Beds
  2. Removal
  3. Hand Tools
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cut lawn using hand, power or riding mower and trim and edge around walks, flower beds, and walls.
  • Assure mowing, pruning, leaf removal and variety of other tasks involved with the upkeep of the grounds is completed.
  • Operate all tools such as chainsaws, stub grinder, pole saw, snipers, chipper and all other hand tools.
  • Job Summary: Coordinate and perform a variety of grounds maintenance duties in the beautification of assigned grounds and landscaped areas.
  • Serve as substitute for Plant Managers and Building & Grounds workers.

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Top 10 Best States for Ground Workers

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Washington
  5. Wyoming
  6. Vermont
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Minnesota
  • (7 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (96 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (98 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)

Top Ground Worker Employers

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Jobs From Top Ground Worker Employers

Ground Worker Videos

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