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Average Salary
$27,726
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
5,448
Job Openings

Ground Worker Careers

As you can probably expect, a ground worker spends a lot of time working with dirt-and plants, and trees, and lawns, and anything else that's on a property. That's because "the grounds" is another way of saying a property around a place. If you were a ground worker, you could work on the property of a house, park, or even a museum, basically anywhere that wants to put its best face forward.

You would probably get your hands dirty a lot as a ground worker. That's because you would have to do all sorts of tasks like pruning bushes, planting flowers, watering and fertilizing lawns, and anything else that makes a plot of land look beautiful. If you like to work outside and with your hands, this would be a great job for you.

To work as a ground worker, you could jump right into the job, no time spent in a classroom to earn a diploma needed. However, you may have to earn certifications to work with fertilizers or prove that you can take care of trees and plants. Everything else, you can learn on the job.

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.

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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Average Salary
$27,726
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
5,448
Job Openings

Ground Worker Career Paths

Top Careers Before Ground Worker

Cashier
15.7 %

Top Careers After Ground Worker

Cashier
10.1 %

Ground Worker Jobs You Might Like

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Ground Worker

Ground Workers in America make an average salary of $27,726 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $33,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Salary
$27,726
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Oakland, CA
Salary Range30k - 42k$36k$35,676
Grand Forks, ND
Salary Range29k - 36k$33k$32,804
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range28k - 36k$32k$32,205
Cheyenne, WY
Salary Range26k - 34k$30k$30,093
Germantown, MD
Salary Range25k - 33k$30k$29,729
Meridian, ID
Salary Range25k - 34k$30k$29,707
$19k
$42k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Building & Grounds Worker & Cleaner-Seasonal for Summer
Building & Grounds Worker & Cleaner-Seasonal for Summer
Daemen College
Daemen College
05/25/2021
05/25/2021
$26,08805/25/2021
$26,088
Student Service-Grounds Department-Summer Grounds Worker
Student Service-Grounds Department-Summer Grounds Worker
Purdue University
Purdue University
05/23/2021
05/23/2021
$20,87005/23/2021
$20,870
Student Service-Grounds Department-Summer Grounds Worker
Student Service-Grounds Department-Summer Grounds Worker
Purdue University
Purdue University
05/23/2021
05/23/2021
$20,87005/23/2021
$20,870
Groundsworker I
Groundsworker I
Kern Comunity College District
Kern Comunity College District
05/21/2021
05/21/2021
$31,42705/21/2021
$31,427
Landscaping/Grounds Worker
Landscaping/Grounds Worker
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
05/19/2021
05/19/2021
$20,87005/19/2021
$20,870
See More Recent Salaries

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Ground Worker Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Ground Worker. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Ground Worker Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Ground Worker resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Ground Worker Demographics

Gender

male

80.1 %

female

16.0 %

unknown

3.9 %

Ethnicity

White

64.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.9 %

Black or African American

10.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1 %

French

8.5 %

German

6.4 %
See More Demographics

Ground Worker Education

Majors

Business
21.3 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

29.1 %

Certificate

25.5 %

Bachelors

25.1 %
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Ground Worker That You May Like

Construction Site Electrical System Design
udemy
4.4
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Learn how to design a safe, flexible and durable electrical system for any construction site...

Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs
edX (Global)

Despite medical and technological advances, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services, and over 8.9 million preventable deaths occur every year. There is an acute global shortage of health workers, a gap that will grow to 18 million by 2030. Studies show that training high-performing community health workers can help close these gaps and save more than 3 million lives annually. In the past few decades, many community health worker programs across the world have...

Maintenance Technician
ed2go

Maintenance Technician...

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Top Skills For a Ground Worker

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.0% of ground workers listed hand tools on their resume, but soft skills such as physical stamina and customer-service skills are important as well.

  • Hand Tools, 15.0%
  • Grounds Maintenance, 13.2%
  • Routine Maintenance, 6.2%
  • Weather Conditions, 5.8%
  • Snow Removal, 5.0%
  • Other Skills, 54.8%
  • See All Ground Worker Skills

Best States For a Ground Worker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a ground worker. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Massachusetts, Washington, and Oregon. Ground workers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $39,449. Whereas in Massachusetts and Washington, they would average $35,834 and $35,466, respectively. While ground workers would only make an average of $35,129 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Ground Worker Jobs:
936
Highest 10% Earn:
$46,000
Location Quotient:
1.69
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Ground Worker Jobs:
510
Highest 10% Earn:
$46,000
Location Quotient:
1.63
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Ground Worker Jobs:
259
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
1.95
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Ground Worker Employers

1. New York City Housing Development
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$23,931
Ground Workers Hired: 
12+
2. Asplundh Tree Expert Co
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$25,313
Ground Workers Hired: 
10+
3. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$23,497
Ground Workers Hired: 
8+
4. Pensacola Christian Academy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$25,166
Ground Workers Hired: 
8+
5. ManpowerGroup
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$24,562
Ground Workers Hired: 
6+
6. FedEx
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$26,854
Ground Workers Hired: 
6+

Ground Worker Videos