Grounds Maintenance Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
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.
Training Required
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, arboriculture, urban forestry, insect and disease diagnosis, tree climbing, or small-engine repair.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 10% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
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.
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.
Median pay: How much do Grounds Maintenance Workers make?
$26,830 Annual Salary
$12.90 per hour

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

What do Grounds Maintenance Workers do?

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 plants in commercial and public facilities, such as malls, hotels, and botanical gardens.

The following are examples of types of grounds maintenance workers:

Careers for Grounds Maintenance Workers

  • Arborists
  • Certified pesticide applicators
  • Fruit sprayers
  • Golf course laborers
  • Greenskeeper laborers
  • Greenskeepers
  • Grounds caretakers
  • Groundskeepers
  • Groundskeeping workers
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Herbicide sprayers
  • Landscape contractors
  • Landscapers
  • Landscaping workers
  • Lawn care workers
  • Lawn caretakers
  • Lawn maintenance workers
  • Lawn mowers
  • Lawn service workers
  • Orchard sprayers
  • Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators
  • Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation
  • Plant sprayers
  • Pruners
  • Shrub planters
  • Sod layers
  • Trail construction workers
  • Trail maintenance workers
  • Trailhead construction workers
  • Trailhead maintenance workers
  • Tree pruners
  • Tree specialists
  • Tree surgeons
  • Tree trimmer helpers
  • Tree trimmers
  • Tree trimmers and pruners
  • Weed sprayers

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