Become a Grounds Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 02, 2018

Research the requirements to become a grounds technician. Learn about the job duties and see the step-by-step process needed to start a career as a grounds technician.

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  • 0:04 Should I Be a Grounds…
  • 0:45 Career Requirements
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Should I Be a Grounds Technician?

Grounds technicians are responsible for the upkeep and appearance of outside environments at businesses, public areas, and private residences. This career requires working outside with landscapes and a variety of plant life and may include mowing lawns, weeding flower beds, trimming shrubs and trees, watering and fertilizing plantings and lawns, planting new additions, and cutting down small trees when necessary. Much of the work is completed outdoors in all types of weather conditions. The work can be physically demanding, including bending and stooping. Additionally, grounds technicians' jobs may be seasonal.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Not required to have specified education, but some have certificates or degrees
Degree Field(s) Groundskeeping, horticulture, or landscape design
Licensure/Certification Many states require licenses for pesticides and herbicides; optional groundskeeper certification available
Key Skills Physical stamina and dexterity, problem-solving and communication abilities, proficiency with specialized equipment
Salary (2015) $25,030 per year (2014 BLS median annual salary for landscaping and groundskeeping workers, which include grounds technicians)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine

Steps to Be a Grounds Technician

What steps do I need to take to be a grounds technician?

Step 1: Consider Postsecondary Options

While grounds technicians don't need a formal education, they may acquire training through certificate programs offered by community colleges and technical schools. Programs may offer courses on the fundamentals of landscaping, plant life, and groundskeeping equipment. Students may also receive instruction on turfgrass management, small engine repair, and the fundamentals of horticulture.

Step 2: Attain a License

Grounds technicians who apply pesticides are generally required to earn a license or become certified. Licensure requirements vary by state, but generally include completing a qualifying examination that may cover topics from pest control to landscape maintenance. Certified professionals may also need to complete continuing education requirements to keep their licenses current.

Step 3: Become Certified

Grounds technicians can become Certified Grounds Technicians through the Professional Grounds Management Society. In order to qualify, applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and have two years of experience. Eligible candidates must then achieve a 70% or higher on a qualifying examination that includes 60 questions. Once certified, applicants must earn 35 continuing education units every five years in order to maintain their credentials.

Step 4: Continue Your Education and Training to Advance Your Career

Grounds technicians can advance to become crew leaders or supervisors who oversee workers, prepare job schedules, train employees, and keep records. Through a combination of additional experience and/or education, grounds technicians may also become certified grounds managers, which may help them to attain advanced opportunities. Consider degree courses in specialty areas, such as golf course turf management, landscaping, and arboriculture to open new opportunities.

Grounds technicians are responsible for maintaining outside environments. Although not required, they may have degrees or certificates. They are expected to be physically strong and capable of handling specialized equipment, and they earn a median annual salary of $25,030.

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