Grounds Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 19, 2019

Grounds managers require no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties, and employment outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

Grounds managers oversee the work of grounds maintenance personnel in the performance of landscaping activities. This often includes the care of lawns and trees. Many grounds managers receive on-the-job training.

Essential Information

Grounds managers are responsible for the maintenance and landscaping of outdoor areas and facilities. They coordinate and oversee the work of personnel who care for plants, repair walkways, and remove litter. These managers typically start out as maintenance personnel, training on the job and advancing to management positions with experience. Depending on the state, ground maintenance workers who apply pesticides might need to earn a license.

Required Education None
Other Requirements On-the-job training; pesticide license in some states
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 9% for grounds maintenance workers
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $48,220 for first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Grounds managers coordinate landscaping efforts and related outdoor maintenance services. They train staff and ensure performance quality and are responsible for administrative procedures.

Parks, large office complexes, athletic fields, and cemeteries are among the locations that employ grounds managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), other top industries for grounds management professionals include local governments, recreation companies, elementary schools, and universities (www.bls.gov).

Duties

Grounds managers create operational and safety procedures, hire workers, and draft budgets. They determine the equipment and services required for jobs and submit cost estimates to clients. These jobs and services can include the care of lawns, shrubs, and trees, in addition to the maintenance and repair of outdoor features, such as irrigation systems, fences, or benches.

Grounds managers also might train or coordinate the training of new hires, handle service or employee records, create worker schedules, and prioritize services. They might coordinate with other departments or specialists, and they might perform grounds maintenance duties if necessary.

Requirements to Become a Grounds Manager

Entry-level grounds maintenance positions generally don't have educational requirements since training is done on the job; however, undergraduate coursework can be beneficial. Completion of a certificate or degree program in landscape design, horticulture, turf management, or business could increase chances of being hired or advancing to supervisory positions. However, work experience is key to career advancement.

Individuals also might benefit from earning professional certifications, which validate a professional grounds manager's training and experience. The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and the Professional Landcare Network both offer certifications for qualified grounds managers who pass their exams.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, employment of grounds maintenance workers in general was expected to grow faster than national average between 2018 and 2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that workers in the 90th percentile or higher earned $77,500 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $31,150 or less per year. BLS also that the highest salaries were paid to first line supervisors noted employed by the federal government and educational support services.

Grounds managers perform a wide range of tasks such as landscaping activities, training employees, and managing schedules. Some states require workers to have pesticide licensing. Earning certification from a professional organization can assist with career advancement.

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