Creating and maintaining outdoor spaces is the work of grounds maintenance workers. Under the direction of a manager, they ensure that both public and private grounds are beautiful and healthy. Landscaping workers are typically employed by homeowners, apartment or office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels… to plant and trim trees, flowers, and other plants. Some maintain permanent fixtures, such as walkways, patios, and decks, or install lighting and sprinkler systems. Groundskeeping workers keep properties, such as parks and businesses, looking good through every season. In summer, they care for plants, grass, and trees… in fall, they rake and mulch leaves… and in winter, they clear snow. They also may maintain parking lots, fountains, swimming pools, and fences. Athletic field groundskeepers keep natural and artificial turf in top condition. They mark out boundaries, and paint turf with team logos and names. At cemeteries, groundskeepers may use a backhoe to dig graves. Greenskeepers maintain golf courses, from intensive turf maintenance, to keeping canopies and tee markers in good repair. Other workers also help keep grounds accessible: pesticide workers apply chemicals to handle weeds, insects, and diseases. Tree trimmers and pruners work high off the ground to cut away excess branches— keeping roads and sidewalks safe, and clearing utility lines. Many grounds maintenance jobs are seasonal, although year-round positions may be available. Work is generally outdoors in all weather conditions, and involves frequent bending, kneeling, lifting and shoveling. Grounds maintenance workers typically do not require any formal education and are trained on the job. Workers who apply pesticides or fertilizers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and must obtain a license.
What they do:
Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities. Work may involve reviewing contracts to ascertain service, machine, and workforce requirements; answering inquiries from potential customers regarding methods, material, and price ranges; and preparing estimates according to labor, material, and machine costs.
On the job, you would:
Monitor project activities to ensure that instructions are followed, deadlines are met, and schedules are maintained.
Establish and enforce operating procedures and work standards that will ensure adequate performance and personnel safety.
Inspect completed work to ensure conformance to specifications, standards, and contract requirements.
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
changing what is done based on other people's actions
understanding people's reactions
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
do two or more things at the same time
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
associate's degree or certificate after high school usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.