Grounds Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

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.

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Job Description for a Grounds Manager

Grounds managers coordinate landscaping efforts and related outdoor maintenance services. They train staff, 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 of a Grounds Manager

Grounds managers are responsible for creating operational and safety procedures, hiring workers, and drafting 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 facilities such as irrigation systems, fences, or benches.

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

Requirements to Become a Grounds Manager

Entry-level grounds maintenance positions generally do not 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 may increase chances of hiring or advancement to supervisory positions. However, work experience is key to career advancement.

Individuals may also 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, the employment of first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers is expected to grow at an average rate between 2010 and 2020, increasing by about 15% during the decade. The median annual salary earned by such supervisors was published as $42,160 in May 2012 by the BLS, which also noted that the highest salaries were paid to managers employed by the federal government and electric power companies.

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