Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

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Also known as:
Golf Course Laborer, Greenskeeper, Greenskeeper Laborer, Grounds Caretaker, Grounds Maintenance Worker, Hedge Trimmer, Lawn Care Worker, Lawn Caretaker, Lawn Maintenance Worker, Lawn Mower

ABOUT LANDSCAPING OR GROUNDSKEEPING WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

Someone once said that what a gardener needs is a cast-iron back with a hinge in it. That was before the invention of backhoes, chainsaws, edgers, and other power-tools used by today's gardeners and groundskeepers. However, much of the work is still physical, and almost all of it is done outdoors - in all kinds of weather.

Gardeners prepare flowerbeds, plant trees and shrubs, de-thatch lawns, and apply fertilizer and pesticides. They also prune trees, pull weeds, and perform other maintenance tasks.

Gardeners work for landscape companies, hotels, public parks, and individual homeowners; groundskeepers, in contrast, are responsible for maintaining the grass and plantings at golf courses, athletic fields, cemeteries, and other large outdoor areas. The work may involve snow and trash removal, painting, and other non-gardening activities as well.

There usually are no minimum educational requirements for entry level jobs as gardeners and groundskeepers, although a high school diploma is required for some jobs. In addition, most states require certification for workers who apply pesticides, such as chemical lawn specialists. This work is important to everyone, for few things are as beautiful as a well-maintained greenspace.

SNAPSHOT
Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Attach wires from planted trees to support stakes.

Follow planned landscaping designs to determine where to lay sod, sow grass, or plant flowers or foliage.

Decorate gardens with stones or plants.

Plant seeds, bulbs, foliage, flowering plants, grass, ground covers, trees, or shrubs and apply mulch for protection, using gardening tools.

Rake, mulch, and compost leaves.

Mow or edge lawns, using power mowers or edgers.

Operate vehicles or powered equipment, such as mowers, tractors, twin-axle vehicles, snow blowers, chain-saws, electric clippers, sod cutters, or pruning saws.

Mix and spray or spread fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides onto grass, shrubs, or trees, using hand or automatic sprayers or spreaders.

Prune or trim trees, shrubs, or hedges, using shears, pruners, or chain saws.

Trim or pick flowers and clean flower beds.

Water lawns, trees, or plants, using portable sprinkler systems, hoses, or watering cans.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.