Groundskeeper supervisors are responsible for directing the work of groundskeepers and related workers. They usually train new workers in the techniques of groundskeeping, such as the use of shovels, rakes, pruning and regular saws, hedge and brush trimmers, axes, lawnmowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, and electric clippers. They may even train employees in the operation of tractors or twin-axle vehicles. In addition to their training role, groundskeeper supervisors prepare cost estimates, schedule work on the basis of weather and equipment availability, check the quality of work at the job site, and suggest changes in methods or procedure.
Groundskeepers are responsible for maintaining the area around different types of facilities, including golf courses, athletic fields, cemeteries, university campuses, and parks. They keep the sod, trees, and plants healthy. They may rake and mulch leaves, clear snow, or install irrigation equipment. They are also responsible for maintaining sidewalks, parking lots, groundskeeping equipment, pools, fountains, fences, planters, and benches.
Groundskeeper supervisors need to have good communication and leadership skills. They should be in good physical shape due to the strenuous nature of the job. They should be able to stand and walk for most of the day. They often are required to lift heavy loads of 100 pound or even more. They also should be responsible and self-motivated because they are often left to work without supervision.
In 2002, groundskeeper supervisors earned a median hourly wage of $15.89. The following shows the median hourly wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of groundskeeper supervisors:
- Elementary and secondary schools -- $13.36
- Local government -- $11.81
- Services to buildings and dwellings -- $9.38
- Other amusement and recreation industries -- $8.92
- Lessors of real estate -- $8.65
- Employment services -- $8.05
Training and Education
Advancement from groundskeeper to groundskeeper supervisor sometimes requires some education in addition to high school as well as several years of experience as a groundskeeper. Some groundskeeper supervisor jobs require a high school diploma, but, other than that, there usually are no minimum education requirements. A majority of workers have a high school diploma or less. Safety procedures and equipment operation are typically taught on the job. Being able to follow directions well is usually the most important requirement. If driving is involved in the job, employers usually try to hire candidates with a good driving record and truck driving experience. Some groundskeeper supervisors may start their own businesses if they have gained enough experience and have enough motivation. Groundskeeper managers can become certified by the Porfessional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) who have education beyond high school, 8 years of experience, and can pass an examination.
In 2002, groundskeeper supervisors held about 150,000 jobs.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of groundskeeper supervisors is expected to increase faster than the average. This will result from expected growth in building construction, as well as an increase in the number of highways and parks. The maintenance of existing facilities will also generate demand for services from these workers. More businesses are expected to hire groundskeeping services to improve the image of their business, and homeowners will continue to be a growing source of demand. More two-income households lack the time to care for their property themselves and will hire more groundskeepers and groundskeeper supervisors to do the work for them.
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