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Occupation Profile

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Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers
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Employment


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Description: what do they do?
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.
Also known as:
Gardener, Landscape Technician, Grounds Person, Groundskeeper, Greenskeeper, Outside Maintenance Worker, Grounds Worker, Landscape Specialist, Grounds Maintenance Worker, Grounds/Maintenance Specialist

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: 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.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Rapid Growth; Numerous Job Openings


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations, 2019. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
1,205,200
2018 Employment
1,311,600
2028 Employment
9%
Percent change
173,600
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$21,710
25%$25,450
Median$30,440
75%$37,480
90%$46,530


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Dispose of trash or waste materials.
  • Operate grounds maintenance equipment.
  • Drive trucks or other vehicles to or at work sites.
  • Irrigate lawns, trees, or plants.
  • Trim trees or other vegetation.
  • Treat greenery or surfaces with protective substances.
  • Prepare chemicals for work application.
  • Remove snow.
  • Maintain equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Cultivate lawns, turf, or gardens.
  • Evaluate reports or designs to determine work needs.
  • Clean facilities or sites.
  • Install equipment to protect or support trees.
  • Plant greenery to improve landscape appearance.
  • Remove debris from work sites.
  • Decorate indoor or outdoor spaces.
  • Provide information about landscaping services or costs.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Multilimb Coordination - Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Gather and remove litter.
  • Use hand tools, such as shovels, rakes, pruning saws, saws, hedge or brush trimmers, or axes.
  • Operate vehicles or powered equipment, such as mowers, tractors, twin-axle vehicles, snow blowers, chain-saws, electric clippers, sod cutters, or pruning saws.
  • Water lawns, trees, or plants, using portable sprinkler systems, hoses, or watering cans.
  • Prune or trim trees, shrubs, or hedges, using shears, pruners, or chain saws.
  • Mix and spray or spread fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides onto grass, shrubs, or trees, using hand or automatic sprayers or spreaders.
  • Use irrigation methods to adjust the amount of water consumption and to prevent waste.
  • Shovel snow from walks, driveways, or parking lots and spread salt in those areas.
  • Maintain irrigation systems, including winterizing the systems and starting them up in spring.
  • Plan or cultivate lawns or gardens.
  • Follow planned landscaping designs to determine where to lay sod, sow grass, or plant flowers or foliage.
  • Care for established lawns by mulching, aerating, weeding, grubbing, removing thatch, or trimming or edging around flower beds, walks, or walls.
  • Trim or pick flowers and clean flower beds.
  • Attach wires from planted trees to support stakes.
  • Plant seeds, bulbs, foliage, flowering plants, grass, ground covers, trees, or shrubs and apply mulch for protection, using gardening tools.
  • Mow or edge lawns, using power mowers or edgers.
  • Rake, mulch, and compost leaves.
  • Maintain or repair tools, equipment, or structures, such as buildings, greenhouses, fences, or benches, using hand or power tools.
  • Care for artificial turf fields, periodically removing the turf and replacing cushioning pads or vacuuming and disinfecting the turf after use to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Decorate gardens with stones or plants.
  • Care for natural turf fields, making sure the underlying soil has the required composition to allow proper drainage and to support the grasses used on the fields.
  • Advise customers on plant selection or care.
  • Haul or spread topsoil or spread straw over seeded soil to hold soil in place.
  • Mark design boundaries and paint natural or artificial turf fields with team logos or names before events.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.