Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Gardener, Greenskeeper, Grounds Maintenance Worker, Grounds Person, Grounds Specialist, Grounds Worker, Groundskeeper, Landscape Specialist, Landscape Technician, Outside Maintenance Worker

Occupation-Specific Information

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, chainsaws, 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.
  • Care for established lawns by mulching, aerating, weeding, grubbing, removing thatch, or trimming or edging around flower beds, walks, or walls.
  • Follow planned landscaping designs to determine where to lay sod, sow grass, or plant flowers or foliage.
  • 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.
  • Decorate gardens with stones or plants.
  • Use irrigation methods to adjust the amount of water consumption and to prevent waste.
  • Provide proper upkeep of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, fountains, planters, burial sites, or other grounds features.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Install rock gardens, ponds, decks, drainage systems, irrigation systems, retaining walls, fences, planters, or playground equipment.
  • Care for natural turf fields, making sure the underlying soil has the required composition to allow proper drainage and to support the grasses.
  • 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.
  • Build forms and mix and pour cement to form garden borders.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work 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 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 Materials — 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 99% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 69% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 57% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 20% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 77% responded “40 hours.”
  • Time Pressure — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 44% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “About half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 28% responded “Important results.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “No responsibility.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 41% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 31% responded “Never.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education
Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, sewing machine operators, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
SVP Range
Up to 3 months of preparation (Below 4.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 39%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 31%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 18%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$16.55 hourly, $34,430 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
1,117,800 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
157,900
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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