Apartment Groundskeeper: Career and Salary Facts

Learn about the training needed to become a groundskeeper, and review some degree programs that could enhance your career in the field. Read about the certification requirements. Find out the job outlook and the salary potential for groundskeepers. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an Apartment Groundskeeper?

An apartment groundskeeper is responsible for maintaining all of the outdoor areas of an apartment complex. Some possible responsibilities could include mowing grass, trimming shrubs, planting flowers, and making sure the entrance to the complex is kept neat and looks appealing. They may work on a team with other groundskeepers or work individually. The table below goes into a bit more detail about some of the specifics of this job:

Degree Required High school diploma or GED
Key Duties Working with grounds crews; maintaining lawn and grounds area of apartment complexes
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%* (for all grounds maintenance workers)
Mean Salary (2015) $27,460* (for all grounds maintenance workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How Do I Become a Groundskeeper?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2014, most groundskeepers had no education beyond a high school diploma. Most groundskeepers are trained on the job, learning such skills as planting and maintenance, as well as operating leaf blowers, trimmers, mowers and tractors.

Although it's not required, an associate's degree, a certificate or the completion of a vocational program may help you get a job. Relevant programs might include those in horticulture, landscaping or turf management. These programs may instruct you in areas such as professional lawn care, sod production, athletic field maintenance or sales. Other areas of study might include plant and soil science, environmental stewardship, pest management, landscape design and urban forestry. These programs are available in both online and on-campus formats, and many of them are available at the bachelor's degree level. Additionally, employers may offer their own courses.

Do I Need a License?

You typically don't need a license or certification to be a groundskeeper. However, if your job requires you to work with pesticides, most states require you to earn certification in pesticide use. These exams test you on the safety procedures and disposal techniques related to herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Additionally, because groundskeeping positions often require transporting materials, equipment and plants, employers may show preference to those with valid driver's licenses, experience driving trucks and clean driving records.

What Is the Job Outlook for Groundskeepers?

The BLS expects groundskeepers to experience an 6% growth between 2014-2024, which is the average projected growth for all jobs (www.bls.gov). The BLS also expects that roughly 77,600 new jobs for groundskeepers will be created during this time. The increased need for lawn and grounds care by organizations such as universities and corporate headquarters will be a contributing factor to growth in this field. Additionally, as the baby boomer population ages, they may no longer be able to care for their own lawns, increasing job opportunities in residential and apartment lawn care.

What Is the Salary for Groundskeepers?

As of May 2015, the median wage for groundskeepers was $12.31 per hour, reports the BLS. The highest-paid groundskeepers earned upwards of $19.96 per hour, while the lowest earned less than $8.93 per hour. Groundskeepers working for the federal government reported the highest earnings, with a mean wage of $22.89 per hour. For all landscaping and groundskeeping workers, they made a mean salary of $27,460 per year in 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You could take your skills as a groundskeeper to many other areas beyond apartment complexes, like university campuses or public parks. If you are interested in working on a farm or a ranch, you could seek employment in one of these areas and help plant and harvest crops. There are also opportunities working as forest and conservation workers, which involves making sure the forest areas are maintained and preserved. All of these careers typically only require a high school diploma, though if you wanted to work in a higher-level position, earning a bachelor's degree could be useful.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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