Groundskeeper Certificate and Training Programs

A groundskeeper is responsible for maintaining landscaped areas like parks, golf courses, gardens and other outdoor spaces. Find out what skills you'd learn in a groundskeeping certificate program. Read more about the job duties of groundskeepers, and check the career outlook and salary potential for this position. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Groundskeeping Certificate?

Though certificate programs may vary in the nomenclature used, groundskeeping can often be studied in a certificate program dealing with landscaping, horticulture and sanitation. Many programs ask that you complete a groundskeeping practicum, where you'll intern with a company that will allow you to earn hands-on experience with tools and maintenance. Some of the credits that you earn in these certificate programs can be transferred towards an associate's degree in horticulture.

Online certificate programs in groundskeeping are basically nonexistent. Online certificates in professional landscaping are available but still quite uncommon. If you want to get hands-on training, you should consider a campus-based program.

Certificate ComponentsMany programs will require a practicum or internship with a professional landscaping company
Study TopicsBuilding maintenance, groundskeeping, first aid, plant selection, maintaining plants and grasses
Job ResponsibilitiesRemove dead plants and trees, design outside areas, consult with other experiences, general maintenance tasks, plant selection
Job Outlook6% growth* (for grounds maintenance workers between 2014-2024)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

Your studies will begin with such topics as first aid, building maintenance and groundskeeping maintenance. You'll then delve into more specific hands-on areas, such as pruning, plant selection, fertilization, landscape design, nursery operation and diagnosing diseased plants.

A landscaping certificate program covers much of the work of a groundskeeper, including caring and maintaining plants, soil and grasses while preserving an attractive appearance. Additionally, you'll learn about the types of pests that pose threats to landscapes, as well as studying the methods for pest control.

What Job Duties Might I Expect?

As a landscaper or groundskeeper, your main task is to keep the area in which you work aesthetically pleasing. You'll be expected to recognize dead trees and plants, remove them and replant living ones. In some instances, you'll be expected to design the outside area, picking the right plants, shrubs and trees for the climate and regional soil.

Depending on the level of intricacy in the architecture of the landscape, you may consult with foresters and environmental scientists to determine the best resources for a job. With some places, such as parks, you may be expected to handle building maintenance tasks, such as painting, building and repairing. This is especially common with park pavilions and cabins.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that jobs for grounds maintenance workers will grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is about the same as the projected average for all U.S. jobs (www.bls.gov). As of May 2014, the median salary for a groundskeeper was $24,810, reports the BLS.

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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