Groundskeeper Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Groundskeeper, or Grounds Caretaker, is responsible for the landscaping and lawn maintenance of the outdoor grounds of an establishment. Their main duties include planting greenery, cutting and maintaining the healthy growth of plants and grass, and keeping the grounds clean and well-manicured.

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Groundskeeper duties and responsibilities

There are many duties and responsibilities a Groundskeeper performs in order to maintain the outdoor look of an establishment. Some of the common tasks expected of a Groundskeeper for any type of location include:

  • Pruning shrubs, trimming bushes, and adding fertilizer to maintain growth
  • Cutting grass regularly
  • Spraying trees and plants to protect them from insects and diseases
  • Watering plants and lawn as needed
  • Using and maintaining landscaping equipment such as mowers, clippers, and blowers, among others
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What does a Groundskeeper do?

A Groundskeeper maintains lawns, gardens, golf courses, athletic fields, cemeteries, parks, and other public and private spaces with vast amounts of greenery. They may also be employed to maintain landscaping structures around a building or residence. The Groundskeeper ensures that landscaping is always neat and tidy, and that greenery thrives with proper maintenance. The Groundskeeper also rakes leaves or removes other debris to keep lawns looking proper at all times.

Groundskeeper skills and qualifications

A successful Groundskeeper candidate possesses certain abilities in order to perform the job properly. Some of the skills and qualifications of a successful candidate include:

  • Being equipped to perform manual labour, including lifting heavy materials and equipment
  • In-depth knowledge of plants and grass, and how best to care for them
  • An eye for detail
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to use and perform maintenance on lawn equipment
  • Problem-solving skills
  • In-depth knowledge of related local regulations

Groundskeeper experience requirements

A Groundskeeper may not have any previous work experience but can learn on the job. However, the best candidates often have at least two years of experience in a groundskeeping related role. Any candidate with experience in landscaping and gardening, even at a part-time level, should be considered an asset to this position. Successful candidates will also have experience in using and maintaining the tools required for the position.

Groundskeeper education and training requirements

A Groundskeeper will generally have a high school diploma or equivalent. In the province of Quebec, a Groundskeeper must have a landscaping license from Emploi-Quebec. In some cases, to use certain pesticides and herbicides, Groundskeepers need a provincial license. Aside from this, a Groundskeeper learns much of their work on the job. 

Groundskeeper salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average Groundskeeper pay in Canada is $17.85 per hour. Wages may vary based on geographical location, the size and type of hiring establishment, and the candidate’s level of experience.

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Groundskeeper job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Groundskeeper and a Custodian?

A Groundskeeper is responsible for maintaining the aesthetic of the grounds around an establishment. Their primary goal is to ensure the lawn and greenery are cared for and properly maintained. A Custodian, on the other hand, is responsible for keeping an establishment clean. They may do some maintenance of the lawn, but they do not devote their time to the aesthetic appeal of the outside landscaping like Groundskeepers do. They are also not responsible for designing the outdoor landscaping plan.

Do Groundskeepers have different responsibilities in different industries?

Yes, in different industries, a Groundskeeper may have varying responsibilities. At an office building, a Groundskeeper may keep the lawn mowed, cut shrubs, and clean up debris. At a golf course, a Groundskeeper keeps a lookout for potential dangers like sinkholes or cracks in the ground and repairs them to ensure safety for all players on the course.

How to make a Groundskeeper job description stand out?

A good Groundskeeper job description will include details about the types of grounds the successful candidate will be taking care of. It should include information about the types of tools and equipment the Groundskeeper will be expected to use. If your site has a special use, such as a golf course or cemetery, be sure to mention that in your job description. It’s also important to include information about the working hours, salary, and any competitive benefits you’re offering with the position.

What are good qualities to look for in a Groundskeeper?

A good Groundskeeper candidate is capable of lifting heavy objects. Candidates should have an eye for landscape design, enjoy the outdoors, and be skilled in using power tools and equipment for their duties. Successful Groundskeepers are typically organized, meticulous, knowledgeable, and eager to learn. They should also have a passion for caring for plants and trees, and keeping a well-kept space outdoors. 

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