Groundskeeper

Industry:
Sports
Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Groundskeeper job description involves maintaining outdoor playing fields and grounds for sports facilities. They keep the fields clean and safe, ensuring that they are level, dry, and properly marked. They make sure that the grass, dirt, and turf are well-maintained, mowing regularly and trimming the grass edges. The Groundskeeper is responsible for taking care of the irrigation systems and repairing any problems.

The Groundskeeper also helps set up for athletic events, ensuring that the fields are prepared and ready for games, practices, and other activities. During games, they repair any damages, such as holes or divots, and clean up debris. They also remove snow and ice during winter months.

To become a Groundskeeper, one needs a high school diploma and experience working with lawn care or landscape maintenance. Physical stamina and excellent teamwork skills are key. The job can be physically demanding, but it is rewarding for people who enjoy working outdoors and taking care of sports facilities.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintain the playing surface by mowing, watering, and fertilizing the grass.
  • Repair and replace damaged turf and soil, and ensure proper drainage.
  • Mark sports fields and facilities, including boundary lines and goal areas, with paint and chalk.
  • Maintain and repair equipment such as mowers, trimmers, and watering systems.
  • Remove trash and debris from grounds and facilities.
  • Ensure that seating areas and walkways are clean and safe for spectators.
  • Assist with snow and ice removal during the winter months.
  • Communicate regularly with coaches and other staff to ensure that the grounds are meeting their needs.
  • Comply with safety regulations and procedures to maintain a safe environment for all.
  • Work flexible hours, including weekends and holidays, to support sporting events and practices.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be a groundskeeper in the sports industry, you need a combination of education and experience. A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required, and some employers may prefer a degree in turf management or a related field. You should also have experience working with lawn equipment, like mowers and trimmers. Knowledge of fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation systems is essential, as well as an understanding of safety procedures. Experience working on playing fields or golf courses is a plus. You should be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions, have good physical stamina, and be able to work independently or as part of a team.

Salary Range

Groundskeepers are responsible for maintaining the landscaping, grass, and other outdoor areas surrounding a sports facility. In the United States, the expected salary range for a Groundskeeper in the sports industry is $25,000 to $60,000 per year depending on years of experience, location, and size of the facility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for grounds maintenance workers is $30,440 per year as of 2020. 

In other countries, Groundskeepers in the sports industry generally earn a similar salary range. For example, in the United Kingdom, they can expect to earn around £16,000 to £25,000 per year, depending on their level of experience.

Sources:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/building-and-grounds-cleaning/grounds-maintenance-workers.htm 
  • PayScale: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Groundskeeper/Salary 
  • TotalJobs: https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/sports-groundsperson-salary

Career Outlook

Looking at the career outlook for groundskeepers in the sports industry over the next 5 years, the job market is expected to stay the same. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of grounds maintenance workers in general is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about the same as the average for all occupations. However, there is always a demand for skilled workers in this field, especially for large sports complexes, stadiums, and golf courses. With a rise in youth sports and recreational activities, there is an increase in the demand for groundskeepers to maintain these facilities. Therefore, pursuing a career as a groundskeeper in the sports industry can be rewarding and stable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a groundskeeper do in the sports industry?

A: A groundskeeper is responsible for maintaining the playing surface of a sports field, including grass, dirt, and turf. They also perform regular maintenance tasks like mowing, watering, and fertilizing.

Q: What type of equipment does a groundskeeper use?

A: Groundskeepers use a variety of equipment, including mowers, trimmers, blowers, and heavy-duty field grooming equipment.

Q: What kind of education or training does a groundskeeper need?

A: Most groundskeepers learn on the job, but some may have completed a degree or certification program in turf management, horticulture or a related field. On-the-job training is common.

Q: How important is the job of a groundskeeper in the sports industry?

A: Groundskeepers play a crucial role in ensuring that a sports venue is safe for athletes and spectators. They help maintain the integrity of the playing surface, and are often responsible for preparing the field for competition.

Q: What are some challenges that a groundskeeper may face on the job?

A: Groundskeepers must be able to work in all types of weather conditions, and under tight time constraints to ensure that a venue is ready for competition. They must be skilled in the use of equipment, and have knowledge of the different types of grasses and soils used in sports turf management.


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