Groundsperson

Alternative titles for this job include Greenkeeper

A groundsperson, or greenkeeper, looks after sports grounds like football, cricket or rugby pitches.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£48,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends flexibly

How to become a groundsperson

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by a professional body

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports surface management
  • sportsturf management
  • horticulture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You might find it helpful to do a qualification before looking for work. Course subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Sports and Amenity Turf Maintenance
  • Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a sports turf operative.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Work

You may be able to find work as an assistant groundsperson without qualifications. You could then work your way up by getting experience and studying on the job.

Other routes

You could take qualifications with an industry body like the Institute of Groundsmanship. They offer courses at different levels in turf surface maintenance and management.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Groundsmanship for professional development and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You'll find more advice about careers and training as a groundsperson from the Institute of Groundsmanship.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You may need a driving licence for some jobs. 

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • preparing land for laying turf (grass)
  • rolling and mowing grass
  • marking lines on pitches or greens
  • installing and maintaining equipment
  • operating equipment like strimmers and ride-on mowers

Working environment

You could work at a school, in a park or on a sports field.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisor, team leader or head of section.

You could get training from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG).

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Grounds Maintenance Operative Apprentice

  • Wage : £11,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Topsham EX3 0QH

Grounds Maintenance Apprentice

  • Wage : £144.30 Weekly
  • Location: Newark NG24 2EG

Courses In England

Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture - Leap to Horticulture

  • Provider: Cambridge Regional College
  • Start date: 03 September 2019
  • Location: Cambridge

Horticulture Skills

  • Provider: Bedfordshire & Luton Education Business Partnership
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Dunstable

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