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Groundsman or Greenkeeper CV Writing Tip's

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Groundsman or Greenkeeper CV Writing Service

As a groundsman or greenkeeper you would look after sports grounds, such as football, cricket and rugby pitches, bowling greens, tennis courts, racecourses and golf courses.
Your main responsibility would be to manage the soil and grass to make sure the turf is always in top condition. Your duties would typically include:

  • preparing land for turf laying
  • applying nutrients
  • rolling and mowing the turf
  • identifying and controlling weeds
  • setting out and marking lines on surfaces
  • installing and maintaining equipment like nets, posts and protective covers
  • ensuring irrigation and drainage systems are maintained
  • looking after surrounding areas – decorative displays, concrete or tarmac
  • operating equipment like hedge cutters, strimmers and ride-on mowers
  • painting, removing rubbish and carrying out general duties
  • maintaining good communication with your customers

Your tasks would vary according to the season and weather conditions.


Hours

You would usually work around 37 hours a week, sometimes including weekends and evenings.

You would spend most of your time outside, and your work would be quite physical. In some jobs you would need to travel around a large site or to several different sites.


Income

Salary scales recommended for 2010 by the Institute of Groundmanship are:

  • Groundsman: £14,985 to £18,310 a year.
  • Skilled groundsman: £18,700 to £22,850.
  • Head groundsman: £24,445 to £31,795.

There may be bonuses and payment for overtime, and accommodation is sometimes provided.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

If you have experience in horticulture, you could find work as an unskilled groundsman without relevant qualifications. You may then be able to progress to skilled level by gaining experience and working towards qualifications.

Alternatively, you could start by doing a course that would help you develop the skills needed for the job. Relevant courses include:

  • BTEC First Diploma in Horticulture
  • NPTC Level 1 Certificate in Horticulture
  • NPTC National Certificate/Advanced National Certificate in Horticulture
  • BTEC National Certificate and Diploma in Horticulture (Sports Turf and Groundmanship).

In September 2010 these qualifications werereplaced by:

  • Certificate/Diploma in Horticulture at levels 2 and 3
  • Certificate/Diploma in Sports and Amenity Turf Maintenance at Level 2.

Entry requirements for courses vary, so you should check directly with colleges.

A driving licence will be useful for some jobs.

You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more about Apprenticeships, visit the Apprenticeships website.


Training and development

Once you are working as a groundsman, you will usually receive on-the-job training from your employer. You may also have the chance to increase your skills and develop your career by attending college on a day-release basis to gain relevant qualifications such as:

  • NPTC Certificate/Diploma/Award in Work-based Horticulture
  • NPTC Level 2 National Certificate in Sports and Amenity Turf Maintenance
  • NPTC Level 3 Advanced National Certificate in Sports and Amenity Turf Management
  • other BTEC and NPTC qualifications in Horticulture.

In September 2010 these were replaced by new Certificates/Diplomas in horticulture and in Sports and Amenity Turf Maintenance.

You could also complete the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) four-tier programme of short courses – Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced and Management.

If you have a least five years’ practical management experience you can gain international recognition of your skills through the IOG/C & G Senior Award in Sports Turf Management. This is on two levels, licentiateship and graduateship.

Visit the training and education page of the IOG website for details of all their courses and qualifications

You could also develop your career by completing higher level qualifications like BTEC HNCs/HNDs, foundation degrees and degrees in subjects such as Sports Turf Management.

To search for colleges and universities offering foundation degrees, HNDs and degrees see the UCAS website.

You can join the IOG on six levels, depending on the level of your highest qualification. Membership will demonstrate your competence to employers, give you access to continuing professional development opportunities, and help you progress in your career. Check the IOG website for details.


Skills and knowledge

  • the strength and fitness to use heavy equipment
  • practical skills
  • the ability to interpret plans and drawings
  • the ability to work as part of a team and on your own initiative
  • basic knowledge of machinery maintenance
  • awareness of health and safety issues
  • willingness to work outside in all weather conditions.

Opportunities

You could find work with any of the following:

  • private leisure providers
  • local authorities
  • sports clubs
  • schools and other educational establishments
  • grounds maintenance contractors
  • large corporations with company leisure facilities.

With experience, you may be able to progress to supervisor or team leader, then to head of section or into management. Progression may depend on gaining further qualifications.

You could also become self-employed as a contractor or consultant.

You may find the following links useful for job vacancies and further reading (links open in new window):

Industry summary

The horticulture, landscape and sports turf industry is part of the environmental and land‐based industries, represented by Lantra Sector Skills Council, which also includes the following industries: agricultural crops; agricultural livestock; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; equine; environmental conservation; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land‐based engineering; production horticulture; trees and timber; and veterinary nursing. The sector as a whole currently employs 1,126,000 people (approximately 4% of the UK workforce) in around 230,000 businesses. In addition, there are an estimated 500,000 volunteers working in the sector on a regular basis. Approximately 42% of the workforce is self‐employed.

The horticulture, landscape and sports turf industries cover: hard, soft and interior landscaping; sports turf maintenance and green‐keeping; private, heritage and botanic gardens; commercial grounds; plus public parks and green spaces. The landscape industries comprise both public and private sector businesses, which are involved in:

  • Local authority green space management
  • All forms of sports turf management and maintenance
  • State owned and private historic and heritage gardens

Key facts:

  • There are approximately 172,000 gardeners and grounds people working in the industry, in an estimated 16,650 businesses.
  • The industry employs around 15.3% of the environmental and land‐based sector’s total workforce.
  • 81% of businesses employ less than 10 staff.
  • 44% of the workforce is self‐employed.
  • 60% of the workforce has a level 2 and above qualification, 18% of the workforce has no qualifications.

Jobs in the industry include: allotment officer, grounds maintenance manager, arboretum supervisor, head gardener, woodland officer, head park ranger, assistant arboretum worker, arboriculturalist, landscape architect, machine plant operator, nursery worker, parks officer, garden designer, assistant greenkeeper, grounds person.


National and regional data

East Midlands – There are an estimated 12,000 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,200 businesses.

East of England – There are an estimated 19,000 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,250 businesses.

London – There are an estimated 23,300 employees in the regional workforce, in around 750 businesses.

North East – There are an estimated 3,250 employees in the regional workforce, in around 550 businesses. Landscape businesses are a significant employer in the region.

North West – There are an estimated 17,550 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,800 businesses.

South East – There are an estimated 30,950 employees in the regional workforce, in around 3,750 businesses.

South West – There are an estimated 18,850 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,800 businesses.

West Midlands – There are an estimated 15,600 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,250 businesses.

Yorkshire and the Humber – There are an estimated 13,900 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,250 businesses.

Northern Ireland – There are an estimated 1,400 employees in the regional workforce, in around 250 businesses.

Scotland – There are an estimated 9,100 employees in the regional workforce, in around 1,250 businesses.

Wales – There are an estimated 7,000 employees in the regional workforce, in around 750 businesses.

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