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Career and Education Opportunities for Grounds Keepers in Chandler, Arizona

For those living in the Chandler, Arizona area, there are many career and education opportunities for grounds keepers. There are currently 21,560 working grounds keepers in Arizona; this should grow 16% to about 25,100 working grounds keepers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for grounds keepers are expected to grow by about 18.0%. In general, grounds keepers landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment.

The income of a grounds keeper is about $9 hourly or $20,670 annually on average in Arizona. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $11 per hour or $23,150 annually on average. Incomes for grounds keepers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Landscaping and Groundskeeping in Arizona, and not quite as good as the overall Landscaping and Groundskeeping category nationally.

The Chandler area is home to seventy-seven schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Chandler where you can get a degree as a grounds keeper. Grounds keepers usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a grounds keeper if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Grounds Keeper

Grounds Keeper video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, grounds keepers landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. They also workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.

Grounds keepers use hand tools such as shovels, rakes, pruning saws, saws, hedge and brush trimmers, and axes. They also operate powered machinery such as mowers, tractors, twin-axle vehicles, snow blowers, chain-saws and pruning saws. Equally important, grounds keepers have to mow and edge lawns, using power mowers and edgers. They are often called upon to prune and trim trees, shrubs, and hedges, using shears or chain saws. They are expected to care for established lawns by mulching, aerating, weeding, grubbing and removing thatch, and trimming and edging around flower beds and walls. Finally, grounds keepers water lawns and plants, using portable sprinkler systems or watering cans.

Every day, grounds keepers are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to coordinate both hands in a single activity.

It is important for grounds keepers to mix and spray or spread fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides onto grass and trees, using hand or automatic sprayers or spreaders. They are often called upon to maintain and repair tools, machinery, and structures such as buildings and benches, using hand and power tools. They also follow planned landscaping designs to establish where to lay sod or plant flowers and foliage. They are sometimes expected to formulate and cultivate lawns and gardens. Somewhat less frequently, grounds keepers are also expected to care for natural turf fields, making sure the underlying soil has the required composition to allow proper drainage and to support the grasses used on the fields.

Grounds keepers sometimes are asked to advise customers on plant selection and care. They also have to be able to set up rock gardens and/or playground machinery And finally, they sometimes have to decorate gardens with stones and plants.

Like many other jobs, grounds keepers must be reliable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chandler include:

  • Exterminator. Spray or release chemical solutions or toxic gases and set traps to kill pests and vermin, such as mice, termites, and roaches, that infest buildings and surrounding areas.
  • Integrated Pest Management Technician. Mix or apply pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation or chemical application on trees, shrubs, or botanical crops. Usually requires specific training and State or Federal certification.
  • Tree Trimmer. Cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to maintain right-of-way for roads, sidewalks, or utilities, or to improve appearance, health, and value of tree. Prune or treat trees or shrubs using handsaws, pruning hooks, and clippers. May use truck-mounted lifts and power pruners. May fill cavities in trees to promote healing and prevent deterioration.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Grounds Keeper Training

Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Landscaping and Groundskeeping.

Mesa Community College - Mesa, AZ

Mesa Community College, 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202. Mesa Community College is a large college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,825 students. Mesa Community College has a less than one year program in Landscaping and Groundskeeping.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ

Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Landscaping and Groundskeeping.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Desert Landscaper: The Desert Botanical Garden is pleased to offer the Desert Landscaper Certification Program for over ten years.

For more information, see the Desert Botanical Garden website.

Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.

For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.

Automatic Sprinkler System Layout: This certification program is for engineering technicians engaged in the layout and detailing of automatic sprinkler systems which must meet existing and proposed code and statutory requirements.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certified Grounds Technician: For those applicants who are directly involved with performing the day-to-day tasks of grounds maintenance, PGMS offers a certification program.

For more information, see the Professional Grounds Management Society website.

Certified Ornamental Lanscape Professional: Earn the Certified Ornamental Landscape Professional (COLP) designation by completing the "Principles of Landscape Tree & Shrub Maintenance" self-study course.

For more information, see the Professional Landcare Network website.

Certified Turfgrass Professional: Earn the Certified Turfgrass Professional (CTP) designation by enrolling in the Principles of Turfgrass Management a distance-based, self-study certificate course offered through the University of Georgia.

For more information, see the Professional Landcare Network website.

Certified Turfgrass Professional - Cool Season Lawns: Earn the Certified Turfgrass Professional of Cool Season Lawns (CTP-CSL) designation by completing the self-study course, Management of Cool Season Lawns.

For more information, see the Professional Landcare Network website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chandler, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona photo by Ixnayonthetimmay

Chandler is situated in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 247,140, which has grown by 40.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Chandler, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Chandler are priced at $206,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were constructed in Chandler, down from 1,002 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chandler are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 32.5% of Chandler residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chandler is 6.6%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Chandler residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chandler is home to the Kyrene Gin and the Goodyear Substation as well as West Mine Well Park and Doctor Chandler Memorial Park. Visitors to Chandler can choose from Courtyard by Marriott - Chandler, Four Seasons Solar Products and Aloha Motel for temporary stays in the area.