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Career and Education Opportunities for Grounds Foremen in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for grounds foremen. There are currently 4,900 jobs for grounds foremen in Maryland and this is projected to grow 17% to 5,720 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for grounds foremen are expected to grow by about 14.9%. In general, grounds foremen plan, organize, direct, or coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities, such as planting and maintaining ornamental trees, shrubs, and lawns, and applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals, according to contract specifications.

Income for grounds foremen is about $19 hourly or $40,670 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $39,920 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Building Maintenance, people working as grounds foremen in Maryland earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Building Maintenance nationally.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a grounds foreman. The most common level of education for grounds foremen is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a grounds foreman if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Grounds Foreman

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

In general, grounds foremen plan, organize, direct, or coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities, such as planting and maintaining ornamental trees, shrubs, and lawns, and applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals, according to contract specifications. They also may also coordinate activities of workers engaged in terracing hillsides, building retaining walls, constructing pathways, and similar activities in following a landscape design plan.

Grounds foremen furnish staff with assistance in performing duties as needed to meet deadlines. They also recommend changes in working conditions or machinery use, so as to increase crew efficiency. Equally important, grounds foremen have to order the performance of corrective work when problems occur, and recommend procedural changes to avoid such problems. They are often called upon to talk with other supervisors to direct work efforts with those of other departments or units. They are expected to establish and enforce operating procedures and work standards that will insure adequate performance and personnel safety. Finally, grounds foremen perform administrative duties such as authorizing leaves and processing time sheets.

Every day, grounds foremen are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for grounds foremen to maintain required records such as personnel data and project records. They are often called upon to schedule work for crews depending on work priorities, crew and machinery availability, and weather conditions. They also direct and assist staff working on the maintenance and up keep machinery such as power tools and motorized machinery. They are sometimes expected to direct or perform mixing and application of fertilizers and fungicides. Somewhat less frequently, grounds foremen are also expected to furnish staff with assistance in performing duties as needed to meet deadlines.

They also have to be able to perform administrative duties such as authorizing leaves and processing time sheets and ready and maintain required records such as work activity and personnel reports. And finally, they sometimes have to inspect contracts or work assignments to establish service and workforce requirements for jobs.

Like many other jobs, grounds foremen must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Grounds Foreman Training

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Landscaping and Groundskeeping which graduated eleven students in 2008.

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.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.