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Career and Education Opportunities for Grounds Keepers in Fargo, North Dakota

Grounds keeper career and educational opportunities abound in Fargo, North Dakota. There are currently 2,440 working grounds keepers in North Dakota; this should grow 11% to 2,710 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%. Grounds keepers generally landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment.

The income of a grounds keeper is about $10 per hour or $22,540 yearly on average in North Dakota. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $11 per hour or $23,150 yearly on average. Grounds keepers earn less than people working in the category of Landscaping and Groundskeeping generally in North Dakota and less than people in the Landscaping and Groundskeeping category nationally.

The Fargo area is home to eight schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fargo where you can get a degree as a grounds keeper. Grounds keepers usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Fargo include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Grounds Keeper Training

North Dakota State University-Main Campus - Fargo, ND

North Dakota State University-Main Campus, 1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58108-6050. North Dakota State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Fargo, North Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,229 students and an admission rate of 80%. North Dakota State University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Turf and Turfgrass Management.

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: Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo, North Dakota photo by Unimatic1140

Fargo is located in Cass County, North Dakota. It has a population of over 93,531, which has grown by 3.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fargo, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fargo are priced at $139,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred four new homes were constructed in Fargo, down from four hundred forty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fargo are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 34.4% of Fargo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fargo is 3.5%, which is greater than North Dakota's average of 3.2%.

The percentage of Fargo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fargo is home to the Elm Tree Square and the Market Square as well as Roosevelt Playground and Oak Grove Park. Shopping malls in the area include Valley North Mall, Northport Mall and West Acres Shopping Center. Visitors to Fargo can choose from Rodeway Inn Fargo, Wingate Inn and Sleep Inn Fargo for temporary stays in the area.