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Career and Education Opportunities for Grounds Foremen in Vancouver, Washington

Grounds foremen can find many career and educational opportunities in the Vancouver, Washington area. Currently, 3,140 people work as grounds foremen in Washington. This is expected to grow 27% to 3,980 people 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%. Grounds foremen generally 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.

Grounds foremen earn about $21 hourly or $45,500 yearly on average in Washington and about $19 per hour or $39,920 per year on average nationally. Grounds foremen earn more than people working in the category of Building Maintenance generally in Washington and more than people in the Building Maintenance category nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a grounds foreman, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. Grounds foremen usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Landscaping and Groundskeeping which graduated one, four, eleven, and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Landscaping and Groundskeeping which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has 2 areas of study related to Grounds Foreman. They are:

  • Ornamental Horticulture, less than one year.
  • Landscaping and Groundskeeping, associate's degree which graduated 5 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.