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Career and Education Opportunities for Grounds Foremen in Madison, Wisconsin

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for grounds foremen in the Madison, Wisconsin area. There are currently 3,260 working grounds foremen in Wisconsin; this should grow by 13% to 3,670 working grounds foremen in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for grounds foremen, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.9% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for grounds foremen is about $20 per hour or $42,190 yearly on average in Wisconsin. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $39,920 annually. Incomes for grounds foremen are better than in the overall category of Building Maintenance in Wisconsin, and better than the overall Building Maintenance category nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Madison area, including one within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can get a degree to start your career as a grounds foreman. Grounds foremen usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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

Blackhawk Technical College - Janesville, WI

Blackhawk Technical College, 6004 County Road G, Janesville, WI 53547-5009. Blackhawk Technical College is a small college located in Janesville, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,755 students. Blackhawk Technical College has a less than one year program in Landscaping and Groundskeeping which graduated four 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: Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.