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Career profile Grounds Supervisor

Also known as Field Manager, Golf Course Superintendent, Grounds Crew Supervisor, Grounds Foreman, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Grounds Manager, Grounds Supervisor, Groundskeeper Supervisor, Landscape Manager, Landscape Supervisor

Grounds Supervisor

Also known as Field Manager, Golf Course Superintendent, Grounds Crew Supervisor

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$33,750 - $80,650 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Time Management
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administration and Management
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Establish and enforce operating procedures and work standards that will ensure adequate performance and personnel safety.
  • Schedule work for crews, depending on work priorities, crew or equipment availability, or weather conditions.
  • Tour grounds, such as parks, botanical gardens, cemeteries, or golf courses, to inspect conditions of plants and soil.
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What does a Grounds Supervisor do?

Grounds Supervisors directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities.

In addition, Grounds Supervisors work may involve reviewing contracts to ascertain service, machine, and workforce requirements; answering inquiries from potential customers regarding methods, material, and price ranges; and preparing estimates according to labor, material, and machine costs.

What kind of tasks does a Grounds Supervisor perform regularly?

Grounds Supervisors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Establish and enforce operating procedures and work standards that will ensure adequate performance and personnel safety.
  • Schedule work for crews, depending on work priorities, crew or equipment availability, or weather conditions.
  • Tour grounds, such as parks, botanical gardens, cemeteries, or golf courses, to inspect conditions of plants and soil.
  • Monitor project activities to ensure that instructions are followed, deadlines are met, and schedules are maintained.
  • Direct activities of workers who perform duties, such as landscaping, cultivating lawns, or pruning trees and shrubs.
  • Inspect completed work to ensure conformance to specifications, standards, and contract requirements.
  • Plant or maintain vegetation through activities such as mulching, fertilizing, watering, mowing, or pruning.
  • Train workers in tasks such as transplanting or pruning trees or shrubs, finishing cement, using equipment, or caring for turf.
  • Direct or perform mixing or application of fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
  • Identify diseases or pests affecting landscaping and order appropriate treatments.
  • Prepare service estimates based on labor, material, and machine costs and maintain budgets for individual projects.
  • Maintain required records, such as personnel information or project records.
  • Perform personnel-related activities, such as hiring workers, evaluating staff performance, or taking disciplinary actions when performance problems occur.
  • Inventory supplies of tools, equipment, or materials to ensure that sufficient supplies are available and items are in usable condition.
  • Provide workers with assistance in performing duties as necessary to meet deadlines.
  • Prepare or maintain required records, such as work activity or personnel reports.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as authorizing leaves or processing time sheets.
  • Confer with other supervisors to coordinate work activities with those of other departments or units.
  • Direct or assist workers engaged in the maintenance or repair of equipment, such as power tools or motorized equipment.
  • Review contracts or work assignments to determine service, machine, or workforce requirements for jobs.
  • Investigate work-related complaints to verify problems and to determine responses.
  • Confer with managers or landscape architects to develop plans or schedules for landscaping maintenance or improvement.
  • Order the performance of corrective work when problems occur and recommend procedural changes to avoid such problems.
  • Recommend changes in working conditions or equipment used to increase crew efficiency.
  • Answer inquiries from current or prospective customers regarding methods, materials, or price ranges.
  • Install or maintain landscaped areas, performing tasks such as removing snow, pouring cement curbs, or repairing sidewalks.
  • Design or supervise the installation of sprinkler systems, calculating water pressure, or valve and pipe coverage needs.

The above responsibilities are specific to Grounds Supervisors. More generally, Grounds Supervisors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Scheduling Work and Activities
Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Grounds Supervisor salary?

The median salary for a Grounds Supervisor is $51,010, and the average salary is $54,040. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Grounds Supervisor salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Grounds Supervisors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Grounds Supervisors earn less than $33,750 per year, 25% earn less than $40,600, 75% earn less than $64,490, and 90% earn less than $80,650.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Grounds Supervisors is expected to change by 4.0%, and there should be roughly 19,700 open positions for Grounds Supervisors every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$33,750 - $80,650
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Grounds Supervisors?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Grounds Supervisor are usually higher in their Enterprising, Realistic, and Conventional interests.

Grounds Supervisors typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Grounds Supervisors typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Grounds Supervisors typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Grounds Supervisor tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Grounds Supervisors strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Grounds Supervisors strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Grounds Supervisors moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Grounds Supervisors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, leadership, and adaptability/flexibility.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Grounds Supervisors, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Grounds Supervisors need?

Grounds Supervisors often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Grounds Supervisors usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Grounds Supervisors

  • 22.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 31.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.1% completed some college coursework
  • 9.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.6% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Grounds Supervisors

Grounds Supervisors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administration and management, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Grounds Supervisors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

Important Abilities needed by Grounds Supervisors

Grounds Supervisors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Grounds Supervisors need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Grounds Supervisors, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Grounds Supervisors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Grounds Supervisors frequently use skills like monitoring, time management, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Grounds Supervisors, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Management of Personnel Resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.