An introduction to a career in grounds management

Interested in a career in grounds management?

A grounds manager is a skilled professional who is primarily tasked with producing and maintaining grounds to a high standard. The grounds you will maintain will depend on who you decide to work for, but your options include:

  • Sports grounds ranging from local league and local authority run facilities or private grounds including premier league sports clubs and national venues

  • Estate and grounds management for private gardens and schools, or Trust run properties that are visited by the public

  • Amenity open space management including parks and green spaces in villages, towns and cities across the country

Your job will include all aspects of turf management for example the operation of hand held and ride-on machinery, pesticide and fertiliser application, marking out of sports surfaces and a range of other specialist maintenance procedures that will vary according to the type of grounds you are responsible for. As you progress in your career you will become responsible for managing budgets, personnel and purchasing of machinery and products as well as advising on and implementing annual maintenance programmes and renovations.

Is it right for you?

If you enjoy working outside in all weathers, can remain calm under pressure and able to manage your own workload, a career in grounds management may be right for you. Dedication and flexibility is key as its often not your normal 9 to 5 position, especially in professional sport grounds. As you progress and take on more responsibility you will need good interpersonal and communication skills to perhaps manage a team and the ability to plan financial budgets.

Interested so far? Why not contact us at the IOG, your local authority, sports ground or college and see if there is the opportunity to do a couple of weeks work experience.

Next steps

If you decide to enter the profession at 16 or 18 you may choose to join a local employer as an apprentice and undergo on the job training with support from your employer and local college. There are a range of flexible government funded training options available, or your employer may offer you in-house training.

There are also a number of further education opportunities in grounds and sports turf management including certificates, diplomas and degrees. Most courses will offer a combination of practical training with the study of the science of grounds management.

What are the opportunities for progression?

Opportunities to progress in the grounds care industry are endless. You could work towards becoming Grounds Manager for a high profile sporting venue. You could manage a large team for a local authority or private contractor, or you may want to combine grounds and horticultural management by working on an estate. Other options could include industry research and development at a specialist Institute or University, technical sales for an industry supplier or training, lecturing and consultancy

So what can you expect to earn?

Starting salaries for a Junior Groundsman or Groundsman can vary up to £17,500 depending on age, experience and qualifications.

For more information and help and advice at each stage of your career path become a member of yIOG and enjoy up-to-date industry information, discounts on training and exhibitions and latest job opportunities.

Further Information or Advice

If you would like further information on the best route for you please contact us on careeradvice@iog.org or call the IOG office on 01908 312 511.