Landscape laborers work outdoors to improve the functional or aesthetic value of a property. They may create or improve lawns, gardens, decks, patios and other landscape features. Landscape laborers make use of many hand tools and products as well as motorized tools and sometimes construction vehicles. Landscape labor salaries depend on the nature of the company as well as the type of work required.
Skills and Education
Landscape laborers do not usually require a formal education; however, applicants with at least a high school diploma have a better chance at employment. To become a supervisor, additional college education may be required. Landscape laborers must be skilled with their hands, and they must know how to operate motorized machines and tools such as electric trimmers and lawnmowers. In order to work quickly and efficiently, they require discipline and stamina as well as the ability to work well on a team. Attention to detail and constant alertness are necessary for safety reasons and to avoid careless mistakes.
Landscape laborers are responsible for modifying the terrain of a property in a number of ways. Depending on the job, they may trim trees and bushes, mulch gardens, spread fertilizer or dig holes. They also install patios, decks and walkways as well as sprinkler and lighting systems. Landscape laborers may water plants, mow lawns and perform other maintenance tasks.
Landscape laborers use shovels, rakes, brooms and handsaws for simple tasks such as cutting wood, grooming gardens and cleaning up leaves. In addition, they use power tools such as chainsaws and electric clippers for heavy tasks such as cutting down trees or heavy branches and leaf blowers for removing leaves and debris. For large, open lawns, landscape laborers maneuver and troubleshoot riding mowers. For edging and in-between areas, they are proficient with weed trimmers.
Landscape laborers are hired by private or public contractors and are offered a range of pay depending upon the duties required by their employers. Large private companies may offer more pay for a given job, while some companies offer benefits packages. Landscape labor is usually seasonal, so laborers must diversify their skills if they wish to work year-round.
Landscape laborers may be promoted to crew leader or supervisor positions for displaying hard work, extensive knowledge in the field and good communication skills. In addition, some landscape laborers seek certification to gain professional recognition; this requires education and training in such areas as landscape engineering and the proper use of pesticides. With certifications or licenses, landscape laborers improve their prospects at earning better pay and a wider selection of jobs.
2016 Salary Information for Grounds Maintenance Workers
Grounds maintenance workers earned a median annual salary of $26,920 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, grounds maintenance workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $22,230, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $33,640, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,309,300 people were employed in the U.S. as grounds maintenance workers.