5 jobs in Greenkeeping

If you have a green thumb and enjoy working outdoors, then a career in greenkeeping could be perfect for you. Here are five potential jobs that you could apply for post-graduation.


If you’re a lover of the great outdoors and want to find a career that enables you to “brave the elements”, then a career in Greenkeeping & Turf Management could be perfect for you. 

Here are five jobs in the industry that will enable you to cultivate your green thumb! 

Grounds person / Greenkeeper

What is a grounds person?

A grounds person, or greenkeeper, looks after sports grounds like golf courses and cricket, football and rugby pitches.

Do I need a degree? 

There are a variety of pathways that you can take to become a professional grounds person. You could progress through a Level 2 and Level 3 course at college, onto university to study a foundation degree or higher national diploma, or through the popular apprenticeship route which will enable you to earn a salary whilst studying towards your qualification.

What will I do? 

As a grounds person, you may:

  • prepare land for laying grass turf
  • roll and mow grass
  • mark lines on pitches or greens, cut holes and move markers
  • remove water and rake ground
  • apply turf treatments to control weeds, fungal diseases and pests
  • install and maintain equipment
  • operate equipment like strimmers and ride-on mowers

The perk of being a grounds person is that you could work at a school, in a park, sports field or professional sports stadiums. The nature of the job means that you must be open to working outdoors in all weathers and seasons. 

What salary could I earn? 

The average starting salary for a groundskeeper starts at around £13,500 depending on your route into employment and can peak at around £30,000. Typical working hours are betwen 39-41 per week, with work spread across evenings and weekends. The industry requires flexible individuals who can care for the grounds all year round. 


What is a landscaper? 

Landscapers create and maintain gardens, parks and other outdoor and indoor areas.

Do I need a degree? 

No – You can progress into employment, or self-employment as a landscape gardener after completing a Level 3 or equivalent course at college. Oaklands College offer a pathway into employment through apprenticeships, more information regarding this can be found here

What will I do? 

On a typical day you might:

  • discuss clients’ needs 
  • work from plans made by garden designers or landscape architects
  • prepare the ground or interior space
  • turf and seed lawns
  • plant and prune trees, shrubbery and lawn
  • put in new plants and plant bedding 
  • install features like paving, paths, water features and rock gardens
  • advise the client on how to look after the space
  • provide on-going maintenance work

What salary could I earn? 

As a newly qualified landscaper, you could earn a starting wage of around £16,000. An employee with more experience could expect to earn up to £25,000 per year, working 38 to 40 hours per week, usually across weekends. 


What does a gardener do? 

Gardeners grow plants and look after them in private and public green spaces, can work contractually for organisations and companies, freelance or self-employed. 

Do I need a degree? 

You can become a gardener through a variety of ways. The usual pathway is to progress through a dedicated college course in Horticulture or Greenkeeping, but some professional opt to pursue the apprenticeship route. Oaklands College offer a variety of courses as part of its Horticulture programme, more information regarding these courses can be found here

What will I do? 

On a typical day you may:

  • raise plants from seeds or cuttings
  • dig, plant and weed flower beds and borders
  • prune shrubs and trees
  • check the health of plants and control pests
  • use machinery like lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
  • look after the appearance of plants and the surrounding landscape
  • clean and maintain equipment
  • do basic building tasks like laying patios, or putting up sheds and fences 

What salary could I earn? 

A typical salary for a newly-qualified gardener is in the region of £16,000. This can increase to upwards of £25,000 dependant on experience and the number of paid, private client work that a gardener takes on. 

Domestic lawn care assistant 

What is that? 

As a lawn care assistant, you will be required to complete maintenance tasks on customer’s lawns. Work involves the applications of products and using specialist machines to improve the health and appearance of customers lawns.

Do I need a degree? 

No – However you would need to show evidence of experience before applying for the role. Usually, alongside a college course or similar alternative, you would be expected to complete work experience that can contribute towards your application. 

What will I do? 

As a lawn care assistant, you could expect to: 

  • provide advise to customers on best lawn care products
  • provide a professional service 
  • listen to the clients wishes and ensure you meet these
  • deliver organic lawn treatments
  • have a knowledge and license to use pesticides
  • canvassing lawn areas

What salary could I earn? 

The average salary for a newly employed lawn care assistant can vary, due to the status of the employment. Working for a company as a lawn care assistant could return a yearly salary of around £20,000, whereas those who work self-employed for their own business could earn higher, depending on the size of your client list. 

Landscape foreman 

What is a landscape foreman? 

A landscape foreman is the person tasked with directing the actions of a landscaping team. While this role is generally considered managerial, most landscape foremen are expected to be involved in the actual landscaping duties.


Do I need a degree? 

You do not need a degree, however, as the role is generally considered as a managerial position, you would be expected to have extensive knowledge and understanding of landscaping, regulations, sitework and health and safety. 

It is preferential that applicants for this sort of role have extensive experience working on high-end garden developments, with an eagerness to learn and draw inspiration from experience gained through similar past projects. 

What will I do? 

Some of the duties associated with a landscape foreman are as follows: 

  • work as a working foreman, rather than an office-based manager
  • manage materials and requirements on site
  • manage a team, ensuring everything is in order 
  • fill out risk assessments and health and safety forms ensuring the site is being ran to a professional standard
  • speak with clients and work with them to rectify any issues they may have

What salary could I earn? 

A landscape foreman could expect to earn anywhere between £35,000 and £40,000 per calendar year. 

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