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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

A groundsperson, or greenkeeper, looks after sports grounds like golf courses and cricket, football and rugby pitches. Their daily activities will include grass cutting, strimming, pruning vegetation, marking out the course or pitch and all other maintenance of the sports ground.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through: 


You might find it helpful to do a qualification in Horticulture before looking for work.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

The following local colleges offer courses in Horticulture:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.


You may be able to get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a sports turf operative.

You could specialise in working on golf courses through an intermediate or advanced golf greenkeeping apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports surface management
  • sportsturf management
  • horticulture

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

Click here to search for a suitable course.


You may be able to find work as an assistant groundsperson without qualifications. You could then work your way up by getting experience and studying on the job.

Other routes

You could take qualifications with an industry body like the Institute of Groundsmanship. They offer courses at different levels in turf surface maintenance and management.

More Information

You'll find more advice about careers and training as a groundsperson from the Institute of Groundsmanship.

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults and you may need a driving licence for some jobs. 

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisor, team leader or head of section.

You could get training from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG).

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Gardener
  • Horticultural manager
  • Horticultural worker
  • Landscaper

Required Skills

  • Practical skills,
  • The ability to interpret plans and drawings
  • The ability to work on your own initiative or as part of a team
  • A good awareness of health and safety
  • Prepared to work outdoors in all weathers

Salary Range

£17,000 to £48,000

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