Garden Grounds Maintenance Managers plan, develop and maintain open spaces. They ensure that developments are suitable and advise others on the long-term care of the landscape.
They work on a wide range of areas, including:
- Nature conservation areas and wildlife parks
- Historic gardens
- Woodlands (including those used for recreation)
- Motorway verges
- Public parks
- Housing estates.
Parks/Garden/Grounds Maintenance Managers rarely carry out practical work themselves, but they do use their knowledge of plants and the environment to advise others.
Tasks vary from job to job but may include:
- Deciding on appropriate sites for features such as footpaths,
- Devising maintenance plans for essential jobs
- Overseeing the work of employees and contractors
- Monitoring the quality of the environment
- Assessing the impact of any proposed change of land use
- Advising on planning applications and public enquiries
- Meeting landowners to discuss plans for shared borders
- Liaising with community groups and volunteers.
Parks/Garden/Grounds Maintenance Managers working in the public sector usually work a standard full-time week, Monday to Friday. There may also be evening meetings and additional hours to meet deadlines.
Those working in private practice may work longer, more irregular hours. Part-time or flexitime work may be available.
Parks/Garden/Grounds Maintenance Managers are usually based in an office and may spend a lot of time attending meetings. Some jobs involve travelling to sites and working outdoors in all weather conditions. A driving licence may be useful.
Salaries vary with experience, qualifications and between companies, but here's a guide to what you can expect.
Parks/Garden/Grounds Maintenance Managers are employed by a number of organisations, including local councils, national government and charitable organisations. Some work for companies involved in building, civil engineering, mining, power supply and land reclamation.
There are no specific qualifications required for this role but competition is fierce and many have a degree or HNC/HND.
You might also benefit from experience gained through voluntary or temporary work. It may be possible to start in a more practical role like Gardener, and after training and experience, apply for jobs in management.
Some Parks/Garden/Ground Maintenance Managers have an undergraduate degree or postgraduate qualification.
What experienced workers can do
- Work with, and consult, the local community
- Purchase products or services for the land-based organisation
- Manage a budget
- Plan the work of teams and individuals
- Commission contract work to enable objectives to be met
- Estimate the resources required by programmes
- Sequence and programme work
- Manage projects
- Understand health and safety issues and relevant regulations.
Personal qualities you should have
- Have a genuine interest in gardens and landscape design
- Able to solve and deal with problems
- Good communication.
Promotion prospects vary from employer to employer. In local government, there is a structured career path through to supervisory and managerial roles. In other organisations, you may have to move to another employer to get another job.
Some experienced Managers become self-employed and set up their own practices, while others may become partners without leaving their company. There may be opportunities to work overseas.