8413 Groundskeeper - Irrigation Specialist


TITLE Groundskeeper - Irrigation Specialist






The Groundskeeper/Irrigation Specialist performs semi-skilled work in the maintenance, care, and modification of University grounds and landscapes, which includes the operation of hand, electrically and gasoline-powered groundskeeping equipment/machines used in planting, cultivating and trimming of the grounds landscaping. The Groundskeeper/Irrigation Specialist maintains, and repairs grounds irrigation systems as directed either alone, as a member of a team, or as a team leader. The Groundskeeper/Irrigation Specialist duties will also include modification of existing systems and the planning, cost estimation and installation of new systems.  Work is reviewed in progress and upon completion.


Education: A high school diploma or the equivalent is required.

Experience: At least two years of experience in groundskeeping is required, where knowledge of the methods, materials, and equipment used in planting, cultivating, and trimming a variety of types of trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, and grasses has been gained; At least 1 year of experience with irrigation installation repairs is required. An Associate’s degree in turf management or a related field may be substituted for the two years of experience required. Drafting experience is preferred.

Skills: The ability to read the English language sufficiently to understand written work orders and instructions as well as directions for the proper mixture, use, and disposal/storage of cleaners, solvents, chemicals, fertilizers, and similar products used in groundskeeping is required. Skill in the proper operation and maintenance of irrigation systems, grounds maintenance tools, equipment, and machinery is required. Knowledge of the use and proper disposal of chemicals used in groundskeeping (horticulture, turf management, and floriculture) is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required. The ability to identify and eradicate disease or insect damage to plant and turf materials is preferred.

Certification: Licensing by the State of Missouri as a Certified Public Operator, License Category 3, for Spraying Pesticides is preferred.

Effort: The ability to lift and carry groundskeeping supplies and equipment weighing up to 50 pounds on a frequent basis and up to 100 pounds on an occasional basis. Prolonged walking or standing, and frequent bending, stooping, kneeling, and reaching is required on a daily basis. A full range of physical motion is required in order to operate manual, electrically powered and/or gasoline-powered groundskeeping equipment and machines. The ability to access facilities and areas which may only be accessible by climbing stairs or by climbing ladders to a height of 15 feet (e.g., for tree trimming) is required. The ability to crouch or kneel to access valves, pipes and wiring is required.  The ability to move throughout assigned areas, as the work performed primarily out-of-doors year-round, is required. Employees in this job classification (job title) are designated as essential employees and must report to work as scheduled when University offices are closed due to severe weather.

License: Must have a valid motor vehicle operator's license.

Other: The scope of the position requires exposure to and use of chemical compounds for application on trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, and grasses which may be hazardous and cause injury if specific instructions regarding their mixture, application, use and disposal/storage are not properly followed.


1. Prepares general drafting work, such as site plans, maps, and working sketches for irrigation and landscape projects, gives recommendations regarding sustainable practices, and reviews landscape plans forwarded from the Office of Planning, Design & Construction.

2. Performs tasks common to the care of grounds and landscapes by seeding, watering, mulching, fertilizing, and applying chemicals to outside plantings, lawns and turf.  Inspecting plant materials for insects, disease, physical/mechanical damage and identifying replacements. Transplanting, pruning, trimming, and cultivating trees, shrubs, ground cover, and flowers; and storing and caring for bulbs and cuttings in the winter season.

3. Performs regular and directed grounds and landscape maintenance by trimming and edging around trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, sidewalks, and buildings. Weeding, thinning, and cleaning flower beds and other grounds by hand or utilizing proper tools and equipment; and setting up, adjusting, repairing, and cleaning irrigation systems.

4. Performs, assists with, and oversees installation, modification, maintenance, upgrades, and blow outs of manual and automatic irrigation systems including pipes, valves, automatic control devices and sprinkler heads.

5. Provides a record of grounds and landscape watering and chemical spraying by keeping daily logs of areas watered, duration of watering, and the application of chemicals, including areas sprayed, amount and type of chemicals used, substances sprayed and reason, and the wind speed and direction at time of spraying.

6. Performs campus-wide general maintenance and repairs by installing, removing, repairing, and maintaining landscape lighting, parking meters, signs, cables, chains, barricades, gates, bicycle racks, feeders, posts, fences, and rock walls; and repairing streets, parking lots, athletic fields, tennis courts, track and synthetic turf.

7. Removes unsightly trash and debris from public areas by regularly inspecting grounds, drains, manhole covers, etc., for debris; raking, sweeping and bagging leaves, debris, dirt, and trash from streets, sidewalks, parking lots, tunnels and transporting the trash to designated central collection points on a daily basis.

8. Reduces the likelihood for the spread of diseases and unsightly appearance of trash containers in public areas by emptying, cleaning and disinfecting trash and cigarette receptacles on a regular basis, and removing, repairing, and installing trash and cigarette receptacles on University property on an as needed basis.

9. Assists in preventing accidents resulting from snow- or ice-covered walkways by removing mowing decks and installing snow removal equipment on riding mowers and tractors; operating snow blowers, tractors, or mowers with blades and using shovels to remove snow and spread sand, chat, and salt on snow- or ice-covered surfaces.

11. Prepares outdoor locations and athletic fields for use by painting and marking athletic fields, moving bleachers and seating, and erecting portable goals or other athletic equipment.

12. Applies chemicals used in grounds keeping (horticulture, turf management, and floriculture) properly and safely by wearing prescribed protective clothing, masks, and/or rubber gloves and boots, following either written or verbal directions for mixing chemical compounds according to specifications, applying the chemicals properly on grounds and landscapes designated for their use, and disposing of residual chemical products as directed (or storing and labeling them for future use).

13. Ensures that grounds maintenance equipment is operational by performing routine and preventative maintenance and cleaning tools, equipment, and machines within reasonable capabilities.

14. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

15. Contributes to the overall success of the Grounds Department by performing all other related duties as assigned.


The Groundskeeper/Irrigation Specialist is supervised by the Grounds Supervisor, generally does not exercise supervision of others, and trains groundskeepers, student workers, and/or temporary employees in irrigation operations.


JULY 2021