8400 Groundskeeper Apprentice


TITLE Groundskeeper Apprentice




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Designated Supervisor

MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR Superintendent of Custodial and Grounds Services


The Groundskeeper Apprentice responds to training and practical instruction by learning and demonstrating the ability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of the Groundskeeper which must be mastered within a specific period of time, not to exceed one year. Failure to master the essential duties and responsibilities of the Groundskeeper within the specific time period may result in termination. During the period of training, the Groundskeeper Apprentice performs semi-skilled groundskeeping under the direct supervision of a groundskeeper or other designated administrator following established procedures and guidelines. The Groundskeeper Apprentice learns to use electrically-powered and gasoline-powered groundskeeping equipment and machines, small hand and power tools or equipment used in installing, maintaining, and renovating grounds and landscaping, irrigation, thoroughfares, and sports fields. The Groundskeeper Apprentice learns techniques at the semi-skilled level for the maintenance, care, and modification of University grounds and landscapes including planting, cultivating, maintaining, and trimming grounds and landscaping. The Groundskeeper also performs maintenance on groundskeeping equipment and tools and makes minor repairs (within demonstrated capability) as directed.


Education: High school diploma or equivalent is required. Education or training in Horticulture, Plant Science, or a related field is preferred.

Experience: At least one year full-time experience is required in at least one of the following areas: turf care, sports, or athletic field care; irrigation system maintenance or installation; woody plant installation or maintenance; herbaceous plant material installation or maintenance; hardscape maintenance (fences, rock walls, retaining walls, etc); management of pests on turf, ornamental plants or fruits; repair of streets or sidewalks; mechanical maintenance of grounds equipment. College level coursework in Horticulture, Plant Science or a related field can be substituted for experience.

Skills: Must be able 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 use in groundskeeping. Must be able to learn and work under direct or
indirect supervision while developing skills in the proper operation and maintenance of grounds maintenance tools, equipment, and machinery. The ability to recognize and compare conditions of the grounds to a standard, report discrepancies, and work under supervision to mitigate the discrepancies is required. The ability to identify and manage cultural and pest problems on turf and ornamental plants is preferred.

Effort: Requires 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 or stooping, kneeling and reaching on a daily basis. Requires a full range of physical motion in order to operate manual, electrically powered and/or gasoline powered groundskeeping equipment and machines. Requires the ability to access facilities and areas that may only be accessible by climbing stairs or by climbing ladders to a height of 15 feet (e.g., for tree trimming). Must be able to move throughout assigned areas, as the work is performed primarily out-of-doors, year round.

License: Must have a valid Missouri 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. The job
requires working outside year-round, sometimes in severe or extreme weather conditions. Must be available by phone for call-outs in response to severe
weather or other circumstances. must contribute to the positive atmosphere of the work place.


1. MAINTENANCE- Responds to direct supervision by becoming trained, proficient, and self-sufficient in the safe and proper operation of tools, equipment, machinery, and vehicles associated with groundskeeping work.

1.a. Ensures that grounds maintenance equipment is operational by performing routine and preventive maintenance and cleaning of tools, equipment and machines within reasonable capabilities.

1.b. Safely operates portable power tools and equipment such as saws, grass trimmers, snow blowers, leaf blowers, sprayers, paint machines and other groundskeeping equipment.

1.c. Wears appropriate safety gear such as goggles, gloves, safety glasses, earplugs or other personal protective equipment.

1.d. Properly handles equipment whether storing, transporting, operating, maintaining, adjusting or acting upon it in any other capacity and reports malfunctions promptly.

2. TURF CARE- Under direct supervision, become trained and proficient in the safe operation, adjustment, and light maintenance of turf care equipment such as walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, edgers, spreaders, blowers, string trimmers, etc.

2.a. Safely and properly uses hand tools such as rakes, shovels, hoes, blowers, brooms, etc.

2.b. Assists by gathering tools, equipment, fuel, etc. and returning each to designated location.

2.c. Learns the proficient performance of tasks common to the care of turf such as mowing, seeding, trimming, edging, watering, aerating, fertilizing, controlling weeds and other associated activities.

2.d. Becomes semi-skilled in using proper techniques of seeding, overseeding, sodding, watering, fertilizing, and removing and disposing of turf.

2.e. Properly transports, stores, applies, and handles fertilizers, soil conditioners, and other nonrestricted use materials associated with turf care.

3. FIELD PREPARATION- Assists and performs, with supervision, tasks associated with preparation of outdoor sports locations and athletic fields by painting or marking fields, moving bleachers and seating, erecting or moving portable goals and other field equipment; making repairs to sports or athletic fields, tennis courts, track, and manufactured or natural playing surfaces.

3.a. Uses field preparation equipment properly such as mechanical and manual painters, chalkers, measuring tapes, reel mowers, aerators, topdressers, etc.

4. ACCOUNTABILITY- Makes verbal and written reports to supervisor.

4.a. Contributes to a positive work environment by communicating with courtesy and respect for others.

4.b. Contributes to a safe work environment by using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and not abusing or mis-using equipment, machinery, or vehicles.

5. IRRIGATION- Learns how to properly water plants using manual irrigation systems (hose, sprinkler, and manual underground systems).

5.a. Learns how to maintain and operate automatic irrigation systems (including digital and electro-mechanical time clocks, pop-up heads, rotor heads, manual valves, electric solenoid valves and drip systems).

6. WOODY PLANT CARE- Learns to recognize maintenance needs of trees, shrubs, and woody plantings.

6.a. Learns to identify common woody plants by type and by common name for purposes of record keeping, communication, and accuracy in performing work.

6.b. Becomes proficiently skilled in the operation of tools, equipment, and machinery associated with planting, watering, pruning, fertilizing, planting, removing, and disposing of woody plants (such as pruners, loppers, pruning saws, chain saws, stump grinders, chippers, dump trucks, bucket truck, and others).

6.c. Becomes semi-skilled in using proper techniques of planting, watering, pruning, fertilizing, removing, and disposing of woody plants.

7.HERBACEOUS PLANT CARE- Learns to recognize maintenance needs of perennials, annuals, and herbaceous plantings.

7.a. Learns to identify common herbaceous plants.

7.b. Becomes proficiently skilled in the operation of tools, equipment, and machinery associated with planting, watering, fertilizing, pruning, removing, and disposing of herbaceous plants.

7.c. Becomes semi-skilled in using proper techniques of planting, watering, pruning, fertilizing, removing, and disposing of herbaceous plants.

8. HARDSCAPE- Learns to recognize maintenance needs of rock walls, retaining walls, benches, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, etc.

8.a. Becomes proficiently skilled in the operation of tools, equipment, and machinery associated with hardscape maintenance.

8.b. Becomes semi-skilled in using proper installation, maintenance, and removal techniques associated with hardscape maintenance.

9. PEST MANAGEMENT- Learns safe and proper methods of handling and applying chemicals used in groundskeeping (non-restricted use pesticides, sprayer cleaners, and others) by wearing appropriate personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves, masks, boots, goggles and other protective clothing.

9.a. Follows verbal or written directions for preparing chemicals for application 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.

9.b. Becomes familiar with factors involved in storing, transporting and handling pesticides and other chemicals.

9.c. Learns to identify common pest problems.

9.d. Learns and uses cultural, non-chemical techniques of pest control.

10. DEBRIS REMOVAL- Becomes proficiently skilled in manually removing litter, trash, leaves and debris from landscapes, drains, lawns, streets, etc.

10.a. Becomes semi-skilled in the operation of tools, equipment, and machinery associated with litter, trash, leaf, and debris removal.

10.b. Becomes semi-skilled in using proper techniques associated with debris removal.

11. TRANSIT- Assists in preventing accidents resulting from snow or ice covered walkways by removing mowing decks and installing snow removal equipment on tractors and other power units.

11.a. Learns safe and proper methods of storing, transporting, handling, and applying chemicals and materials such as cleaners, ice-melting chemicals, sealers, patching materials, and others used in maintaining thoroughfares by wearing appropriate personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves, masks, boots, goggles, and other protective clothing.

11.b. Learns to operate snow blowers, loaders, blades, plows, and shovels to remove snow or ice from surfaces covered with ice and / or snow.

11.c. Learns to prepare, operate, and clean rotary spreaders, drop spreaders, and chain-drive spreaders to spread ice-melting chemicals (salt, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, ammonium nitrate, etc) and traction enhancement material such as sand, chat, or others on surfaces covered with ice and /or snow.

11.d. Knows the rules of the road for vehicles and mobile equipment.

11.e. Becomes semi-skilled in operating equipment associated with maintaining the transitway, bike racks, signs, and bollards. parking lots, park & ride, etc. such as power washers, brooms, sweepers, scrubbers, etc.

11.f. Safely operates light vehicles such as pick up trucks, dump trucks, street sweepers, riding mowers, forklifts, skid loaders, and tractors by obeying appropriate traffic laws and wearing appropriate safety gear such as goggles, gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs or other personal protective equipment

11.f. Becomes knowledgeable in the handling, storage, and use of de-icing chemicals and compounds.

12. CLERICAL- Learns to accurately fill out work orders, vehicle check in/out forms, and other records.

12.a. Uses time cards properly.

12.b. Provides information to supervisor when appropriate and when asked.

13. APTITUDE- Reliably performs regular, scheduled, and directed grounds maintenance by learning to use tools, vehicles, equipment, machines, and prescribed techniques according to standards.

13.a. Becomes proficient in finding way around campus to areas as assigned.


The Groundskeeper Apprentice is supervised by the assigned foreman and/or The Superintendent of Custodial and Grounds Services.




Factor 1: Educational Requirements of the Job

Level 2 - 100 Points: The job requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Factor 2: Skill Requirements - Craft and Trade Skills

Level 2 - 350 Points: General mechanical or technical aptitude and a general knowledge of, and experience in, a skill, craft, or trade. A general ability to understand procedures, operations, and/or operate basic equipment, that typically require some previous experience or training is required. Jobs at this level typically require at least one and up to two years of related experience for successful performance.

Factor 3: Managerial Responsibility

Level 1 - 25 Points: No responsibility for the work of others. Limited responsibility for expenses, purchases, or inventory.

Factor 4: Guidelines

Level 1 - 20 Points: Specific detailed guidelines covering most aspects of the job. Deviations from guidelines must be authorized.

Factor 5: Contacts

Level 2 - 50 Points: The purpose may include obtaining or clarifying facts, or providing factual information to others. Contacts may be with coworkers or structured exchanges with students or the general public, and are generally for the purpose of exchange of information. Contacts at this level might include discussing a work order with individuals in a departmental office to more clearly define the problem, or providing directions or information to students or the general public.

Factor 6: Work Environment

Level 3 - 70 Points: The work area involves moderate discomfort and/or risk such as operating heavy machinery or dangerous equipment, or frequent exposure to hazardous materials. Alternatively, the work area may be subject to environmental discomfort such as poor ventilation. Loud noises, and/or extremes of heat or cold. The work often requires wearing protective gear that may be uncomfortable. The nature of the work environment may produce moderate levels of stress.

Factor 7: Physical Demands

Level 4 - 150 Points: Work requires considerable and strenuous physical exertion such as climbing ladders, frequent lifting of objects over 50 pounds, crawling or crouching in restricted areas. Occasional lifting of heavy objects weighing 75 pounds or more is required.

Factor 8: Responsibility for Facilities and Resources

Level 1 - 20 Points: The job requires limited levels of responsibility for facilities, money, tools, and/or equipment.

Factor 9: Complexity

Level 1 - 100 Points: The work consists of tasks that are clear-cut and directly related. There is little or no choice to be made in deciding what needs to be done. The actions to be taken are usually easy to discern and unambiguous, otherwise the employee requests assistance from a supervisor. Work is performed as it arrives or in an order set by someone else. The work can be learned relatively quickly.