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Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Manager  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotThe new office building down the street is almost complete, and tenants are lined up ready to move in. Surrounding the building are mounds of loose dirt, pools of mud and piles of rocks. Although the steel and glass structure looks elegant, the outdoor space is in shambles.

It's time to call in the landscape contractor. Following a landscape architect's plans, landscape contractors collect the materials needed to complete an outdoor design, create a budget, hire workers and watch over progress of the work to make sure everything is done according to plan.

Within days, a landscape contractor can transform the property. Topsoil is unloaded and graded, turf is put down, sprinkling systems are installed, trees are planted and bedding plants are arranged neatly.

dotLandscape contractors coordinate the grading of land and the installation of trees, sod, flowers, benches, lights, sprinkler systems, walkways, fountains and terraces. Grounds maintenance managers look after the landscape once it is complete.

dotBefore working on a project, the landscape contractor estimates how much it will cost to complete a project. They do this by studying landscape designs and drawings. They then submit this estimate to the client or landscape architect.

Landscape contractors and managers determine what equipment will be needed for a job. They manage the workers on the site, keep the project on budget and confer with the landscape architect and the client.

dotSome landscape contractors work on large projects such as office buildings and shopping malls. Others specialize in smaller residential projects.

dotLandscape contractors may work for a firm. However, many are self-employed. "I work by contract, so I can set my hours and amount of work," says Trish Fielkowich. She is a landscape contractor.

At a Glance

Make a landscape architect's plan happen

  • These managers may work for a firm, but many are self-employed
  • Much of the work requires physical labor and the ability to travel
  • Get training in grounds management