What they do

Greenkeepers plant and maintain the grass and turf used for parks, gardens and sporting fields. They sow grass seeds and lay turf, mow and trim the grass and prune other plants, water and roll turfed areas and fertilise soil and plants. They may also undertake maintenance on various structures including fences and paths, trim hedges and keep grounds tidy and free from leaves and weeds. They operate and maintain irrigation systems, and other machinery such as mowers. They mark out and prepare sporting areas such as tracks, pitches, greens, courses and fields. Greenkeepers may also undertake some administrative tasks.

Working conditions

Greenkeepers work mostly outdoors in all weather conditions and climates. The machinery that they use may be noisy. They may also undertake some administrative or office-based work.

Tools and technologies

Greenkeepers use lawn-mowers and other grass-cutting and grooming machinery, such as whipper-snippers and leaf-blowers. They occasionally also use mini tractors. They use pre-grown turf, as well as turfing, seeding, fertiliser and soil spreaders, and rolling and soil aeration equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a greenkeeper, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship in turf management or horticulture (turf).

The turf management apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship in year 12 only.

You can also undertake a traineeship in horticulture (turf) (level 2 or level 4). The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete and the level 2 traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.

Entry into this occupation may also be improved by obtaining a qualification in horticulture. The Certificate III and IV in Horticulture are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.