What they do
Turf growers plan, organise and manage the production of turf for use in public parks and gardens, sporting associations such as golf courses, playing fields and schoolyards, and domestic use in backyard lawns. They manage farming operations including the harvesting, sale and delivery of the product, budgeting and business management, staff management and maintenance of the property.
Turf growing properties are located in the greater metropolitan Perth areas, south and south-western regions of Western Australia, and Broome and Kununurra in the north of the State.
Turf growers work in an office setting and outdoors on the farm in different kinds of weather. They may work long hours every day. They operate heavy machinery, and use chemicals and fertilisers in turf production. Adhering to occupational health and safety processes largely reduces the risk of injury.
Tools and technologies
Turf growers use heavy machinery including mowers, aerators, cutters and mobile irrigation systems. They wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles and coveralls when using chemicals to minimise any associated risks. Turf growers need to be proficient with computers and may need to use specialised business management software.
How do I become one?
Education and training
It is possible to work as a turf grower without formal qualifications, however skills in farm management or turf production are usually required. You may be able to gain these skills through work experience in a related role or by undertaking a qualification in horticulture, sports turf management, production horticulture or a related area.
The Certificate III in Production Horticulture and the Certificate III, IV and Diploma 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.
You can also undertake an apprenticeship in turf management or a traineeship in horticulture (level 3 or level 4), horticulture production (level 3 or level 4) or sports turf management (level 4). The apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship in year 12 only. The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete.
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.