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Greenkeeper

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Summary of occupation

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.

ANZSCO description: Establishes and maintains fine turf, grassed areas and synthetic surfaces used for sporting events.
Alternative names: Turf Keeper
Specialisations: Bowling Greenkeeper, Golf Greenkeeper, Park Greenkeeper, Racecourse Assistant, School Greenkeeper, Sports Complex Greenkeeper
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A greenkeeper needs:

  • a love of the outdoors
  • knowledge and understanding of soil and plant biology
  • practical skills and logic
  • to take pride in their work
  • problem-solving skills
  • organisational skills.
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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.

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Salary details

On average, greenkeepers can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a greenkeeper develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase. 

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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.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a greenkeeper you usually need to complete a traineeship. The horticulture (turf) traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete and is available as a school-based traineeship.

​You can also improve your employment prospects if you complete a Certificate III in Horticulture, offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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