Government Job Profile: Parks Maintenance Worker

woman riding lawnmower in park
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Public parks are great places for families to get outdoors and spend time with each other. Jogging paths, hiking trails, playscapes, picnic tables and great lawns are all available to citizens when they venture to public parks. Parks maintenance workers contribute to the overall pleasantness of park users' experiences.

The Selection Process

Since all levels of government maintain parks, parks maintenance workers are employed at all levels of government. They are most often employed in local government. Workers are hired through the normal government hiring process. They are usually hired by a parks maintenance supervisor. In city government, they work within parks and recreation departments.

The Education and Experience You'll Need

To become a parks maintenance worker, applicants need little formal education or experience. Most postings require a high school diploma or less and no more than a year or two of relevant experience. Employers train new hires in all the necessary skills.

What You'll Do

Public parks contribute to the overall quality of life in a community. Parks maintenance workers perform a variety of tasks that keep public parks clean and safe for use.

No matter what a park's use happens to be, the foundation for any park is the land it sits on. Parks maintenance workers take care of this land through a variety of activities including mowing, weeding, edging, aerating and fertilizing. These activities keep lawns green and healthy.

But parks are more than just lawns. Parks need trees and bushes trimmed, flower beds mulched, sidewalks repaired, playground equipment inspected and parking lots maintained. Parking lots could be maintained by street maintenance workers since they have more experience and expertise working with road surfaces. There is always something to be done at a public park.

Workers perform special tasks on parks with special uses. For example, workers stripe athletic fields like baseball diamonds and soccer pitches. Greenskeepers at public golf courses change pin locations on the greens in addition to maintaining the courses and practice areas.

It takes many tools for parks maintenance workers to do their jobs. Workers must know how to operate lawn mowers, trimmers, chainsaws and other power tools. They must also be able to perform basic maintenance tasks and recognize when those tasks should be completed.

Workers undertake small construction projects. Of course, they do not erect buildings. They do not have the tools, equipment or expertise to do this. However, they do put up prefabricated structures such as playground equipment and gazebos. If it comes with an instruction manual rather than blueprints, parks maintenance workers can handle it.

What You'll Earn

According to 2010 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, groundskeeping workers across all sectors earn on average $11.41 per hour. The top 10% in the profession earn in excess of $18.27. The bottom 10% earn less than $8.19.