foreperson - landscape maintenance & management
A foreperson in landscape maintenance and management is an experienced professional who is often the go-to person on a grounds maintenance crew. Grounds maintenance and management work involves maintaining lawns, gardens, parks, golf courses, athletic fields, and other landscaped environments and elements. A landscape foreperson holds a leadership role; they are responsible for managing a crew of workers, including their health and safety, and ensuring a project’s goals are met. A foreperson can wear many hats throughout one day and is the liaison between all the stakeholders involved in a project. As such, a foreperson is someone who is flexible, hardworking, communicative, and good at problem solving.
Crew leader, team leader, supervisor, groundskeeping supervisor, grounds maintenance crew leader
Forepersons in landscape maintenance and management play an important role in grounds maintenance. While the specific tasks for a foreperson in maintenance can vary depending on the job they’re working on, in general, they:
- Coordinate the activities of workers who maintain lawns, gardens, athletic fields, golf courses, cemeteries, parks, interior plantscapes, hardscapes and other landscaped areas
- Organize the planting and maintenance of trees, gardens, lawns, shrubs, hedges and turf
- Establish work schedules and procedures and coordinate activities with other crews
- Resolve work-related problems, and prepare and submit progress and other reports
- Maintain financial and personnel records
- Snow removal management
The skills and expertise of forepersons are in demand across many industries. Forepersons can be employed by:
Forepersons are seasoned professionals with years of experience in their field. Forepersons may have started out their careers as landscape and grounds maintenance labourers and gained enough experience to move into a leadership position as a foreperson. With enough experience, forepersons may advance to management positions at landscaping companies. Some start their own companies or work as consultants.
Future employment prospects for forepersons in Ontario are positive. In 2020, there were over 460 job postings for forepersons and other landscape and horticulture supervisors across Ontario.
In Ontario, the median annual wage for a foreperson – landscape maintenance & management is $56,160. Pending experience, responsibilities, location, hours of work, and qualifications a foreperson – landscape maintenance & management can expect to make between $34,486 and $72,800.
How do I become a foreperson – landscape maintenance and management in Ontario?
There is no singular path to becoming a foreperson in landscaping and horticulture. In Ontario, some people will begin as landscaping or garden centre labourers and later acquire additional training, education, and experiences to become a foreperson. Many employers consider it an asset for a foreperson to have educational experience in horticulture or landscape maintenance, though it is not necessary. Employers look to hire forepersons who can show that they have the experience and knowledge to lead a crew of workers competently and ensure work is done in a safe and timely manner. Some employers may require forepersons have industry-specific certifications, depending on the work being done.
Many Ontario colleges and universities offer horticulture and landscape design programs, which will give you a solid foundation in horticulture and landscaping knowledge and expertise that is an asset employers look for.
Examples of in-school training can include, but is not limited to:
- Plant science, botany and plant identification
- Plant material and plant-handling techniques
- Plant propagation techniques and plant production
- Turf grass management
- Landscape construction
- Pest management
- Landscape equipment maintenance
- Irrigation (components, pipe layout and spray rates)
- Site layout, and grading and drainage
- Project management
- Workplace communication and applied trade mathematics
- Applied safety procedures and first aid
How do I become a certified foreperson?
While there is no specific certification for a foreperson in Ontario, it is also possible for individuals to obtain industry certifications to show their knowledge or expertise in an area of the landscaping and horticulture industry. For example, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association offers a national Certified Landscape Horticulturist Manager program.