Careers in turf management involve working outdoors with plants, people, and Mother Nature. Graduates are employed at various turfgrass facilities worldwide. Below are the career opportunities in the turf industry.
Golf course superintendent
Supervises the maintenance of a golf course. Depending on the course, the superintendent may oversee 2 to over 50 employees with a budget ranging from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. Some superintendents enjoy the challenge of hosting a professional golf tournament or building a new course, while others enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere of a daily-fee public course. Salary range for Head Superintendents is $50,000 to $250,000. Graduates with a 4-year degree in Turf Management start their careers as a 1st or 2nd Assistant Superintendent or Assistant in Training. Starting salaries range from $35,000 to $45,000. Advancement to Head Superintendent can occur within 5 to 10 years.
Please explore the following links for the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America and TURFNET.
Sports turf manager
Oversees the maintenance of one athletic field or an entire sports complex. Professional Sports Facilities need educated turf managers to maintain the fields used by professional baseball, football, and soccer teams. Universities, colleges, high schools, community parks, horse tracks, polo clubs, tennis clubs, and cricket clubs are beginning to recognize the need for a professional turf manager to maintain their athletic complex. Graduates with a 4-year degree in Turf Management usually start their careers as an Assistant Field Manager. Salaries range from $35,000 to $100,000.
Please explore more on the Sports Turf Manager Association's website.
Lawn care manager
Often work as supervisors, consultants, or technicians for professional lawn care franchises. Many start their own company. Responsibilities can include mowing, fertilization, pest control, renovation, sales, evaluation of home lawns, and customer service. College graduates normally start as technicians or managers. Lawn care is the largest sector of the turf industry. Lawn care is a booming industry; U.S. homeowners spend about $15 billion on their lawns and landscape each year. That's a lot of green!
Maintain an institutional site landscaped with turf, trees, flowers, buildings, and roads. They can be hired by colleges, universities, municipalities, park & recreation facilities, office parks, residential communities, hotels, resorts, theme parks, cemeteries, etc. Many large landscape management companies that maintain these areas hire our graduates.
Follow this link for more information from the Professional Grounds Management Society.
Sod production manager
Grow, harvest, and sell mature turfgrass to homeowners, landscapers, golf courses, and athletic fields. Many producers own and operate their sod farm.
Learn more from Turf Producers International.
Sales and service
Sell and/or service the materials and equipment that turf managers use. There are sales and service representatives associated with just about anything purchased in the turf industry -- mowers, fertilizer, pesticides, seed, sprayers, amendments, etc. Sales representatives typically have many years of experience maintaining a golf course or sports field and get into sales as a career change.
Develop the grass or fertilizer of the future. Teach turf management at a technical school, college, or university. Give advice in exchange for money. Requires a graduate degree.