Irrigation Technician/Senior Groundskeeper (1546)

Date: Sep 30, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  

About the Department/Unit

The success of the FM Grounds Team is powered by our experienced and knowledgeable Grounds staff. With partnerships within the landscape industry, we continue to grow and learn. Students, staff, and community collaboration is our team model, and our dedication to the success of the AU Arboretum. Our team culture ensures a rewarding and educational place to work. We champion diversity, equity and inclusion and are always seeking new and innovative ways to incorporate AU students, staff, and community within the landscape space and Arboretum activities. Success is celebrated and creativity, resourcefulness, quality craftmanship, customer services are core to who we are within the Grounds Facilities Management Team.


This Senior Groundskeeper position provides support to the Grounds and Recycling Department through serving as an Irrigation Technician for the purpose of enhancing overall campus beautification, and maintaining a safe, functional, clean, efficient, and attractive living and learning environment.

The nature of this Irrigation Technician's role within the organization is to schedule and perform irrigation maintenance and repairs, perform grounds maintenance, snow and ice removal, campus clean up, landscape installation, hardscape maintenance, and operate grounds equipment, to promote campus beauty and distinction among urban universities.

This position reports directly to the Grounds Operations Manager. This job requires self-direction and limited supervision.The incumbent may be asked to serve on various Grounds and PPO Committees.

Essential Functions

  1. Weeds, cleans and mulches planting beds, applies agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, cultivates soil, plants, and prunes to ensure a neat clean bed appearance. Rakes and grades lawn areas in preparation of seeding or sodding.
  2. Operates heavy trucks and all grounds equipment including power mowers, tractors, edgers, hedge trimmers, snow blower, snow plow, back pack blower, weed trimmers, etc. Services equipment with gas, oil, and water and performs minor equipment repairs.
  3. Performs policing of assigned area for litter. Sweeps sidewalks, courtyards, and walkway using hand or power equipment.
  4. Performs snow and ice removal and applies deicing materials. Available for weekend and overtime work as scheduled or needed for snow removal and other assigned work.
  5. Performs athletic field maintenance and assists with leaf removal operations, landscape projects, and other assigned tasks as required.
  6. Oversee the operation of AU's central irrigation control system (Rainbird Maxicom). Repairs broken sprinkler heads, valves, and related irrigation equipment. Performs minor repairs on sprinkler control devices, sets controller clocks, and provides skilled labor to complete sprinkler system preventive maintenance work requests. Applies water to plant material as needed to avoid drought conditions. Identifies and takes the necessary action to repair all water leaks, pipe breaks, and malfunctioning irrigation equipment. Perform start-ups and winterizations.


Supervisory Responsibility

  • Reporting directly to this position are Groundskeepers who are temporarily assigned and temporary part time summer positions. Also, Groundskeepers who are temporarily assigned to watering during the summer months and temporary part time summer positions. Performs maintenance and repair of AU's campus-wide central irrigation control system.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full-Time
  • Non-Exempt
  • Specialist A

Salary Range

  • $22.33 - $26.79/hour; to commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 2-4 years of relevant experience

Preferred Education and Experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience
  • Ability to obtain grounds maintenance certification (i.e., CLT) within 18 months of employment
  • Ability to obtain D.C. pest control certification (3A, B) within 6 months of employment.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications


  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.



AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Other Details

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC