How Much Does An MLB Groundskeeper Make?
The amount an MLB groundskeeper makes depends on what Major League field they’re maintaining and how frequently they’re maintaining it. Full-time groundskeepers make an average of around $35,000 a year nationwide, while part-time groundskeepers are usually paid the state minimum wage.
As of 2023, full-time baseball groundskeepers averaged a yearly salary of $35,651. It’s important to remember that a full-time groundskeeper isn’t just being paid for maintaining the field on game day. Tasks such as creating turf and controlling the moisture on the field are year-round endeavors, and groundskeeping work is most intensive during the offseason.
While the pay of groundskeeping is relatively low compared to other off-field MLB careers, most groundskeepers are tasked with maintaining a particular field, so travel expenses are less of a concern than they are for scouts and coaches. Being a groundskeeper also comes with perks like full access to the sports complexes indoors, so fans of the team have added motivation to create the perfect field environment for their favorite players. In fact, certain players prefer different field conditions, like more moisture under their feet, so a groundskeeper can get paid to provide a subtle home-field advantage.
The COVID lockdown, when there were no players to take the field, had a unique impact on the sport’s full-time groundskeepers. Unlike most other ballpark staff, the groundskeepers still had a job to do: mowing the grass in an otherwise empty stadium. While groundskeeping isn’t the most profitable job in the MLB, it guarantees an opportunity for consistent paying work.
Like most part-time positions, groundskeepers don’t receive a set yearly salary. Instead, they’re paid at a fixed rate (usually at or near a state’s minimum wage) for how much time they’ve spent on the turf. The yearly pay of part-time groundskeeping depends on how often a part-timer takes to the field.
The hourly pay of a part-time groundskeeper also correlates to their experience in the position: someone chalking the foul lines in their first year of groundskeeping will probably be paid less than a “veteran” trusted with sodding the field or managing the chemicals used as fertilizer. A part-time gig is very flexible, and within a regular season’s span of home games, a part-timer is meant to maintain the field for around half of them.
As the average MLB game in 2022 was around three hours long, and groundskeepers have to show up two hours before to prepare the turf, a beginning part-time groundskeeper can expect to be paid at minimum wage for five hours. However, as the MLB implements changes like the pitch clock to speed up the game, shifts at the ballpark may also get slightly shorter. Overall, being a part-time groundskeeper is a good way to supplement income, although making a living as a groundskeeper requires the perks of a full-time job.
How much do MLB groundskeepers make on average?
Full-time groundskeepers make an average of around $36,000 a year. Part-time groundskeepers are often paid minimum wage for each hour they work, though more experienced groundskeepers can earn more for certain responsibilities.
Do MLB groundskeepers have a base salary?
The salary of a part-time groundskeeping gig is often as low as the local minimum wage. Thus, as of now, a part-time groundskeeper maintaining the field in Washington DC’s Nationals Park or Seattle’s T-Mobile Park would earn more money per hour than a groundskeeper mowing the grass at Atlanta’s Truist Park, since Georgia’s minimum wage is lower than that in Washington State and Washington DC.