Which Areas Employ the Most Lawn Care Workers in the U.S.?

Palm Coast FL

Home to about 100,000 people, the Palm Coast, FL, metro area hugs the Atlantic coast. It’s sandwiched between St. Augustine to the north and Daytona Beach to the south. In this sunny setting, you’ll find folks bicycling, fishing, boating, golfing, playing tennis or bird-watching.

You’ll also find a lot of Palm Coast residents soaking up some sun on their mostly small but fairly lush lawns. After all, locals take pride in their yards, at least by one measure. Compared with the entire local workforce, the Palm Coast area employs more front-line lawn care workers and groundskeepers than any other area in the U.S., according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2014, the Palm Coast area had 39.2 lawn care workers and groundskeepers per 1,000 jobs — the highest rate in the U.S. In all, the area had 770 employees in that category in 2014. Numerically speaking, that’s not many lawn care workers and groundskeepers. But when you consider that the metro area has just 100,000 residents, it amounts to quite a few folks.

Of the 10 areas that made our list, seven are in Florida.

A worker for Yellowstone Landscape tackles a mowing job.
Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

‘Snowbird’ Factor

So, why are so many workers tending to lawns in Palm Coast? To answer that question, we turned to Maxine Floyd, residential horticulture agent with the University of Florida’s Flagler County Extension. Among the reasons, she says, are:

1. Palm Coast is a densely populated area with a healthy number of homeowners’ associations, which tend to be picky about how lawns look. However, Floyd points out that’s not all that different from other Florida cities in urban areas.

2. Palm Coast is home to a number of “snowbirds” — mostly retirees who take up residence there several months out of the year to escape chilly weather elsewhere. As such, many of them likely need someone to care for their lawns while they’re away.

3. Many of the snowbirds aren’t familiar with pest and disease issues that affect Florida lawns, prompting them to hire lawn care professionals.

4. Florida’s higher temperatures and humidity lead to fast-growing lawns, along with an array of pest problems.

Yellowstone Landscape

Yellowstone Landscape employs more than 200 people in the Palm Coast area.
Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Land of Landscaping

Joseph Barnes, marketing manager at Yellowstone Landscape, which is based in the Palm Coast area, explains that Palm Coast is a master-planned community with strict rules about landscaping.

“As a result, it’s very rare to see any homes that have let their yards go,” Barnes says. “The city just doesn’t allow it. This means that there is always a demand for residential lawn care services.”

An even bigger factor, he says, is that a number of commercial landscaping firms are based in the Palm Coast area, including Yellowstone Landscape. Those firms have been employment magnets in an area that once depended more heavily on agriculture, according to Barnes. Many of those firms keep the greens at area golf courses looking green.

“When commercial landscape firms like ours opened up in the ’90s and offered different types of employment opportunities, it wasn’t too difficult to find a qualified, hardworking, legal employees willing to do the job,” Barnes says.

Yellowstone Landscape

Businesses in the Palm Coast area employ more than 700 front-line lawn care workers.
Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Top Areas for Lawn Care Employment

Led by Palm Coast, here are the 10 areas of the U.S. with the most lawn care workers and groundskeepers per 1,000 jobs.

1. Palm Coast, FL

Palm Coast FL

Photo: Southeast Discovery

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 39.2
Number of employees: 770
Average hourly pay: $10.07
Average annual pay: $20,950

2. Naples-Marco Island, FL

Naples FL

Photo: ActiveRain

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 33.39
Number of employees: 4,170
Average hourly pay: $11.92
Average annual pay: $24,790

3. Port St. Lucie, FL

Port St. Lucie FL

Photo: The Rucco Group

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 21.28
Number of employees: 2,720
Average hourly pay: $11.16
Average annual pay: $23,210

4. Barnstable Town, MA

Barnstable Town MA

Photo: Robert Paul Properties

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 20.79
Number of employees: 2,060
Average hourly pay: $17.32
Average annual pay: $36,030

5. Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL

Vero Beach FL

Photo: ActiveRain

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 19.42
Number of employees: 900
Average hourly pay: $11.28
Average annual pay: $23,460

6. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL


Photo: HomeGain

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 17.6
Number of employees: 9,590
Average hourly pay: $11.33
Average annual pay: $23,570

7. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

Fort Myers FL

Photo: GreenHomesforSale.com

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 17.27
Number of employees: 3,870
Average hourly pay: $11.41
Average annual pay: $23,730

8. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL

Sarasota FL

Photo: Sunny Sarasota Homes

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 16.09
Number of employees: 4,160
Average hourly pay: $11.25
Average annual pay: $23,400

9. St. George, UT

St. George UT

Photo: ActiveRain

Employment per 1,000 jobs: 15.15
Number of employees: 790
Average hourly pay: $10.94
Average annual pay: $22,750

10. Lake County, IL/Kenosha County, WI

Waukegan IL

Photo: HomesByMarco

Employees per 1,000 jobs: 15.04
Number of employees: 5,920
Average hourly pay: $12.98
Average annual pay: $27,000

Top photo: Take Action Properties


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of LawnStarter.com. Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.