groundsman pay

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Arborsharp

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I am working on developing a pay grade system for groundsmen in my central Iowa small tree care company (me+groundie) and wondered if I could get some advice.
what is good starting pay? top end?

$14.60/hr nationwide avg,

that being said, can I really pay groundsmen less than they could make at some of these other jobs?
local grocery distributor starting wages: $18 PT, $20 FT.
Amazon warehouse, $17.25
even McD's is up to $13

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ATH

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I hired another part time helper at $15. She can make more than that somewhere else, but she isn't going to get the flexibility we'll offer. She is trying to get another business of her own off the ground so wants to make appointments with that. We're willing to work around her schedule to fill in the rest of her week. Will probably bump her pay pretty quick as she's doing great so far.
 

sand sock

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If you're working around a chipper. You want your rope minded. It's going to be at least 20. A young kid I know working under the table is doing 20.
 

Arborsharp

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sorry just responding- My app hasn't been working :-| he agreed to 17.30 plus productivity bonuses and a pathway to pay increases. definitely a different world than when i started working for 6.25 in high school in 05
thanks for the insights!
 

Jwilliams

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Tree guy I work for is 20 an hr for a groundsman, if your a good worker reliable and show your gonna work hard to get the job done he has no problem paying 25 and that’s just dragging and chipping. I operate machinery, cut, climb, and operate bucket truck and my rate starts at 30 and only goes up from there
 
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Tree guy I work for is 20 an hr for a groundsman, if your a good worker reliable and show your gonna work hard to get the job done he has no problem paying 25 and that’s just dragging and chipping. I operate machinery, cut, climb, and operate bucket truck and my rate starts at 30 and only goes up from there
How much does the business owner make from the groundies hard work? Pays the guy $15/hr but charges out how much? $30/hr? $40/hr?
 

ATH

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How much does the business owner make from the groundies hard work? Pays the guy $15/hr but charges out how much? $30/hr? $40/hr?
FWIW, my brother-in-law has run several businesses (never tree related). Does some consulting, sits on some boards, etc... He knows business.

He told me years ago it isn't uncommon to bill 2x the cost to employ. That is not just wage, but workers comp, employer share of FICA, and any benefits. Not sure if that also includes their vehicle and associated expenses?

I've personally felt the employee deserves a slightly higher % of what they generate...but I cannot forget about all those expenses plus the wear and tear that happens to equipment, PPE, etc... All more from an employee than from me because I paid for that stuff so I take better care. So 2x isn't too terrible far off. Maybe 2x hourly wage is a pretty good gauge?
 
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FWIW, my brother-in-law has run several businesses (never tree related). Does some consulting, sits on some boards, etc... He knows business.

He told me years ago it isn't uncommon to bill 2x the cost to employ. That is not just wage, but workers comp, employer share of FICA, and any benefits. Not sure if that also includes their vehicle and associated expenses?

I've personally felt the employee deserves a slightly higher % of what they generate...but I cannot forget about all those expenses plus the wear and tear that happens to equipment, PPE, etc... All more from an employee than from me because I paid for that stuff so I take better care. So 2x isn't too terrible far off. Maybe 2x hourly wage is a pretty good gauge?
Exactly. That's the accepted minimum that an employer charges out the man hour per employee, twice the wage. If the costs are covered, the more an employer pays the employee, the more that employer can make by charging out the higher doubled wage.

For example, if an employer pays his employees $20/hr and then charges out $40/hr for that employee, I would assume the costs are covered and at the very least, the costs are covered by the charged rate. All of the insurances and coverages and taxes you mention should be covered and should be somewhat constant although I know workers comp adjusts with wage. So if $40/hr covers the costs plus the hourly wage to the employee, almost every dollar given to an employee above that can be recovered from the client. So when the employee wants a $2 raise after some time, that $2 dollar raise can translate to a $4 increase to the client for the hourly rate for the manpower. Tight economy? Raise the charged rate by $3 or even simply the raise of $2 to cover the raise. Anything over the $2 increase of the charged hourly rate to the client results in a win win. Win #1 to the employee for the added income from the raise and #2 to the employer who makes more on the charge out to the client.
 

ATH

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IF you can get away charging the client more.

Where I find it easy to give a raise is once a new employee gets settled into a groove, the same job gets done more quickly. I don't bill clients by the hour, rather by the job (which is quoted with a length of time in my mind). When we find jobs are getting done quicker than expected, it is because the workers are crushing it. Give them more. When things are right on pace, great...but to give them a raise, I've gotta bid higher which risks not getting the job...
 
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