Rail Grounds Specialist

King County   Pioneer Square, WA   Full-time     Maintenance
Posted on January 24, 2023
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NOTE: This position has been reposted to collect additional applicants. If you have previously applied to this posting you do not need to reapply.

This recruitment is open to all qualified candidates internal and external, and first consideration may be given to internal King County candidates.

Rail Grounds Specialists are responsible for a variety of landscape activities including overall care and maintenance of lawns, gardens and ornamental planting. They install, modify and perform routine maintenance and repair of irrigation systems and related gardening equipment.

This recruitment will be used to fill multiple career service positions. This recruitment may also be used to establish an eligibility list to fill future career service and/or fully benefited temporary vacancies that may occur over the next twelve months from establishment of the list. NOTE: Current dayshift wage range: $25.72 to $36.74 2nd Shift: $27.01 to $38.58. 3rd Shift: 27.65 to $39.50.

Link Light Rail

Metro Transit's Rail Division is responsible for operating and maintaining Link Light Rail service on a 20.4 mile route from the Angle Lake Station south of Sea-Tac Airport to the University of Washington Station, expanding to Northgate in 2021. Plans and/or construction are underway extending the system to the north, east, south, and west. Expansion over the next five years alone will include the addition of more than 20 stations and 40 miles of light rail track. The light rail line is a critical part of the region's transportation network and normally carries more than 79,000 weekday daily riders.

Safety-Sensitive Position

This position is considered safety sensitive. Applicants for these positions are required to undergo drug testing prior to employment and subsequent to commencement of employment, will be subject to random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty, and follow-up drug and alcohol testing in compliance with Federal DOT alcohol and controlled substance testing program protocols.

Who May Apply

This position is open to all qualified candidates internal and external.

Work Schedule

This position is non-exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is therefore eligible for overtime pay. The workweek is normally 40 hours, on day shift. You may work a 4/10s or 5/8s schedule depending on a seniority-based pick system. Shifts may include day, swing, night and weekends; see wage differentials above. The workweek and scheduled hours may vary. The workweek and scheduled hours may vary. You must be willing and available to work all of the above.

Operations & Maintenance Facility - 3407 Airport Way S, Seattle and other locations throughout King County as needed.

About King County Metro Transit
King County Metro Transit is a regional leader in helping people move quickly throughout the region, reducing commuter stress, greening the environment and radically improving urban air quality, by providing comfortable, effective transit services for the thousands of commuters and other residents of King County, Washington. Working for Metro means working for a leader in this public transportation industry. Metro was named Outstanding Public Transportation System of 2018 by APTA, the American Public Transportation Association.

Competitive Benefits
King County provides our employees with a free transportation pass (good on most regional transit systems). Employees have access to the building gym, with lockers, showers and bike room. We offer a competitive benefits package including medical, dental and vision benefits for the whole family and state-registered domestic partner. A competitive sick leave and vacation plan, twelve holidays a year, and participation in the State's popular Public Employees Retirement Plan (PERS) are provided, as well as the option of participating in the County's deferred compensation plan (a 457 plan). For more details, please see the next tab.

How To Apply

Click on the "Apply" link in the upper right of the job announcement on our website's job page ( www.kingcounty.gov/jobs ) and complete the employment application and supplemental questions thoroughly, with employment history going back at least ten years (or more to include all relevant experience).

For more information regarding this recruitment please contact:
Travis McKinnon, Talent Advisor


Job Duties

Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work. You will:
  • Perform landscape maintenance of turf, ornamental plants, trees, soil and retention/detention ponds; install new turf and/or repair damaged areas.
  • Perform skilled pruning and trimming of a variety of plants, ground covers, bushes and
  • Maintain, modify or repair irrigation systems; establish watering schedules and program
    controllers; analyze and/or modify system blueprints used in system installation.
  • Prepare insecticides and/or pesticides; control pests using pesticides and plant growth
    using herbicides; maintain necessary records.
  • Operate all equipment to include gardening tractors and power man lift equipment; maintain a variety of basic gardening equipment such as edger, mowers, pruning tools and tank spraying equipment.
  • Perform minor repairs on small gas engines, including tune-ups.
  • May instruct and coordinate the work of assigned landscaping crews; may inspect and
    assist in approval of contractor work.
  • Perform other duties as assigned or needed, such as ice and snow removal; required to respond in case of adverse weather conditions and emergency situations
  • Trash removal within landscaping.
Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Two years of professional work experience in the grounds keeping or gardening field. One year of college training in horticulture or botany may be exchanged for one year of work experience.
  • Knowledge of the installation and maintenance of irrigation systems and effective watering schedules.
  • Knowledge of gardening and plant care principles, IPM techniques and materials needed for various jobs.
  • Knowledge of proper pruning and trimming techniques.
  • Knowledge of power tools, gas fired equipment such as lawn mowers, blowers, edgers, hedgers, chain saws, and line trimmers.
  • Knowledge of basic hand tools, proper use and safety requirements.
  • Ability to read instructions for the application of fertilizer, pesticides, and insecticides.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Skill in working with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Basic computer skills required to enter and extract information from automated systems and related software applications.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships.
  • Current or prior King County Metro Transit work experience

  • Valid Washington State Driver's License and an acceptable driving record.
  • Valid WA State Public Pesticide Operator's License or the ability to obtain within 6 months of hire.
  • Willingness and availability to work different shifts on weekdays, nights, weekends and holidays

This work requires frequently working in a stooping or kneeling position. May be required to do a lot of twisting or bending. Physical effort is required to perform such tasks as weeding, lifting, shoveling and using heavy gardening equipment and tools.


Grounds specialists work outside for the majority of the day and are exposed to all types of weather conditions. Will work in or around Light Rail Vehicles.

Supplemental Information

It is important to fill out your application accurately. Applicants should complete the online application at www.kingcounty.gov as described above. Do NOT merely refer to your resume for indicating your employment history. NOTE: Please answer all relevant questions in the online employment application itself, with each of your jobs during the last 10 years listed (if you have ten years) (listing each position for each employer separately), duties explained, reasons for leaving, etc. Earlier jobs should be included here or in resume if they are relevant in some way to this job and if they relate to our minimum qualifications, and MUST be included in the employment application if cited in answer to a Supplemental Question. If you have questions about this, please contact the HR contact stated above.

Selection Process
Applications will be screened for completeness, clarity and competitiveness. Competitive candidates may be invited to participate in an interview process. Employment offers will be finalized after a physical examination, drug screen, drug and alcohol background check, references and reviews of driving records.

Union Membership
This position is represented by Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 587.

Class Code: 9210100

King County is an equal employment opportunity employer. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workplace and workforce equity. Pro-Equity recruiting, development, support, and retention is the way we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that will help advance King County's guiding values--we are one team, we solve problems, we focus on the customer, we drive for results, we are racially just, we respect all people, we lead the way, and we are responsible stewards. We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds to apply, including but not limited to Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement

As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation. This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being. Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page .

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails. Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.

NOTE: Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position.Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.

For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.