SFMA Turfgrass Science Certification

SFMA Turfgrass Science Certification

Designed to prepare individuals for a meaningful career in sports field management.

Sports Field Management Association (SFMA) is proud to offer the Turfgrass Science Certification, available Fall of 2024. This certification is designed to build a pipeline of skilled turfgrass industry professionals. The certification can be earned by learners in all stages of their education and career and verifies individuals are prepared to pursue a career in the field of turfgrass science.


Meeting the Industry Need

The certification validates the knowledge and skills needed to begin turfgrass-related careers on athletic surfaces including K-12 and parks and recreation facilities, golf courses, colleges and universities, and professional sports. Those who earn the certification are more qualified and prepared to enter a variety of roles within the industry. Additionally, the certification allows employers to connect with more skilled candidates in a highly specialized industry.

This certification verifies an individual has the fundamental competencies necessary to pursue a position in sports field management. Those who earn the certification are more qualified and prepared to enter high-demand roles within the turfgrass industry. There is estimated to be between 300,000 and 750,000 sports fields in the United States, which makes up about 7 million maintained acres. With over 300 professional facilities, 3,500 colleges & universities, 7,800 parks and recreation districts, and 20,000+ school districts, jobs in the sports field management profession are abundant. Additionally, the certification allows employers to identify and connect with more skilled candidates, filling gaps in the labor market and jump-starting an individuals’ career.


Industry Standards

The certification exam, tested for on the iCEV platform, consists of 100 questions and assesses knowledge and skills for the following weighted industry standards:

  • Benefits of Turfgrass
  • Turfgrass Anatomy, Identification and Adaptations
  • Turfgrass Environment
  • Turfgrass Cultural Practices
  • Playing Surface Preparation


Why We Created the Certification

Our industry is currently experiencing a shortage of trained workers, and this certification will help individuals validate their skills and create a better pool of employees. It will also help employers identify qualified candidates. We work closely with professionals in various sectors of the turfgrass industry including K-12, parks and recreation, collegiate athletics, professional sports, commercial companies, educational institutions and more. Because of our knowledge and passion for providing safe, playable surfaces for athletes, we take great responsibility in developing the future workforce of knowledgeable and skilled employees.


Testing Platform

SFMA utilizes iCEV, a division of CEV Multimedia, as the certification testing platform. As the testing platform, iCEV fulfills the following responsibilities:

  • Provides secure testing technology for certification exams
  • Regulates testing environment
  • Works with secondary and post-secondary academic institutions, workforce development associations and the public-at-large to offer certification options for career advancement
  • Provides certification verification to employers for potential job applicants
  • Offers optional study-guide material


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