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SFMA Turfgrass Science Certification

The SFMA Turfgrass Science Certification verifies individuals have obtained foundational knowledge and skills in the areas of turfgrass science and management, as well as the ability to pursue a career in the turfgrass industry.


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Meeting the Industry Need

The certification assesses industry-valued and industry-recognized standards produced by the Sports Field Management Association. Comprised of sports field managers from across the country, SFMA serves as an official voice for green-industry professionals.

The certification validates individuals have acquired knowledge and skills in turfgrass development, turfgrass environment, preparation, practices and benefits. Those who earn the certification are more qualified and prepared to pursue a meaningful career in the turfgrass or sports field management industries. Additionally, the certification allows employers to identify and connect with more skilled candidates, filling gaps in the labor market and jumpstarting individuals’ careers.


There are estimated to be between 300,000 and 750,000 sports fields in the United States, which make up about 7 million maintained acres. With over 300 professional facilities, 3,500 colleges and universities, 7,800 parks and recreation districts and 20,000+ school districts, jobs in the sports field management profession are abundant.

Related Occupations

  • Agricultural Technicians
  • General and Operations Managers
  • Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

Industry Standards

The certification exam consists of 100 questions and assesses knowledge and concepts from the following weighted industry standards:


Benefits of Turfgrass
  • Environmental Benefits
  • Community Benefits
  • Economic Benefits



Turfgrass Anatomy, Identification & Adaptations
  • Turfgrass Anatomy
  • Turfgrass Identification
  • Climatic Adaptations
  • Criteria for Selecting Turfgrass Species



Turfgrass Environment
  • Plant Growth Requirements 
  • Soil Types
  • Soil Properties 
  • Choosing a Proper Growing Medium
  • Drainage
  • Compaction



Turfgrass Cultural Practices
  • Mowing
  • Nutrient Management
  • Irrigation
  • Aeration
  • Topdressing
  • Seeding/Sodding/Sprigging
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Weeds, Insects & Diseases
  • Equipment/Tools
  • Establishment



Playing Surface Preparation
  • Field Dimensions
  • Surface Playability 
  • Sports Specific Preparation
  • Field Marking & Logo Painting
  • Quality, Evaluation & Safety of Surfaces & Facilities
  • Seasonal/Annual Maintenance



Optional Cert Prep


Optional Certification Preparation Materials

The iCEV online curriculum platform offers a variety of preparatory content and resources designed to prepare individuals to earn industry certifications.

About the Sports Field Management Association

The Sports Field Management Association is a non-profit, professional association for men and women who manage outdoor sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, SFMA has been providing education and practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. SFMA’s mission is to advance professionalism in sports field management and safety through education, awareness programs and industry development.

“Members of SFMA have seen remarkable career success and recognition of their professionalism and work. We are positive the SFMA Turfgrass Science Certification earners will also see the same career success and professional recognition.”

Laura Simmons, MBA, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
Sports Field Management Association

Interested in Verifying a Candidate’s Certification?

 If you’re an employer looking to verify a job applicant’s credentials, click the button below to be taken to a verification form. 

If you do not have a certification number, please contact our customer support team to verify your candidate at: or 1-800-922-9965.

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