Garden nursery assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Horticultural assistant, garden centre worker

Garden nursery assistants grow plants in nurseries and garden centres, and advise and serve customers.

Average salary (a year)

£13,000 Starter

to

£19,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

46 to 48 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a garden nursery assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Horticulture
  • Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a horticultural and landscape operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You could apply directly for jobs in a nursery or garden centre. There are no set requirements but employers will expect you to have a keen interest in plants and horticulture. Experience or qualifications in gardening, horticulture or retail work would be helpful.

More information

Further information

You can get more advice about careers in horticulture from Grow Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • persistence and determination
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You’ll be:  

  • loading and unloading deliveries
  • pruning, shaping and spacing plants
  • weeding, watering and feeding
  • potting seedlings
  • monitoring plant health and quality
  • re-stocking plant displays
  • serving customers

Working environment

You could work at a garden centre.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a nursery supervisor.

You may be able to move into horticultural technician work or garden centre management by completing industry qualifications like those from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Horticulture Apprentice

  • Wage : £170.00 Weekly
  • Location: Tiverton EX16 7DE

Apprentice Gardener- The Guinness Partnership - Level 2 Horticulture Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £147.00 - £274.05 Weekly
  • Location: Oldham OL9 7LH

Courses In England

Horticulture Skills

  • Provider: Bedfordshire & Luton Education Business Partnership
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Dunstable

Horticulture & Gardening taster

  • Provider: Derbyshire County Council
  • Start date: 30 April 2019
  • Location: NEW MILLS HIGH PEAK

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