Gardener

Alternative titles for this job include

Gardeners grow and look after plants in private and public green spaces.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a gardener

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by a professional body

College

You could do a college course in gardening or horticulture to get some of the knowledge and practical skills needed for this career. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Horticulture Skills
  • Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture and Amenity Horticulture
  • Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

Courses would cover things like identification of plants, growing plants from seed and how to use gardening machinery safely.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a horticulture and landscape operative intermediate apprenticeship.

The Royal Horticulture Society also offers horticultural apprenticeships in some of its national gardens for 16 to 19 year olds.

You could move onto a landscape or horticulture supervisor advanced apprenticeship as you get more experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could also start as an assistant gardener and work your way up.

If you have some related work experience, this could help you to get a job.

Volunteering

You could get experience by volunteering through Do-it or with organisations like:

Direct Application

To work as a gardener you would need to be able to show employers that you have the gardening skills, knowledge and enthusiasm they are looking for. Experience in gardening or a horticultural role is highly valued by employers.

Other Routes

The Royal Horticultural Society offers courses which are suitable if you want to learn more about gardening, or if you want to get qualifications that will help you get a job in horticulture.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a gardener from Grow Careers and Horticulture Week.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a typical day you may:

  • raise plants from seeds or cuttings
  • dig, plant and weed flower beds and borders
  • prune shrubs and trees
  • check the health of plants and control pests
  • use machinery like lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
  • look after the appearance of plants and the surrounding landscape
  • clean and maintain equipment
  • do basic building tasks like laying patios, or putting up sheds and fences

Working environment

You could work in a garden, in a park, at a client's business, at a client's home or in woodland.

Your working environment may be at height and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior or head gardener.

You could move into other work like landscaping, greenkeeping or the care of trees and shrubs (arboriculture).

You could also set up your own business, offering a service to private customers.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Assistant Estate Worker

  • Wage: £229.44 Weekly
  • Location: Hull

Apprentice Gardens and Landscapes Operative

  • Wage: £222.00 Weekly
  • Location: Loughborough

Courses In England

Horticulture

  • Provider: BEDFORDSHIRE & LUTON EDUCATION BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Bedford

Horticulture Level 2

  • Provider: SHIPLEY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Shipley

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.