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
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.
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
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.
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
You could start as an assistant gardener and work your way up.
If you have some related work experience, for example in a garden centre or with a conservation body, this could help you to get a job.
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.
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.