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 course in gardening or horticulture to learn some of the skills and knowledge you need.
- level 1 Certificate in Horticulture Skills
- level 2 Diploma in Practical Horticultural Skills
- level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Horticulture
Courses might cover things like how to identify plants, grow plants from seed and 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 do a:
- horticulture and landscape operative intermediate apprenticeship to get a job as a gardener
- horticultural apprenticeship with The Royal Horticultural Society to work in a national garden if you're 16 to 19 years old
- landscape or horticulture supervisor advanced apprenticeship to get more experience
- horticulture and landscaping technical manager higher apprenticeship to become a head gardener or manager
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You might find it easier to get a job as a gardener if you have some experience, for example working in a garden centre or protecting land.
You could also start as an assistant gardener and work your way up.
Many organisations offer volunteering opportunities, for example:
You'll also find volunteering opportunities through Do IT and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
Employers value work experience in gardening.
You might also need to show employers that you have gardening skills, knowledge and enthusiasm.
You can also take a course with The Royal Horticultural Society to learn more about gardening or get a qualification that will help you get a job.
You can find out more about becoming a gardener from Grow Careers and Horticulture Week.