Alternative titles for this job include

Gardeners grow and look after plants in parks, gardens and other green spaces.

Average salary (a year)

£19,500 Starter


£26,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 42 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

Meet Tayshan

Tayshan is a garden designer from London.

A man crouched down in a garden with plants and flowers behind him.
BBC Bitesize logo

He was a footballer, but decided to go to college at 24 years old to study horticulture.

Watch Tayshan’s story on BBC Bitesize Careers

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become 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.

Courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Horticulture Skills
  • Level 2 Diploma in Practical Horticultural Skills
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You could do a:

  • Horticulture or Landscape Construction Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Landscape or Horticulture Supervisor Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Horticulture and Landscaping Technical Manager Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship

Entry requirements

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

More Information


You might find it helpful when looking for work if you have some practical experience, for instance from working in a garden centre.

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


Many organisations offer volunteering opportunities, for example:

You'll also find volunteering placements through Do IT and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs. Employers value work experience and skills in gardening. Horticultural knowledge and enthusiasm are also important.

Other Routes

You can take a course with The Royal Horticultural Society to learn more about gardening or complete a qualification that may help you to get a job.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a gardener from:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • 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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a gardener, you will:

  • raise and look after plants from seeds or cuttings
  • dig, plant and weed flower beds and borders
  • tidy overgrown shrubs and trees and clear paths
  • control pests that damage plants
  • use equipment safely, like lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
  • build items such as sheds, patios or 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Landscape Site Operative

  • Wage: £14,560 a year Annually
  • Location: Manor Farm,, Newton-on-Trent,, Lincolnshire

Level 2 Horticulture/Landscape Operative Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £11,648 to £20,820.80 a year Annually
  • Location: Knowle Farm, Clayhidon, Collompton

Courses In England

Level 2 Horticulture (Landscape Gardening)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Chippenham

Gardening - Practical Horticulture Skills Level 1 Award (City & Guilds)

  • Start date: 12 March 2025
  • Location: Sutton

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