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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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 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 Certificate or Diploma in Horticulture

Courses might cover things like how to identify plants, grow plants from seed and 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 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

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

Work

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.

Volunteering

Many organisations offer volunteering opportunities, for example:

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

Direct Application

Employers value work experience in gardening.

You might also need to show employers that you have gardening skills, knowledge and enthusiasm.

Other Routes

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.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

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

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 well with your hands
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • physical skills like lifting, bending and reaching
  • 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

On a typical day you may:

  • raise and look after plants from seeds or cuttings
  • dig, plant and weed flower beds and borders
  • tidy overgrown shrubs and trees
  • control pests damaging plants
  • use and clean equipment like lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
  • build basic 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

Grounds Apprentice (Brighton College)

  • Wage: £11,440.00 Annually
  • Location: Brighton, East Sussex

Horticulture / Landscaping Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £14,820.00 Annually
  • Location: Karoo Close, Bexwell

Courses In England

Horticulture Level 1 Certificate: Gardening Basics

  • Provider: SHIPLEY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 January 2023
  • Location: Shipley

Gardening - Planet Friendly Gardening

  • Provider: KENT COUNTY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 13 June 2023
  • Location: Sevenoaks

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