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Horticultural worker

Alternative titles for this job include Horticultural assistant, garden nursery assistant, garden centre worker

Horticultural workers grow plants in garden nurseries, work in food production, and maintain parks and gardens.

Average salary (a year)

£19,500 Starter


£24,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 45 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Horticultural worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • training with a professional body


You could take a college course, which may help you when looking for jobs.

Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 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


You could start by doing an apprenticeship, such as:

  • Horticulture or Landscape Construction Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Landscape or Horticulture Supervisor Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These take between 2 and 3 years to complete.

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

More Information


You might find it useful to get some practical experience by volunteering in horticulture or gardening, while looking for jobs.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you have experience in gardening, horticulture or retail. Employers might ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in maths, English and science.

You could then do a part-time horticultural course or get training on the job to develop your skills.

Other Routes

You can take a course with The Royal Horticultural Society to learn more about horticulture or to help you get a job.

You could learn at a training centre or online depending on the course you choose.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in horticulture through:

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
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • the ability to work on your own
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your duties will depend on whether you work in a garden centre, a park or in crop production. You could:

  • plant seeds and bulbs to grow plants and shrubs
  • water, weed, prune, feed and spray plants
  • advise customers about plants and how to look after them
  • maintain plant and soil health, and control pests
  • pick, sort and pack items to be delivered
  • serve customers

Working environment

You could work in a garden, in a park, on a country estate, at a garden centre or on a farm.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

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

Apprentice Horticulture or Landscape Construction Operative

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: Sampford Peverell, Tiverton

Courses In England

Level 2.5 Diploma in Practical Horticultural Skills

  • Provider: Derby College Group
  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Ilkeston


  • Start date: 08 July 2024
  • Location: BARNSLEY

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