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Horticultural worker

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

Horticultural workers grow and sell plants in garden centres and look after plants in parks and gardens.

Average salary (a year)

£13,000 Starter


£23,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

43 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 a horticultural worker

You can get into this job through:

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


A college course may help you apply for a job as a horticultural worker. 

You could take a level 1 award in practical horticulture or a level 2 certificate or diploma in horticulture. 

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

More Information


You could do a:

  • horticulture and landscape operative intermediate apprenticeship
  • packhouse line leader advanced apprenticeship to work on a horticulture production line, for example picking and packing plants 
  • horticulture supervisor advanced apprenticeship to get more experience

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 easier to get a job as a horticultural worker if you first get some experience by volunteering.

View volunteering opportunities with the Royal Horticultural Society.

Direct Application

You can apply directly if you have experience in things such as 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 take a part-time course or get training on the job to develop your skills.

Other Routes

You can also take a course with the Royal Horticultural Society to learn more about horticulture or get a qualification that will help you get a job.

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

More Information

Career tips

You might be able to get part time work while you study during busy holidays when employers recruit more staff. 

Further information

You can find out more about careers in horticulture through Grow Careers or The Royal Horticultural Society

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 and dexterity
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • 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

On a typical day working in a park or garden, you could:

  • plant seeds and bulbs to grow plants
  • water, weed, prune, feed and spray plants
  • mow grass, cut and tidy up dead plants or branches
  • lay paths and look after decorations 
  • monitor quality and health of plants 

In a garden centre you could also:

  • pick, sort and pack items to be delivered
  • organise displays
  • serve customers

Working environment

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

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 Gardener - Bletchingdon Park

  • Wage: £15,000.00 Annually

Apprentice Gardener

  • Wage: £7,503.60 Annually

Courses In England

BCA Practical Horticultural Skills

  • Start date: 04 September 2023
  • Location: Maidenhead


  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Location: Lincoln

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