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Gardener Green Job

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

Annual Salary

£19,500 to £26,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 42 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

Future employment

There will be 1.8% more Gardener jobs in 2027.

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 may need to wear protective clothing.

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 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
For 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
For 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.

Volunteering and work experience

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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a gardener from:The Royal Horticultural Society; Grow Careers; HortWeek

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With experience, you could:become a head gardener, garden designer or horticultural manager; set up your own business, gardening for private customers; move into a related role, such as landscaper, groundsperson or arboricultural officer; do a qualification to work as a tree surgeon

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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 lifting, bending and reaching
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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