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The role

Gardeners look after parks, gardens and green spaces. Many gardeners are self employed, but those not keen to pursue this option, can find jobs wth local authorities, private companies, the Royal Parks, botanical gardens and voluntary organisations such as the National Trust. Some gardeners work for garden centres.


A gardener's tasks include:


  • digging, planting and weeding flower beds and borders
  • pruning shrubs
  • checking the health of plants and applying fertiliser and pesticides
  • using machinery such as lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
  • tidying pathways and clearing leaves and litter
  • cleaning and maintaining tools and equipment


Gardeners may also be required to carry out basic building tasks such
as putting up sheds, building walls and patios.

How to become a gardener

Practical experience and a real interest in gardening are important. However,
those without experience could benefit by doing one of several courses:
BTEC and NPTC Certificate/Diploma in Horticulture Levels 2 and 3
BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Horticulture
National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) Level 2 Certificate in


Skills, interests and knowledge required

  • an interest in plants and nature
  • a love of working outdoors
  • good practical skills
  • a good level of strength and fitness
  • creativity and an eye for detail
  • awareness of health and safety
  • good business sense if self-employed


Salary Expectations

Gardeners can earn between £11,000 to £19,000 a year. Some gardeners earn more.
Self-employed gardeners usually arrange an hourly rate with their customers.


The hours

Gardeners employed by organisations such as local authorities usually
work 36 to 37 hours a week. Overtime, weekend and part-time work are


Useful websites a career in horticulture


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