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Gardener

Gardeners manage plants in a range of private, public and commercial settings.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but work experience could help you get a job. You could volunteer with an organisation like The Conservation Volunteers, National Trust or Wildlife Trusts.

A qualification in gardening may also help.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills to use tools
  • creativity and an eye for detail
  • marketing and business skills, if you're self-employed

3. What you'll do

You could work for local authorities, private companies, the Royal Parks and conservation charities like the National Trust.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • raising plants from seeds or cuttings
  • digging, planting and weeding flower beds and borders
  • pruning shrubs
  • checking the health of plants
  • using machinery like lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
  • maintaining public parks and gardens
  • cleaning and maintaining equipment
  • basic building tasks, like putting up sheds and building walls

4. Salary

Starter: £12,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £25,000 or more

Highly Experienced: £30,000 or more

Self-employed gardeners usually agree an hourly rate with their customers.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 hours a week.

If you're self-employed you'll arrange your own hours. You may need to arrange tasks around the weather.

Gardening is physically demanding. You'll be lifting, digging and carrying loads. You may wear safety equipment like gloves and a hard hat.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become senior or head gardener.

You could move into other work like landscaping, greenkeeping or the care of trees and shrubs (arboriculture).

You could also set up your own business, offering a service to private customers.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017