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Horticultural manager Garden centre manager

A horticultural manager grows plants commercially for use in parks, gardens and public spaces.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a higher education qualification and practical experience. Relevant qualifications include foundation degrees, HNDs and bachelor degrees in subjects like professional horticulture and horticultural management. You could also take a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) qualification.

You could work your way up to management by starting out as a horticultural worker and gaining experience and qualifications. Knowledge of related areas like farming, forestry, retailing or marketing could be valuable, and you can also gain experience through:

Management Development Services Ltd (MDS Ltd) offer graduate traineeships in the fresh food, produce and arable industries.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • organisational and planning skills
  • business skills for record keeping and budgeting
  • negotiation skills
  • management skills

3. What you'll do

You'll manage the business of plant cultivation and maintenance for any of the following:

  • a commercial horticulture company producing ornamental plants for sale to wholesalers, retailers, nurseries, garden centres and the public
  • a garden centre that produces plants (and stocks related products) for sale to the public
  • a park or public garden where you could be responsible for the design, construction and upkeep of planted areas
  • a company that produces fruit and vegetables for sale to wholesalers or retailers

Your daily tasks may include:

  • preparing and updating operational and business plans
  • keeping records and managing budgets and accounts
  • analysing costs
  • developing new products and markets, and negotiating with suppliers
  • designing layouts and developing planting programmes
  • scheduling the planting and harvesting of crops
  • making sure health and safety regulations and procedures are followed
  • recruiting and managing a skilled and trained workforce

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced: around £30,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 or more (senior manager)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours will vary according to the season and could include weekends and public holidays. Early starts are common.

You could be office-based and also work outdoors. You may need to travel to other sites and to suppliers and customers.

6. Career path and progression

In large organisations you may be offered graduate training.

If you have the RHS Level 3 Diploma or equivalent and at least 4 years of experience you could complete the RHS Master of Horticulture qualification.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016