By Jake Holyoak

Do you enjoy gardening so much that you would like to make a career out of your passion? Award-winning seeds supplier Dobies of Devon is on hand to guide you on just some of the many different career routes that are available to you…

Garden nursery assistant

A garden nursery assistant is tasked with growing plants in garden centres and nurseries, as well as both advising and serving any customers visiting these types of facilities.

Entry requirements

You will not require any set entry requirements to become a garden nursery assistant. However, most employers will expect you to have a keen interest in both horticulture and plants.

While not essential, experience and/or qualifications in the horticulture, gardening or retail industries will also be helpful.

Essential skills

  1. Customer service skills
  2. Skills with handling payments
  3. Teamworking skills

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Loading and unloading any deliveries
  • Feeding plants
  • Pruning plants
  • Shaping plants
  • Spacing plants
  • Watering plants
  • Weeding plants
  • Potting seedlings
  • Monitoring the health and quality of plants
  • Re-stocking plant displays
  • Serving customers

Expected salary

Between £13,000 and £16,000 when a starter, increasing to between £17,000 and £19,000 when experienced and possibly if made a supervisor.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 159 jobs related to the search ‘Garden Nursery Assistant’ — check them out here.

Horticultural worker

Horticultural workers can be employed to grow and sell plants at a garden centre, as well as to tend to plants that are found in gardens and parks.

Entry requirements

There are no set requirements when it comes to pursuing a career as a horticultural worker. However, skills and experience in farming, forestry and gardening could be helpful.

You may also require a HND or a degree in horticulture if you are looking for a job in an area such as plant science and will need to work in food development.

Essential skills

  1. Practical skills
  2. Customer service skills (if intending to work at a garden centre)
  3. Money handling skills (if intending to work at a garden centre)
  4. Maths skills (for certain roles)
  5. Science skills (for certain roles)

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Sow seeds.
  • Plant bulbs.
  • Plant ornamental plants.
  • Grow plants from cutting and through the use of grafting.
  • Feeding, pruning, spraying, watering and weeding plants.
  • Mow grass, as well as cut dead growth and branches and undertake general tidying around the space.
  • Lay paths and look after any ornamental features found along the route.
  • Research new strains of seed and plants
  • Pick, sort and package produce so that it is ready to be sent to retailers
  • Sell plants and other produce.
  • Advise customers.

Expected salary

Between £13,000 and £19,000 when a starter, increasing to between around £20,000 and £30,000 when gaining more experience — possibly more if made a manager.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 57 jobs related to the search ‘Horticultural Worker’ — check them out here.

Horticultural manager

A horticultural manager is tasked with growing plants in a commercial environment so that they can be used in gardens, parks and public places.

Entry requirements

Horticultural managers often require a higher education qualification, with relevant qualifications including bachelor degrees, foundation degrees and HNDs in horticulture or horticultural management.

Those who begin their career as a horticultural worker also could work their way into a horticultural manager role when they have gained experienced and appropriate qualifications.

Essential skills

  1. Organisational skills
  2. Planning skills
  3. Record keeping skills
  4. Budgeting skills
  5. Negotiation skills
  6. Management skills

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Manage plant cultivation and maintenance at a commercial horticulture company. This could include producing ornamental plants that are then sold to garden centres, nurseries, retailers, wholesalers or the public.
  • Manage plant cultivation and maintenance at a garden centre.
  • Manage plant cultivation and maintenance at a park or public garden. This could include designing, constructing and maintaining the upkeep of planted areas.
  • Manage plant cultivation and maintenance at a company that produces fruit and vegetables to sell to retailers or wholesalers.

Expected salary

Between £18,000 and £22,000 when a starter, increasing to between around £30,000 and £40,000 when gaining more experience — possibly more if made a senior manager.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 294 jobs related to the search ‘Horticultural Manager’ — check them out here.

Horticultural therapist

The role of a horticultural therapist is to use their skills in gardening to improve the health and wellbeing of their clients.

Entry requirements

One of the only requirements to being a horticultural therapist is that you’ll need Disclosure and Barring Service clearance, as the role requires you to work with vulnerable people.

While not essential, it will help if you also have a background in nursing, occupational therapy, social care and teaching. A qualification in social and therapeutic horticulture will also prove beneficial to this role.

Essential skills

  1. Practical skills in gardening
  2. Practical skills in horticulture
  3. Teaching skills for a wide variety of abilities

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Develop the practical and social skills of clients, as well as their confidence and self-esteem.
  • The ability to adapt projects to meet the needs of clients.
  • Teaching or re-educating clients about basic skills, such as literacy and numeracy.
  • Provide outdoor activity and exercise with the aim of restoring a person’s strength and mobility following an injury or bout of illness.
  • Support clients who are undertaking horticultural qualifications.
  • Manage both staff and volunteers.
  • Draw up proposals for projects.
  • Set out any training and work programmes as required.
  • Apply for funding.
  • Work with a wide variety of clients, who could include:

v Elderly people

v Offenders and ex-offenders

v People recovering from drug or alcohol abuse

v People recovering from major injuries or illnesses

v People with learning difficulties

v People with mental health problems

v People with physical disabilities

v Professionals such as psychologists and social workers.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of £17,000 when pursuing a career as a horticultural therapist, though this can rise to £25,000 when experienced and £30,000 once highly experienced.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 4 jobs related to the search ‘Horticultural Therapist’ — check them out here.

Landscaper

The role of a landscaper is to create and then maintain gardens, parks and various other types of both outdoor and interior spaces.

Entry requirements

While there are no set requirements when pursuing a career as a landscaper, the majority of employers will expect you to have knowledge and experience in horticulture.

Essential skills

  1. Being able to work with garden design drawings
  2. Business skills (especially if deciding to become self-employed)
  3. Organisational skills
  4. Practical skills

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Conversations with clients where their needs are discussed.
  • Conversations with clients where advice is given about how a space can be looked after.
  • Carrying out work based on plans set out by garden designers and landscape architects.
  • Order supplies.
  • Prepare an interior space or ground ahead of landscaping work.
  • Turf and seed lawns
  • Plant and prune both trees and shrubs.
  • Install paths, paving, rock gardens and water features.
  • Provide on-going maintenance.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of between £16,000 and £20,000 when pursuing a career as a landscaper, though this can rise to £24,000 when experienced and £30,000 once highly experienced. Of course, self-employed landscapers have the opportunity to set out their own rates.

The average salary for landscaper jobs, according to Totaljobs, is £23,471.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 452 jobs related to the search ‘Landscaper’ — check them out here.

Tree surgeon

All kinds of tree work will be undertaken by tree surgeons, ranging from hazard assessments to planting, felling, care and maintenance.

Entry requirements

While there are no set requirements when pursuing a career as a tree surgeon, experience is highly valued.

Essential skills

  1. Ability to use chainsaws safely and effectively
  2. Ability to use harnesses safely and effectively
  3. Ability to use ladders safely and effectively
  4. Ability to use ropes safely and effectively
  5. The ability to read a map
  6. Ability to understand plans related to the arrangement of trees

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Assess any hazards posed by trees.
  • Assess the health of trees.
  • Assess the treatment of trees.
  • Plant trees.
  • Fell trees.
  • Prune or remove branches where necessary.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of £16,000 when pursuing a career as a tree surgeon, though this can rise to £24,000 when experienced and £30,000 once highly experienced.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 89 jobs related to the search ‘Tree Surgeon’ — check them out here.

Botanist/Plant Biologist

Botanists (otherwise known as plant biologists) are tasked with studying all forms of plant life.

Entry requirements

It is often required that you have a degree in a relevant subject such as botany, ecology, environmental science, plant biology or plant science before pursuing a career as a botanist.

A postgraduate qualification — a MSc or a PhD, for example — will also be required if your career path takes you into a research or teaching post.

Essential skills

  1. Problem-solving skills
  2. Practical skills
  3. Research skills
  4. Strong communication skills
  5. Skills in analysing, interpreting and reporting on relevant data

What to expect: day-to-day duties

  • Specialise in the study of all of the following:

v Biochemistry

v Ecology

v Genetics

v Marine botany

v Molecular biology

v Paleobotany

v Physiology

v Plant anatomy

v Specific plant groups

  • Identify, classify, record and monitor plant species.
  • Identify, classify, record and monitor biodiversity.
  • Carry out ecological consultancy work, which will include undertaking surveys and environmental impact assessments.
  • Manage a botanical collection.
  • Search for new species.
  • Study how pollution affects plant life.
  • Identify and then purify chemicals that are produced by plants so that they can be used in products such as building materials, drugs, fabrics, food and solvents.
  • Present results of research in books, journals and at academic conferences.
  • Train and supervise both junior staff and volunteers.
  • Teach at universities.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of between £22,000 and £28,500 when pursuing a career as a botanist, though this can rise to £30,000 when experienced and in a research post, as well as £55,000 once highly experienced and employed as a senior university lecturer.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 12 jobs related to the search ‘Plant Biologist’ — check them out here.

*Jobs available logged as of June 29th 2017.

Sources:

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

https://www.indeed.co.uk

https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/salary-calculator

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