18 jobs in gardening (with primary duties and salaries)

Updated 4 May 2023

If you enjoy gardening, there are a variety of jobs available that may allow you to turn your hobby and passion into a source of income. Whether you want to create attractive outdoor environments, improve the food supply or discover new species of plant, there are career options to match your interests. If you desire a career in gardening, exploring the different roles available in the field can help you determine which best suits you. In this article, we list 18 jobs in gardening, provide their national average salaries and outline their primary duties.

Related: How to become a gardener (with skills, salary and FAQs)

Jobs in gardening to consider

You can find jobs in gardening in various locations, including local farms and nurseries, public parks and golf courses. If you're interested in turning your gardening hobby into a career, here are some positions you may consider:

1. Gardener

National average salary: £8.93 per hour

Primary duties: A gardener designs and maintains the outdoor environment for parks, corporations, individual households and landscaping companies. Their typical day-to-day tasks include planting seasonal flowers, pruning trees and shrubs, maintaining planting beds, controlling pests, levelling grass and applying fertiliser. Employers may also ask gardeners to create seasonal displays to beautify public places and the surroundings for special events.

2. Farm labourer

National average salary: £10.13 per hour

Primary duties: Farm labourers maintain crops on a farm. Their responsibilities include ploughing fields, planting crops, trimming, controlling pests, applying fertiliser, harvesting crops and preparing them for export. Farm owners may also require labourers to maintain irrigation systems, erect and mend fences, construct buildings or barns and preserve farming equipment.

3. Horticulturist

National average salary: £23,253 per year

Primary duties: Horticulturists take part in almost all aspects of plant cultivation, development and propagation. They can apply their skills in agriculture to boost plant yields, control pests and breed improved plants. They may work in landscaping to keep flowers, shrubs, grass, turf and trees healthy. Horticulturists may also research crop types, herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers.

4. Groundskeeper

National average salary: £20,832 per year

Primary duties: A groundskeeper manages outdoor areas on university campuses, corporate squares, public gardens, playgrounds and other significant sites. Some of their responsibilities are pruning trees and shrubs, eliminating pests, mowing lawns, laying mulch, planting flowers and watering plants. They may also maintain lighting, benches, fountains and other outdoor features.

Employers often employ groundskeepers seasonally for jobs like collecting fallen leaves or removing snow during winter. Some groundskeepers look after the plants at shopping malls, offices and large enterprises. Golf facilities also hire turf management groundskeepers to plant, mow and maintain the grass.

Related: 13 jobs with plants (with definitions and responsibilities)

5. Vineyard worker

National average salary: £18,698 per year

Primary duties: Workers in a vineyard help to manage every aspect of its operation. Their responsibilities include planting, trimming and thinning vines, placing vine shoots, harvesting fruit, maintaining soil and eradicating pests. Vineyard employees may also manage erosion, control the irrigation process and install fences. Employers may require vineyard workers to undertake capping, bottling, grape crushing, corking and tank cleaning for wineries.

6. Grower

National average salary: £23,827 per year

Primary duties: Growers propagate various plants, including fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. They also prepare plants for shipping, plough fields, apply fertiliser, control pests and harvest. Most growers work with characteristic crops, such as herbs, animal feed or cereals, while others employ specialised growing techniques like organic farming or hydroponics.

7. Landscaper

National average salary: £25,606 per year

Primary duties: Landscapers construct outdoor spaces, such as gardens, for large enterprises, households, playgrounds, parks or municipal governments. Landscape architects and landscapers work together to create beautiful gardens and other outdoor spaces. Some of their duties include pest control, mowing grass, pruning shrubs or hedges, trimming trees, applying fertiliser and planting and maintaining seasonal flowers. Employers may also require landscapers to erect fences and create walking paths in the garden.

8. Horticultural scientists

National average salary: £23,253 per year

Primary duties: Horticultural scientists primarily research plant life and crops in a laboratory. They may also conduct tests and experiments in the field. They may work for government research institutions, food processing and marketing firms or food production companies to perform scientific studies on diverse plant forms. Horticultural scientists may also be actively involved in identifying, categorising and monitoring plant species.

9. Landscape architects

National average salary: £31,652 per year

Primary duties: A landscape architect designs pleasing and functional playgrounds, pools, gardens, parks and other public outdoor spaces. They develop designs, plans and models of outdoor spaces that landscapers and builders use for construction. Some landscape architects may collaborate with environmental scientists to create conservation areas, including mine reclamation sites and wetlands. Specialised landscape architects may also work to renovate gardens and historical sites.

Related: How to become a landscape architect

10. Garden centre manager

National average salary: £31,961 per year

Primary duties: A garden centre manager monitors and controls activities at plant nurseries or garden centres. They select and sell plants, train and monitor employees, schedule fertilisation, order garden centre supplies, apply pesticides and identify plants and plant diseases. Garden centre managers also educate clients on how to care for plants, pest control techniques and proper planting methods.

11. Landscape labourer

National average salary: £10.80 per hour

Primary duties: A landscape labourer takes care of the outdoor spaces on a property. Their primary responsibilities include applying fertiliser, controlling pests and weeds, pruning trees and bushes, planting and watering flowers and levelling lawns. Employers may also require landscape labourers to create walking paths in the garden and build fences, steps, rock walls, or other garden features. They may also collect fallen leaves and clear snow, especially when working in areas that undergo seasonal changes.

12. Garden centre associate

National average salary: £10.13 per hour

Primary duties: Garden centre associates care for plants sold in garden centres. Their primary duties include fertilising, weeding, trimming and planting seedlings. They also display their expertise in advising customers on garden design, proper plant care and plant selections. Garden centre associates may also design displays and stock sales tables.

13. Soil scientists

National average salary: £33,802 per year

Primary duties: Soil scientists work on crop productivity, yield, management and agriculture. They examine the physical, chemical, biological and mineralogical constitution of soil to aid crop development and production decisions. Soil scientists also classify soils to research various types of agriculture and crop growth.

14. Horticultural therapist

National average salary: £15,018 per year

Primary duties: A horticultural therapist creates, maintains and harvests garden spaces to help improve patients' physical and mental health. They design gardens, teach patients how to care for their plants and create patient care plans. Horticultural therapists also work alongside doctors and other healthcare providers to care for patients. Employers may also require horticultural therapists to modify outdoor garden spaces and tools to make them accessible to patients with disabilities.

15. Plant scientists

National average salary: £33,802 per year

Primary duties: Plant scientists work alongside agricultural researchers and farmers to develop techniques to improve plant productivity. They may create more effective pest control techniques, farming methods and fertilisers. Plant scientists may also develop new varieties of plants to produce higher yields, be more nutritious, build resistance to harsh weather and resist diseases. They may also educate farmers on newly developed methods to overcome problems with crops.

16. Arborist

National average salary: £25,368 per year

Primary duties: An arborist maintains woody trees and shrubs. They examine trees for infections or pest infestations, prune plant branches and plant seedlings. An arborist may also help remove dead trees and isolate diseased ones to avoid spreading to others.

Related: How to become a tree surgeon

17. Irrigation engineers

National average salary: £24,437 per year

Primary duties: Irrigation engineers design and build irrigation systems for various landscapes, locations and projects. These might include crop irrigation systems, dams, drainage systems, canals and commercial or residential gardens. Irrigation engineers plan and supervise the building and installation of irrigation systems to transport water from one area to another efficiently.

18. Floriculturist

National average salary: £23,253 per year

Primary duties: A floriculturist is a type of horticulturist who cultivates flowers for commercial purposes and sells them to florists. They also assist in creating floral arrangements in gardens or outdoor spaces. Universities and other research institutions often employ advanced floriculturists to produce and nurture new flower varieties.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Related:

  • How much do landscapers make? (Plus ways to earn more)

  • What does a horticulturist do? (Including responsibilities)


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