How to become a General Gardener

General gardeners plant and care for trees, lawns, shrubs and flowerbeds in areas around public and private institutions, city squares, parks and gardens, playing fields, golf courses and bowling greens, as well as at private homes.

Personal requirements of a General Gardener

  • Enjoy practical and mechanical activities
  • able to undertake manual and heavy work
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to work safely with chemicals and machinery
  • free from allergies brought on by exposure to chemicals and plants
  • able to work outdoors in varied weather conditions.

Duties & Tasks of a General Gardener

General gardeners may perform the following tasks:

  • carry out site assessment and identify and correct soil deficiencies
  • prepare and look after seedbeds and growing sites
  • propagate and plant trees, bushes and hedges, flowers and bulbs
  • prepare lawn areas by spreading top soil and planting grass, or by laying turf
  • identify and treat weeds, pests and diseases affecting plants
  • prune trees and hedges to promote the health and increase the attractiveness of plants
  • install plant supports and protection
  • install, operate and maintain drainage and irrigation systems
  • grow and maintain indoor plants and conservatory displays
  • construct features and facilities within gardens, such as paths or paved areas, rockeries, planter boxes, ponds and water features
  • maintain and repair gardening equipment.

Working conditions for a General Gardener

General gardeners usually work outdoors and in all kinds of weather, and usually start early in the morning. Some of the work is physically demanding as it involves bending, lifting and the use of machinery such as rollers and edging machines. Protective clothing must be worn when handling fertilisers and pesticides, as well as to prevent injury while using machinery.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.7%

NSW 25.7%

NT 1%

QLD 17.2%

SA 9.1%

TAS 2.8%

VIC 27.9%

WA 14.6%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 84%

Female 16%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 17.4%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 35.2%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 10.6%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 6.8%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 1.5%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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