Horticultural assistants undertake a range of tasks involving the cultivation, growing, harvesting and maintenance of trees, plants and gardens.
You can work as a horticultural assistant without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You may like to consider a VET qualification in horticulture, production horticulture, production nursery or retail nursery. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a horticultural assistant through a traineeship in Horticulture, Production Horticulture, Production Nursery or Retail Nursery. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Horticultural assistants may perform the following tasks:
Horticultural assistants usually work under the supervision of a horticultural tradesperson. They work outside and in greenhouses, often in a team. Some of the work is physically demanding as it involves bending, lifting and the use of machinery such as tractors, rollers and edging machines. Protective clothing must be used when handling fertilisers and pesticides, and to prevent injury while using machinery.
Horticultural assistants are mainly employed by retail and wholesale nurseries, plantation timber companies, local governments, parks authorities and private gardening and landscaping companies to assist professionals. There is strong demand for entry-level positions into this occupation. With experience and further training, it is possible to gain promotion to horticultural tradesperson positions.