How to become a Nurseryperson

Nurserypersons plant, look after and harvest trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants for sale or within parks and gardens.

Personal requirements of a Nurseryperson

  • Able to undertake manual and heavy work
  • unaffected by allergies to chemicals and plants
  • able to work outdoors in varied weather conditions
  • observant and methodical
  • good communication skills (garden centre nurserypersons)
  • able to work as part of a team (garden centre nurserypersons).

Duties & Tasks of a Nurseryperson

Nurserypersons may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare potting mix and containers before planting
  • select seeds, bulbs or cuttings and plant them in beds, lawn areas or tubs
  • perform budding or grafting activities
  • water plants manually and control automatic watering systems
  • apply pesticides to control pests, diseases, weeds and other plant disorders
  • keep records of soil mixtures, plantings, treatments, losses and yields
  • select plants and package them for presentation or delivery
  • advise customers on the care of plants and the best plants for local conditions
  • plan sales area layouts and product presentation.

Working conditions for a Nurseryperson

Nurserypersons work indoors in glasshouses, garden centres and retail nurseries, as well as outdoors in all kinds of weather. Some of the work is physically demanding as it involves bending, lifting and handling machinery. Protective clothing must be worn when handling fertilisers and pesticides.\par \par Nurserypersons may also be required to do some weekend and evening work, as most garden centres are open longer than normal office hours. As the work is seasonal, nurserypersons may also work longer hours during particular seasons.


Garden Centre Nurseryperson

A garden centre nurseryperson manages crops in a retail environment, which requires a good local knowledge of horticulture, the ability to work in a team and strong customer service skills. Garden centres and retail nurseries tend to be spread more evenly throughout areas of high population.

Production Nurseryperson

A production nurseryperson specialises in growing certain crop lines, which requires specialist skills in horticulture and attention to detail. Production nurseries tend to be very large and are usually located on the outer edges of a city or town.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1%

NSW 29.6%

NT 0.8%

QLD 17.5%

SA 6.2%

TAS 2.7%

VIC 34.7%

WA 7.4%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 60%

Female 40%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 14.8%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 33.2%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 16.2%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 13.1%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.1%

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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