How to become a Horticultural Assistant

Horticultural Assistant

Horticultural assistants undertake a range of tasks involving the cultivation, growing, harvesting and maintenance of trees, plants and gardens.

Personal requirements for a Horticultural Assistant

  • Able to undertake manual and sometimes heavy work
  • Observant and methodical
  • Good communication skills
  • Enjoy outdoor work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Enjoy working in teams

Education & Training for a Horticultural Assistant

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. 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Horticultural Assistant

Horticultural assistants:

  • Prepare new garden sites, plots and soils using hand tools or machines
  • Load, unload and move gardening supplies and equipment
  • Assist with planting and transplanting seeds, bulbs, flowers, shrubs, trees and lawns
  • Clean gardens and remove rubbish
  • Maintain plants and gardens by watering, weeding, fertilising and mowing lawns
  • Adjust mist irrigation systems, shade and ventilation in a nursery, garden or greenhouse
  • Prepare and package plants for sale or transport
  • Erect barriers, fences or structures in gardens.


  • Tidying work areas and removing rubbish.
  • Watering, and weeding.
  • Preparing nursery sites and plots using hand tools and machines.
  • Adjusting mist irrigation systems, shade and ventilation.
  • Tending plants by hand watering and weeding.
  • Loading, unloading and moving nursery supplies and equipment.
  • Assisting with propagating and transplanting plants.

Working conditions for a Horticultural Assistant

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.

Employment Opportunities for a Horticultural Assistant

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.


Horticultural Assistant

Horticultural assistants undertake a range of tasks involving the cultivation, growing, harvesting and maintenance of trees, plants and gardens.

  • Average age
    Average age
    41 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    57% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    40 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Entry level
  • Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    52% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    5,100 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.3%
    NSW: 23.9%
    NT: 0.5%
    QLD: 26.9%
    SA: 6.2%
    TAS: 2.3%
    VIC: 28.7%
    WA: 11.0%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 6%
    20-24: 12.1%
    25-34: 18.6%
    35-44: 20.2%
    45-54: 22.4%
    55-59: 9.8%
    60-64: 6.7%
    65 and Over: 4.3%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 7.4%
    Bachelor degree: 6.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 22.1%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 1.1%
    Year 10 and below: 30.4%
    Year 11: 8.4%
    Year 12: 24%
Is the information on this page correct? Request update

Become a member

Already a member? LoginForgot password?

Join the conversation