How to become a Horticultural Tradesperson

Horticultural Tradesperson

Horticultural tradespersons maintain plants and planted areas, construct horticultural features and apply treatments to enhance plant growth and control pests.

Personal requirements for a Horticultural Tradesperson

  • Enjoy practical and mechanical activities
  • Able to undertake manual and heavy work
  • Able to work safely with chemicals and machinery
  • Able to work for long hours
  • Able to work outdoors in all sorts of weather conditions

Education & Training for a Horticultural Tradesperson

To become a horticultural tradesperson you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Horticultural Tradesperson

Horticultural tradespeople:

  • Identify and correct soil deficiencies
  • Identify and treat pests and diseases affecting plants
  • Prepare fields, garden beds or lawn areas by cultivating soil and adding fertilisers and compost
  • Use growth regulators and other chemicals
  • Read landscape plans and construct rockeries, paths or ponds
  • Plant and transplant flowers, shrubs, trees and lawns
  • Maintain gardens by fertilising and trimming plants and ensuring that they are receiving adequate water
  • Prune trees and hedges to promote their health and increase the attractiveness of plants
  • Thin out, hoe, irrigate and fertilise crops
  • Maintain lawn and grass areas using machinery, fertilisers and chemicals
  • Service equipment such as tools, lawn mowers and heavy machinery
  • Operate and install irrigation and drainage systems
  • Plan and supervise the daily activities of other workers
  • Develop long-term plans, set budgets and manage the financial aspects of the organisation or business.


  • Preparing and maintaining seedbeds and growing sites
  • Pruning trees and hedges, and installing plant support and protection devices
  • Preparing lawn areas by spreading top soil and planting grass, and by laying instant turf
  • Maintaining planted and grassed areas by weeding, trimming, fertilising, watering and mowing
  • Setting out and installing hardscape and softscape structures
  • Constructing gravel and paved areas, walls, fences, pergolas, ponds, barbecues and garden furniture
  • Spraying and dusting plants and trees to control insects and disease, and felling diseased trees
  • Lopping limbs off trees and shaping branches using chain and handsaws
  • Propagating and planting trees, bushes, hedges, flowers and bulbs
  • Preparing plans and drawings, selecting materials and plants, and scheduling landscape construction
  • Examining trees to assess their condition and determine treatment

Working conditions for a Horticultural Tradesperson

Horticultural tradespeople usually work outdoors and in all kinds of weather. 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 Tradesperson

The horticultural sector is one of the most important primary industries in Australia. There are many opportunities in this sector, from landscape gardening and turf management to service areassuch as marketing, finance and international trade.



A greenkeeper prepares, establishes and manages fine turf, grassed areas and synthetic surfaces used for sport. They may also do domestic and commercial mowing and lawn maintenance operations or work on commercial turf farms. They are also known as groundspeople or turf keepers.

Landscape Gardener

A landscape gardener designs and constructs garden landscapes or renovates existing gardens. They work in a variety of sites, including public and private parks and gardens, to create a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

Nursery Worker

A nursery worker grows and sells plants. They can work in either retail or wholesale nurseries and may specialise in areas such as native plants, advanced trees or flowers.

Arboriculture Worker

An arboriculture worker cares for and maintains trees in urban environments. The work may include tree climbing using ropes and a harness or operating from elevated platforms. Senior workers, sometimes called tree surgeons, provide specialist tree evaluation, assessment and treatment.


A floriculturist produces fresh and dried flowers and foliage for wholesale, flower markets, florists, retail outlets and, increasingly, overseas export. Some flower farms also grow flowers in open fields for their essential oils.


A gardener plants and cares for trees, lawns, shrubs and flower beds in areas around public and private institutions, city squares, parks and gardens, playing fields, golf courses and bowling greens, as well as private homes.

Horticultural Tradesperson

Horticultural tradespersons maintain plants and planted areas, construct horticultural features and apply treatments to enhance plant growth and control pests.

  • Average age
    Average age
    41 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    11% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    63% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    77,900 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.8%
    NSW: 28.6%
    NT: 0.9%
    QLD: 18.3%
    SA: 8.2%
    TAS: 2.3%
    VIC: 27.4%
    WA: 12.5%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 3.8%
    20-24: 10.2%
    25-34: 21.2%
    35-44: 22%
    45-54: 22%
    55-59: 9.2%
    60-64: 6.7%
    65 and Over: 5%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 10.5%
    Bachelor degree: 6.2%
    Below Year 10: 6.5%
    Certificate III/IV: 40.6%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 1.3%
    Year 10 and below: 17.5%
    Year 11: 6.4%
    Year 12: 17.5%
    Years 11 & 10: 19.4%
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