Occupational profile - horticulture

Information on the types of job roles you may carry out during or following completion of your apprenticeship in the horticulture industry.

Level 2 apprenticeship

Gardener

Gardeners grow and maintain plants in a variety of different settings. These include:

  • public and historical parks
  • private and botanical gardens
  • plant nurseries
  • sports facilities
  • roadside verges
  • open green spaces

Landscaper

Landscapers carry out similar work to a gardener, however mainly in the private sector working on areas such as commercial premises or private households.

Landscapers plant and manage borders and green spaces, build ponds and water features and do hard landscaping work such as driveways.

Nursery worker

Nursery workers in garden centres sell plants and flowers to the public that they buy in. Some nurseries may grow their own plants to sell.

Recently, garden centres have branched out further into garden tools/ machinery, conservatory/ garden furniture, as well as protective clothing.

Fruit and vegetable production worker

This work could be within glasshouses or on large farms and varies from season to season.

Some sites may specialise in certain fruit or vegetables but most will be involved in planting, tending, harvesting and storing all types of fruit or vegetables.

Machinery operator

A machinery operator will use a variety of different machinery to carry out a variety of different jobs. These could include using a tractor to plough or drill or other machinery for harvesting crops.

The role may also include maintaining and cleaning the machinery.

Greenkeeper

A greenkeeper is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course. It is their job to maintain a good and safe playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience to golfers.

Groundsperson

Groundsmen/ women maintain a range of sports surfaces such as football, cricket and rugby pitches, tennis courts, bowling greens and horse racing courses.

Gravedigger

Maintaining cemeteries, graveyards and memorial gardens, making sure they remain places where visitors can experience a sense of peace in a beautiful and serene setting.

Good practical horticultural skills, from planting to tree maintenance and grass-cutting are needed.

Level 3 apprenticeship

Horticultural technician

Horticultural technicians grow and care for plants, which may be for commercial, educational or research purposes.

Horticultural technicians may focus on specific areas, such as tree disease or exotic flowers.

Others may act as technical advisors to farmers, giving advice about plants and plant care.

Deputy head greenkeeper

A deputy head greenkeeper will report directly to the head greenkeeper and is responsible for ensuring the team of greenkeepers carries out the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course whilst maintaining a good playing surface.

Deputy head groundsman

Work with the head groundsman to make sure the playing surface is maintained in a good and safe condition.

Groundsmen work with a range of sports surfaces such as football, cricket and rugby pitches and horse racing courses which may be made of either natural or synthetic turf or a combination.

Garden designer

Garden designers are experienced in dealing with all aspects of garden and landscape design.

They generally provide a complete design service to clients enabling garden owners to enhance and make the most of their gardens.

Senior gardener

A senior gardener will manage a small team to maintain and improve parks and gardens in a variety of situations.

It will be the responsibility of the senior gardener to make sure the work is completed on schedule and to the correct standard.

Gardener (historic and botanic)

Gardeners grow and look after plants in various historical parks, private and botanical gardens.

Many gardens are open to the public, so the gardener may engage in visitor management.

Gardeners work to maximise visitor enjoyment by maintaining excellent standards of presentation.

Parks officer

Parks officers work for local councils and private companies managing parks and open and green spaces for the benefit of local residents and visitors.

They supervise and allocate work to teams of gardeners and landscaping staff.

More information

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