Garden and Nursery Labourers perform a variety of routine tasks in propagating, cultivating and maintaining plants in gardens and horticultural nurseries.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in four workers have a Certificate III or IV.

Tasks

  • loading, unloading and moving garden supplies and equipment
  • preparing garden sites and plots using hand tools and machines
  • assisting with planting and transplanting flowers, shrubs, trees and lawns
  • maintaining gardens by watering, weeding and mowing lawns
  • cleaning gardens and removing rubbish
  • assisting with propagating, planting and potting seeds, bulbs and cuttings
  • tending plants by hand watering and weeding
  • adjusting mist irrigation systems, shade and ventilation
  • harvesting and packaging plants for sale and transport

Job Titles

  • Garden Labourer
  • Horticultural Nursery Assistant or Nursery Hand (Horticulture)
  • Garden Labourer

    Assists in cultivating and maintaining gardens.

    Specialisations: Lawn Mower

  • Horticultural Nursery Assistant or Nursery Hand (Horticulture)

    Assists in propagating, cultivating and harvesting plants in a horticultural nursery.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $864 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    35,700
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    84.7%
  • Female Share

    15.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    58.4%

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This is a large occupation employing 35,700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Garden and Nursery Labourers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Administrative and Support Services; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Part-time work is fairly common, but more than half work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 39.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $864 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 2 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200535000
200641800
200732100
200825800
200934500
201039800
201135700
201230400
201333700
201435600
201535700
202036400

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsGarden and Nursery LabourersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings8641230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGarden and Nursery LabourersAll Jobs Average
Full-time58.468.4
Part-time41.631.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)39.540.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Administrative and Support Services38.7
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing19.0
Public Administration and Safety9.8
Construction8.8
Other Industries23.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateGarden and Nursery LabourersAll Jobs Average
NSW30.531.8
VIC25.625.5
QLD24.319.8
SA4.96.8
WA11.411.2
TAS1.42.0
NT1.11.1
ACT0.91.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketGarden and Nursery LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-197.0-5.45.4
20-2413.7-9.99.9
25-3418.0-23.423.4
35-4419.1-21.721.7
45-5421.3-21.121.1
55-597.1-8.78.7
60-648.9-5.95.9
65 and Over4.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGarden and Nursery LabourersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males84.7Males53.6
Females15.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationGarden and Nursery LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree7.3-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.8-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV22.2-18.918.9
Year 1219.3-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1026.4-17.717.7
Below Year 1017.0-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in four workers have a Certificate III or IV.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Garden and Nursery Labourers who are hardworking, have a positive and enthusiastic attitude and are reliable.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Production and Processing

    55% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Administration and Management

    49% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  3. Food Production

    49% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  4. Customer and Personal Service

    48% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  5. Biology

    46% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    78% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    78% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  3. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    73% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  4. Getting Information

    73% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    68% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Occupational Information Network Nursery Workers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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