Gardeners plant, cultivate, maintain, plan and construct parks, gardens and landscapes, and inspect, diagnose and treat trees and shrubs.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around two in five workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • preparing and maintaining seedbeds and growing sites
  • propagating and planting trees, bushes, hedges, flowers and bulbs
  • 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
  • pruning trees and hedges, and installing plant support and protection devices
  • preparing plans and drawings, selecting materials and plants, and scheduling landscape construction
  • setting out and installing hardscape and softscape structures
  • constructing gravel and paved areas, walls, fences, pergolas, ponds, barbecues and garden furniture
  • examining trees to assess their condition and determine treatment
  • lopping limbs off trees and shaping branches using chain and handsaws
  • spraying and dusting plants and trees to control insects and disease, and felling diseased trees

Job Titles

  • Gardener (General)
  • Arborist, or Tree Surgeon
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Gardener (General)

    Plants, cultivates and maintains parks and gardens.

  • Arborist, or Tree Surgeon

    Maintains and cares for trees and shrubs by lopping limbs and shaping branches, treating trees with fertilisers and insecticides, removing dead or decaying trees, and advising on general tree care.

  • Landscape Gardener

    Plans and constructs garden landscapes.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $951 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    64,300
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    90.2%
  • Female Share

    9.8%
  • Full-Time Share

    73.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 64,300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Strong growth 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.

  • Gardeners work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Construction; Administrative and Support Services; and Arts and Recreation Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $951 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 38 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

There have been shortages of Arborists for a number of years. In 2016, employers found it hard to fill vacancies for qualified Arborists. To find out more, view the Department of Employment's latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

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
200559400
200663200
200759200
200855900
200953200
201067700
201164400
201269500
201365400
201471300
201564300
202070900

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.
EarningsGardenersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9511230

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.
CategoryGardenersAll Jobs Average
Full-time73.968.4
Part-time26.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.740.0

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)
Construction41.4
Administrative and Support Services30.3
Arts and Recreation Services9.9
Education and Training3.8
Other Industries14.6

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.
StateGardenersAll Jobs Average
NSW26.131.8
VIC28.825.5
QLD19.519.8
SA8.36.8
WA12.511.2
TAS2.22.0
NT1.11.1
ACT1.51.8

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 BracketGardenersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.5-5.45.4
20-2412.0-9.99.9
25-3423.0-23.423.4
35-4427.7-21.721.7
45-5417.4-21.121.1
55-596.8-8.78.7
60-643.5-5.95.9
65 and Over4.1-3.83.8

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.
CategoryGardenersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males90.2Males53.6
Females9.8Females46.4

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 QualificationGardenersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.3-8.68.6
Bachelor degree4.5-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma9.3-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV38.6-18.918.9
Year 1219.4-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1019.4-17.717.7
Below Year 106.5-8.18.1

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around two in five workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

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 Gardeners who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

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

  1. English Language

    68% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    65% Important

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

  3. Chemistry

    60% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  4. Mechanical

    59% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  5. Public Safety and Security

    55% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

Occupational Information Network First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping 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

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. Controlling Machines and Processes

    76% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  3. Building Good Relationships

    73% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  4. Performing General Physical Activities

    72% Important

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

  5. Getting Information

    72% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

Occupational Information Network First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping 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

go to top