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

  • $864 Weekly Pay
  • 32,200 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 62.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.4 hours Average full-time
  • 43.5 years Average age
  • 16.1% female Gender Share

The number of Garden and Nursery Labourers grew moderately the past 5 years and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
from 32,200 in 2018 to 32,200 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 25,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 5,000 a year).

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Garden and Nursery Labourers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Administrative and Support Services; Construction; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (62.7%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.4 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 16.1% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200828800
200931200
201035000
201138100
201234000
201329900
201435500
201534600
201637800
201735000
201832200
202332200

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services35.9
Construction13.4
Public Administration and Safety11.0
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing11.0
Other Industries28.7

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 2017, 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
NSW40.531.6
VIC23.426.2
QLD16.919.7
SA5.46.7
WA9.610.8
TAS1.62.0
NT1.71.1
ACT0.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-195.8-5.25.2
20-2411.6-9.99.9
25-3414.7-23.623.6
35-4420.0-21.721.7
45-5420.7-20.820.8
55-5910.3-8.88.8
60-649.9-6.06.0
65 and Over7.0-4.04.0

Education Level

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 Certificate0-8.68.6
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 1017-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2092.01 - Nursery Workers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2092.01 - Nursery Workers.

go to top