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

  • $951 Weekly Pay
  • 77,900 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 72.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.1 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 8.8% female Gender Share

The number of Gardeners grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 77,900 in 2018 to 88,800 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 56,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 11,200 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Gardeners work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Construction; Administrative and Support Services; and Arts and Recreation Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (72%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.1 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 8.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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 Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

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
200861000
200948100
201059600
201168700
201268200
201366800
201470500
201562800
201670000
201770300
201877900
202388800

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.
EarningsGardenersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9511230

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)
Construction43.7
Administrative and Support Services30.6
Arts and Recreation Services7.1
Public Administration and Safety4.9
Other Industries13.7

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.
StateGardenersAll Jobs Average
NSW30.831.6
VIC25.726.2
QLD16.619.7
SA6.76.7
WA14.410.8
TAS3.12.0
NT0.81.1
ACT1.91.8

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 BracketGardenersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.0-5.25.2
20-249.8-9.99.9
25-3424.9-23.623.6
35-4421.9-21.721.7
45-5419.4-20.820.8
55-598.2-8.88.8
60-646.9-6.06.0
65 and Over4.9-4.04.0

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 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.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
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, 37-3011.00 - Landscaping and Groundskeeping 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. 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
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, 37-3011.00 - Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers.

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