August 7 - 13, 2022: Issue 549


Be The Boss: I Want To Be A Gardener

Those who have taken on a simple lawn-mowing run will know this is in-demand work that pays well and allows you autonomy.  Once you undertake further studies you can also expand your self-employment to gardening and choose to do something more in the vast field that is suited to your interest - Horticulturalists and Landscape Gardeners or Greenkeeping are just a few of the associated career fields. 

Gardeners plant, care for and maintain lawns, shrubs, trees and flowers. They look after the landscaping and structural elements of the garden and often design gardens or outdoor spaces.

Work is in private gardens at people's homes, at commercial locations or in public parks and gardens.

This career is suitable for people with an affinity for nature and working the land. Knowledge of plant species and the conditions required for each to thrive is important.

Day-to-day tasks:

  • prepare and maintain seed and garden beds
  • propagate and plant trees, bushes, hedges, flowers and bulbs
  • plant grass and lay turf
  • maintain grassed areas through weeding, trimming, fertilising, watering and mowing
  • prune trees and hedges
  • attend to landscaped and paved areas such walls, fences, gravel, pergolas, ponds, barbecues and garden furniture
  • examine trees to assess their condition and determine treatment
  • shape branches using chain or handsaws
  • spray plants and trees to control insects and disease.

Considerations: Physically demanding, Requires driving, Working outdoors.

Formal qualifications are not required, however vocational education and training (VET) courses in horticulture can improve employment prospects. Find a Diploma or Certificate in Horticulture

Architect and Landscape Architect

Architects and Landscape Architects design commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and recreational buildings and landscapes.

Day-to-day tasks:

  • obtaining advice from clients and management to determine type, style and size of planned buildings and alterations to existing buildings
  • providing information regarding designs, materials and estimated building times
  • preparing project documentation, including sketches and scale drawings, and integrating structural, mechanical and aesthetic elements in final designs
  • writing specifications and contract documents for use by builders and calling tenders on behalf of clients
  • consulting with Professionals and clients about external area designs, costs and construction
  • compiling and analysing site and community data about geographical and ecological features, landforms, soils, vegetation, site hydrology, visual characteristics and human-made structures, to formulate land use and development recommendations, and for preparing environmental impact statements
  • preparing reports, site plans, working drawings, specifications and cost estimates for land development, showing location and details of proposals, including ground modelling, structures, vegetation and access
  • inspecting construction work in progress to ensure compliance with plans, specifications and quality standards.

You usually need a bachelor degree in architectural design or landscape architecture to work as an Architect or Landscape Architect. It is also common to complete postgraduate studies. Find a Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design


Greenkeepers establish and maintain fine turf, grassed areas and synthetic surfaces used for sporting events.

Day-to-day tasks;

  • preparing seedbeds for new turf
  • establishing and maintaining turf by watering, over sowing or over seeding, and repairing green damage
  • mowing, rolling and levelling turf
  • pegging and marking out lines and logos, installing nets, posts and stumps, and placing other sports equipment on playing areas
  • operating and maintaining hand and power driven equipment such as mowers, aerators, cultivators, corers and line marking equipment
  • constructing cricket wickets, tennis courts, and bowling, croquet and golf greens
  • replanting, repairing, aerating, fertilising and top dressing lawns
  • installing and maintaining synthetic surfaces
  • may maintain buildings, fences and surrounding gardens.

You can work as a Greenkeeper without formal qualifications, however, a certificate II, III or IV in sports turf management, horticulture or another related field may be usefulTake a Diploma of Golf ManagementTake a Diploma of Sports Turf Management


Nurserypersons propagate and cultivate trees, shrubs, and ornamental and flowering plants in plant nurseries.

Day-to-day tasks;

  • preparing potting media and containers before planting
  • selecting seeds, bulbs and cuttings, and planting them in beds, lawn areas and tubs
  • budding and grafting vegetative material onto root stock
  • watering plants manually and controlling automatic watering operations
  • applying pesticides to control pests, diseases, weeds and nutritional and environmental plant disorders
  • keeping records of soil mixtures, plantings, treatments, losses and yields
  • selecting plants and packaging them for presentation and delivery
  • advising customers on plant care and appropriate plants for local conditions
  • may plan sales area layouts and visual merchandise presentation.

You can work as a Nurseryperson without formal qualifications, however, a certificate III or IV in retail nursery, production nursery, horticulture or agriculture may be useful.

Find a Certificate in Nursery Production or Retail

Gardener as a job information courtesy Australian Government Apprenticeships Guide (Your Career), Australian Open Colleges and  The Good Universities Guide, Australia.

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