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Horticultural Tradesperson

Apprenticeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Nursery Technician.

Horticultural tradespersons maintain plants and planted areas, construct horticultural features and apply treatments to enhance plant growth and control pests.

Horticultural tradespeople usually work outdoors and in all kinds of weather.

Some of the work is physically demanding as it involves bending, lifting and the use of machinery such as tractors, rollers and edging machines.

Protective clothing must be used when handling fertilisers and pesticides, and to prevent injury while using machinery.


    Horticultural tradespeople may perform the following tasks:

  • identify and correct soil deficiencies
  • identify and treat pests and diseases affecting plants
  • prepare fields, garden beds or lawn areas by cultivating soil and adding fertilisers and compost
  • use growth regulators and other chemicals
  • read landscape plans and construct rockeries, paths or ponds
  • plant and transplant flowers, shrubs, trees and lawns
  • maintain gardens by fertilising and trimming plants and ensuring that they are receiving adequate water
  • prune trees and hedges to promote their health and increase the attractiveness of plants
  • thin out, hoe, irrigate and fertilise crops
  • maintain lawn and grass areas using machinery, fertilisers and chemicals
  • service equipment such as tools, lawn mowers and heavy machinery
  • operate and install irrigation and drainage systems
  • plan and supervise the daily activities of other workers
  • develop long-term plans, set budgets and manage the financial aspects of the organisation or business


  • enjoy practical and mechanical activities
  • able to undertake manual and heavy work
  • able to work safely with chemicals and machinery
  • able to work for long hours
  • able to work outdoors in all sorts of weather conditions

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor Technical/Engineering


Arboriculture Worker - cares for and maintains trees in urban environments. The work may include tree climbing using ropes and a harness or operating from elevated platforms. Senior workers, sometimes called tree surgeons, provide specialist tree evaluation, assessment and treatment.

Floriculturist - produces fresh and dried flowers and foliage for wholesale, flower markets, florists, retail outlets and, increasingly, overseas export. Some flower farms also grow flowers in open fields for their essential oils.

Gardener - plants and cares for trees, lawns, shrubs and flower beds in areas around public and private institutions, city squares, parks and gardens, playing fields, golf courses and bowling greens, as well as private homes.

Greenkeeper - prepares, establishes and manages fine turf, grassed areas and synthetic surfaces used for sport. They may also do domestic and commercial mowing and lawn maintenance operations or work on commercial turf farms. They are also known as groundspeople or turf keepers.

Landscape Gardener - designs and constructs garden landscapes or renovates existing gardens. They work in a variety of sites, including public and private parks and gardens, to create a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

Nursery Worker - grows and sells plants. They can work in either retail or wholesale nurseries and may specialise in areas such as native plants, advanced trees or flowers.


Apprenticeship Year 10 Preferred

To become a horticultural tradesperson you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Horticulture, Production Horticulture, Production Nursery or Retail Nursery.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


The horticultural sector is one of the most important primary industries in Australia. There are many opportunities in this sector, from landscape gardening and turf management to service areas such as marketing, finance and international trade.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Horticultural Tradesperson Australian Institute of Horticulture Inc. Nursery and Garden Industry Australia Rural Skills Australia

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