How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Gardener: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $27,460
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 6.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

A professional gardener is in charge of maintaining and developing the visual appeal of landscaped terrain. This includes fertilizing, irrigating, relocating and grooming various species of flowering plants, shrubbery, trees, etc. in line with gardening principles.


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What is a Gardener?


If you become a gardener, you are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Closely monitoring and maintaining lawns, flower beds, groundcovers, and other plants across the property by trimming, removing harmful elements like weeds, transplanting both trees or flowers as applicable.
  • Adhere to all organizational guidelines and security policies when tending to gardens, and pay extra attention to safety hazards, accidents and physical injuries that is to be reported to senior staff.
  • Utilize knowledge and understanding of pesticides and fertilizers to handle both as required, e.g. rate of mixing chemical proportions, effectiveness of application processes, ratios, etc.
  • Assess the state of ornamental landscapes and place moss, wood chips or mulch where required based on the type of plants and climate conditions.

Day In The Life

The role of a gardener is very hands-on and most of your day will be spent outdoors among varied plants in a garden setting. As a gardener, you will focus on keeping high standards regarding the plants and trees under your purview, ensuring that they are developed and conserved using foundational knowledge in horticultural tasks, e.g. clearing leaves, pruning and weeding trees, florals or herbaceous plants, mowing specific lawn areas and more.

Depending on the type of garden you are responsible for, you may have to interact with interested visitors on a regular or occasional basis by responding to their queries or executing fun workshops on gardening skills. In particular, you should have an eye on preventative maintenance for the optimal health and appearance of assigned plants, in order to minimize the risks associated with pests or disease. Once in a while, a gardener is also consulted by landscape managers and landscape designers when working on renovating or upgrading the existing environment.

Work Schedule

As a gardener, you can expect to work approximately 37 hours every week. In case you are independently employed, you will have greater flexibility regarding your hours which would be determined by ongoing project deadlines and the season. Gardeners are more occupied in summer due to good weather conditions for plant growth, versus winters. This type of career path requires interested candidates to have great physical strength since many tasks involve carrying and lifting heavy loads. You may have to wear safety gear like a hard hat or gloves for protection.

Growth Of The Job

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) workers in industries such as gardening or landscaping can see a 6% increase in potential job opportunities between the 2014-2024 decade.  will see a 6% increase in jobs during the 2014-2024 decade. With a rapidly aging population in the country and longer work hours, homeowners will require the specialised skills of a gardener to maintain their property, especially their yards, gardens and lawn areas.

With sufficient experience, gardeners go on to become senior or master gardeners with staff under their supervision. A few also establish their own business to serve private clients once their reputation is solid in the industry. Those interested in pursuing gardening as a profession can also look into other related careers such as landscaping or greenskeeper, forest and conservation worker or farmer. These professions would require a minimum high school diploma to be considered.

Typical Employers

Gardeners find jobs with the corporate sector, academic institutions like colleges, schools or universities, as well as private residents. Other places to find work include local authorities, botanical gardens, amusement parks and non-profits engaged in conservation work.

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How To Become a Gardener

The minimum qualifications required for gardening depends on your own professional goals. For instance, if you are aiming to become a groundskeeper or maintain landscapes, then there are no formal educational requirements since you will acquire the skills at on-the-job training.

However, to advance in this industry with growing roles like a garden designer or landscape architect, you should pursue a certificate or associate’s degree in a related subject like landscape design, horticulture, etc. Such programs will provide you with the basics of plant care and principles of gardening aesthetics. Increasingly, there are several community colleges and universities that are providing specialized classes in gardening that cover important skills such as planning, growing and maintaining vegetable or floral boxes.

Gardener Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Gardener salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Gardener's can make an average annual salary of $27,460, or $13 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $20,820 or $10 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #739 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Gardener. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Gardeners

  • 0.2%   Doctorate
  • 0.9%   Masters
  • 5.7%   Bachelors
  • 4.5%   Associates
  • 15.2%   College
  • 34.2%   High School
  • 39.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Gardener job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 71,800 jobs for a total of 1,239,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #364 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Gardeners

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Landscaping services 464,300 32,700 33%
Self-employed workers 285,500 8,800 9%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 80,500 4,500 5%

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