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Landscape Gardener

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to 2016-17: 10 000 < 25 000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $801 to 950 (Source: DEEWR Australian Jobs 2012:
Brief Landscape gardeners combine their artistic, scientific and engineering knowledge to enhance our surroundings.

There are approximately 5,300 landscape gardeners working in South Australia. Employment is mostly full-time with the majority working in the Personal and Other Services and the Construction industries. Most persons in this occupation are males with the main age group between 35-44 years.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Landscape Gardener

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From relaxing family picnic sites, to the recent transformation of a wasteland site into the Homebush Olympics Stadium in Sydney, the work of the landscape architect is evident all around us. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that our surroundings, whether they are natural or built, are properly designed, planned and managed for a better quality of living.

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Not quite the career you are looking for? Please try the related course profiles below:

Artistic and Creative

Painters and Decorator,  Landscape Gardener,  Baker and Pastry Chef,  Event Coordinator,  Florist,  Dancer and Choreographer,  Music Professionals,  Beauty Therapist,  Interior Decorator,  Designers for Theatre, Performance and Events,  Marketing and Advertising Specialists,  Copywriter,  Sound Engineer / Sound Technician,  Signwriter,  Webmaster / Website Administrator,  Make-up Artist,  Computer Animator,  Graphic and Multimedia Designer,  Photographer,  Set Builders, Props Makers, Scenic Artists,  Fashion Designer,  Artist,  Hat Maker or Milliner,  Hairdresser,  Film, Stage, TV and Radio Director,  Jeweller

Practical and Manual

Food and Beverage Attendant,  Painters and Decorator,  Landscape Gardener,  Miners and Drillers,  Cabinet Maker and Furniture Maker,  Baker and Pastry Chef,  Nursery Worker,  Management Consultant,  Floor Finisher,  Cheesemaker,  Animal Attendant,  Signwriter,  Horticultural Tradesperson (Gardener),  Viticulturist and Vineyard Hand,  Butcher,  Set Builders, Props Makers, Scenic Artists,  Aircraft Maintenance Engineer,  Pest and Weed Technician / Controller,  Plumber,  Artist,  Electrician,  Shearer,  Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic,  Carpenter,  Bricklayer,  Aquaculture Farmer and Technician,  Computer Service Technician,  Wool Classers,  Jeweller

Education Requirements

There are 25% of landscape gardeners who have Certificate III or Certificate IV, 9% have Certificate I or Certificate II, 9% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas and 5% have Bachelor Degrees. While 49% have no post school qualifications it is recommended that you gain the available qualifications to have the best possible chance of employment.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Horticulture and Diploma of Landscape Design. Pathways include the Certificate II, III and IV in Horticulture and Certificate IV in Landscape Construction.

SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

Employment in this area includes working for other landscape architects, large architectural practices, engineers, town planners or with local and State government agencies. Some large developers and mining companies also employ their own landscape architects. There is also the possibility of setting up your own practice. However a reasonable level of experience and extensive business skills are essential if you're going out on your own. The level of demand for landscape architects is really related to the level of building activity. Numbers in this occupation are relatively small, job turnover is not high and there is strong competition for vacancies.




Kerry Griffin-Moore - Garden Design
“The lecturers were fantastic. If they could see that you were struggling but you were really trying, they’d go to any lengths to help you. They work all hours and you can always go to them for help.”
Kerry is testament to what can be achieved with courage, determination and hard work. Her first TAFE experience was a short course in food service at Regency Institute but it wasn’t until some years later that she found her niche. Kerry’s interest in gardening had found expression in the creation of her own large garden, but when friends commented on her obvious flair and talent and suggested she enrol in a formal study program, she baulked. “I just didn’t have the confidence or belief in myself,” she said.

However, she knew it was time to do something in her life, so taking the plunge she enrolled in the Certificate II in Horticulture at Mount Barker TAFE campus. She surprised herself by doing exceptionally well and encouraged by her lecturers, completed additional modules to gain a Certificate III in Horticulture. Once again, Kerry excelled at her studies and so she decided to continue with the Diploma of Garden Design.

Kerry is full of praise for her lecturers who, she said, supported her all the way and helped her develop the confidence to believe in herself. “They were fantastic. If they could see that you were struggling but you were really trying, they’d go to any lengths to help you,” she said. “The work all hours and you can always go to them for help.”

Kerry’s efforts were rewarded when she won the Playford Study Award, given each year to one horticulture and one agriculture student. Winning this award further helped Kerry believe in her own abilities, but it was a chance meeting that set Kerry on her current journey. When the president of the International Mediterranean Garden Society suggested that Kerry establish a South Australian and Australian chapter of the society, Kerry knew she could do it, even if she suspected there were others who knew more than she did about this specialised area. “But I can organise anything so I knew I could do it,” she laughed. And in July of the same year – less than three months after Kerry established the South Australian group, she was invited to attend the international AGM in Italy, representing Australia. Kerry organised sponsorship herself and made the trip – the first time she had travelled overseas. While she is no longer chair of the group she remains an active member. Her future plans include owning her own garden design business, but she is also considering lecturing herself. A few months ago, Kerry said, she would never have thought it possible that she might be able to lecture students herself, but now she knows she can do pretty much whatever she puts her mind to: You just have to trust that what will be, will be,” she said. “Sometimes you start out going to A but you end up at B…and you can’t sit around waiting for things to happen to you. While you’re praying, keep your feet moving.”

Nature of the Job

From the early stages of design through to the construction stage of a project, the role of a landscape architect involves careful and thorough planning. First they consult with the client, be they local councils, company managers or residents, to understand their needs clearly. They then study the proposed building site, checking for soil type, land stability, prevailing winds, existing buildings and other considerations that are factored into their design. Plans and designs are drawn using computer packages or sketched, using drafting tools. After construction costs are calculated, contractors or construction teams are selected. Once construction gets underway, landscape architects guide the process and provide periodical progress reports to their clients.

Typical Physical Working Environment

A keen sense of imagination and creativity and an interest in art, design, science and the external environment are essential prerequisites for success in this job. ''Landscape architecture is essentially a creative field which provides a high level of job satisfaction when you see your ideas taking shape on the ground,'' says a landscape architect and former President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. Because they frequently work alongside allied professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors, landscape architects also need good communication skills and some appreciation of the requirements of their fellow professionals.

Typical Occupational Example

Landscape gardeners design and construct garden landscapes or renovate existing gardens. They use a wide range of gardening skills to create a landscape that is pleasing to look at as well as functional. Sites include private gardens, public parks and reserves, indoor facilities and newly developed housing estates and industrial complexes. They may also construct fences, trellises, pergolas, ponds, ferneries, barbecues, play structures and garden furniture.

Needless to say, there is a great scope for diversity in this job regarding what area of specialty you wish to pursue. Design projects can range from inner city plazas to national parks or golf course resorts.

For further information, contact:

Nursery and Garden Industry of SA Inc
505 Fullarton Rd Netherby SA 5062
Ph: (08) 8372 6822
Fax: (08) 8372 6833
Internet Address:

Earning Potential

Most Landscape Gardeners start their career earning about $24,000 per year. This can go up to thirty or forty thousand per year and for those who excel in their field or choose to begin their own company they can earn much much more.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online