Horticultural Tradesperson (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.
||Openings 5 years to November 2019: > 50,000
||Median weekly earnings: $921 to $1050 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
||Whether its landscaping someone's garden or maintaining the local community's parks and gardens, there's satisfaction in knowing that someone will get pleasure from your work as a horticultural tradesperson.
There are currently around 4,000 gardeners employed in South Australia. Over half are employed full-time and most work in the personal and other services and construction industries. Most persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has a median age of 41 years old.
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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Horticultural Tradesperson (Gardener)
The diversity of job possibilities for a horticultural tradesperson (gardener) are as diverse as the plant species they work with. From lawn mowing and garden maintenance, to land restoration and irrigation installation, they are working hard to care for our parks and gardens. "Whether you specialise in landscape gardening or elect to become a parks and gardens specialist, gardening is about working with the environment to facilitate plant growth and to create a pleasing space," says a gardener.
While you can undertake gardening work without qualifications, it is advantageous to complete certificate or diploma courses in horticulture. These are available through various TAFE campuses and private providers.
TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Horticulture or Diploma of Landscape Design. Pathways include the Certificate II, III and IV in Horticulture; Certificate III in Landscape Construction and Certificate III in Parks and Gardens.
SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.
Gardening can be hard, physical work. You'll have to enjoy being outdoors, no matter what the weather and be willing to get dirty. The work hours are often flexible and that can mean starting at 5:30 in the morning some days and finishing at 9:30 at night on others, all depending on the project. Often horticultural tradespeople work in groups or lead teams on a project, so its necessary to enjoy team work and to have very good communication skills. Public relations is an important part of the job for horticultural tradespeople at King's Park and other popular parks and gardens. They need to be well acquainted with the park's flora, so they can assist in answering any questions posed to them by visitors or from the educational talks and tours they may give.
Gardeners who specialise in parks and gardens, work in local councils, botanical gardens, parks and residential and commercial gardens (usually undertaking plant maintenance). Landscape gardeners may be self employed or work for a landscaping company. They undertake residential, commercial or government landscaping projects, including gardens and sub divisions. A major change occurring in the horticulture industry is the trend towards formal qualifications for all horticultural workers. One industry representative says, "if you are entering the industry without qualifications, your likelihood of moving up the ranks are becoming increasingly limited."
Employment growth in the horticultural area is expected to be moderate, though many opportunities for work are provided through the high rate of job turnover. At present, experienced, qualified landscape gardeners are difficult to find, according to industry sources. However, the popularity of the occupation means that large numbers are keen to undertake training and so competition for apprenticeships or traineeships is likely to be strong.
Nature of the Job
Horticultural tradespeople need to understand how complete ecosystems work so that they can make decisions on the best time and place to plant bulbs and seeds, the most effective pest control methods, effective companion planting and attracting the birds and the bees. Once the plants have been chosen, the horticultural tradesperson prepares for planting by clearing the area and ensuring that the seedlings or plants have the right nutrients to grow healthily, often by adding fertilisers. Irrigation may also need to be installed or the seedlings might need to be given regular attention to ensure they thrive.
Typical Physical Working Environment
Apart from planting, gardeners regularly undertake plant maintenance such as weeding and pruning, fertilising and spraying for pests, balancing the needs of the plants against those of the environment. Mowing, edging, looking after the equipment, the gardening cycle really never ends!
They must be prepared to undertake manual and heavy work. They also must be able to work safely with chemicals and machinery. Gardeners must also be able to work for long hours and work outdoors in all sorts of weather conditions.
Typical Occupational Example
Landscape and garden design is another stream of gardening. Using their knowledge of horticulture and design, landscape gardeners help people to create their ideal outdoor environment by developing new gardens and redesigning old ones. They organise all aspects of the garden or landscape, providing advice on the plants, shrubs or flowers and the best type of irrigation system to use. They also design features or structures such as ponds, walls, paths, pergolas and children's playing equipment and oversee their installation. John, a landscape gardener in Perth says, ''I love gardening, in the short time you work on a project, the difference is unbelievable. I get a buzz out of seeing an ordinary, unattractive garden transformed into one that looks a million dollars.''
For further information, contact:
Nursery and Garden Industry of Australia
Phone: (02) 8861 5100
Australian Institute of Horticulture Inc
Phone: (02) 8001 6198
For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online