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Landscape Gardener

What does a landscape gardener apprentice do?

An apprentice landscape gardener is involved in carrying out landscaping operations in a variety of residential, commercial and public settings, including interior plants setting, golf courses, garden centres, nurseries, greenhouses and playgrounds.

In consultation with landscape architects, clients, nursery personnel and garden workers, you'll install and maintain plants, trees, garden ornaments, lawns, walkways and other landscaping features. You may also supervise or be involved in any combination of the following activities:

  • preparing the ground for planting
  • planting and transplanting nursery stock
  • applying fertilizers and pesticides
  • seeding and sodding lawns
  • trimming and pruning hedges, trees and shrubs
  • caring for established lawns
  • installing rock gardens, ponds, decks, drainage systems, irrigation systems and retaining walls
  • maintaining fences, planters and/or playground equipment
  • planting and maintaining flowers and ground covers
  • providing advice to customers on plant selection and care.

What attributes will I need?

  • manual dexterity and a good sense of balance
  • strength and stamina to lift and carry landscape materials
  • good eyesight and colour vision
  • interest in working outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • good health and no allergies to plants or chemicals
  • ability to work alone or with others
  • keenness to use tools and mechanical equipment
  • ability to follow established procedures and take responsibility for projects.

What working conditions could I expect?

  • employment in this occupation is often seasonal and overtime in the summer months is common
  • most work in the warmer months is performed outdoors, though some indoor work may be involved in the sale of nursery stock, landscape materials and supplies
  • the work can be strenuous
  • you may be required to lift loads weighing up to 25 kilograms
  • considerable carrying and bending may be required
  • you'll work with machinery and equipment ranging from simple hand tools such as pruning shears and sprayers to heavy duty trucks, tractors, loaders and graders
  • you may be responsible for the routine maintenance of equipment and for making minor repairs
  • you'll work with chemical pesticides and fertilisers and must be aware of government regulations restricting their use and of the toxic or hazardous effects the chemicals may have.

How do I become a landscape gardener apprentice? 

If you are still at school

You may be able to start an apprenticeship through school. You can begin in Year 12 at the same time as completing your Western Australian Certificate of Education. Speak to your school’s Vocational Education and Training coordinator to find out more.

If you have left school

You can be employed as an apprentice and get paid while you work and train.

How long will an apprenticeship take? 

A full-time landscape gardener apprenticeship takes three years, however under the competency based system, apprentices may be able to qualify sooner if they can show they have the skills to do the job.

Page last updated 05 January 2012

Landscape Gardener