Landscape gardener

What they do

Landscape gardeners plan all aspects of a garden: plants and structures (walls, ponds, trellises etc.) to make a complete and effective ecosystem. They may be involved in choosing plants, preparing the ground, installing irrigation, planting shrubs, bulbs, flowers and trees. They may also be engaged in weeding, fertilising, pruning and general maintenance of gardens, structures and irrigation systems. They need to be able to combine their extensive knowledge of plants with their manual skills to create the garden the client requires.

Working conditions

Landscape gardeners work outside in all kinds of weather conditions and usually start work early in the morning. They normally work 3an average of 38 hours per week from Monday to Friday, but may be required to work weekends.

Tools and technologies

Landscape gardeners need to be able to use various hand tools relevant to the trade, as well as machinery such as mowers and chain saws. They may also be required to install irrigation systems,so need to be familiar with these systems.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a landscape gardener without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in landscaping, landscape construction, landscape design or a related area.

The Certificate II in Landscaping, Certificate III in Landscape Construction, the Certificate IV in Landscape Design and the Diploma of Landscape Design are offered at TAFE colleges throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a horticulture landscape (level 2) or horticulture (landscape) (level 4) traineeship. The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete and the level 2 traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.

It is also possible to undertake a Landscape Gardener apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship in year 12 only.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.