Job Descriptions

Employer advice for Professional Gardening Descriptions and Hierarchy in the UK and Worldwide.

Horticulture Jobs cover all professional working sectors within the horticultural industry.

Recruitment agencies that specialise solely in gardening staff are few and far between with many recruitment agencies either focusing widely on general horticulture jobs or general domestic staff.

Though the general advice that I offer below I aim to offer some clarity within one of these disciplines; namely gardening jobs. Garden Wokforce is an international recruitment agency and fortunately a Professional Gardener’s Job Title/Description is commonly used throughout the world which makes life a whole lot easier.

Estate Manager

The Estate Manager is generally accepted as the top level in the household. He/she will work directly alongside the owner to plan and execute the overall management of the estate property, gardens and services. The Estate Manager will take control of personnel management and administrative duties including accounts, budgets and staff payroll. He/she will also supervise outside contractors, construction projects and make travel arrangements on behalf of the property owners.

Depending on the size of the Estate and level of responsibilities are assumed by the Estate Manager a salary upwards of £40000 is generally expected as well as on-site accommodation.

Head Gardener

It is possible that some Head Gardeners will also take on Estate Management depending on the size of the estate and the amount of employees. The title of Head Gardener usually refers to someone that has a minimum of two full time members of staff working alongside them.  It is generally accepted that the Head Gardener has overall responsibility for the general horticultural aspects that occur within the estate and/or gardens. It is therefore expected that a Head Gardener will have good horticultural qualifications and/or experience and will share their knowledge with those that work beneath them by offering advice and training.

Depending on the size of the estate and level of staffing a Head Gardener will generally expect a minimum salary of £25000 upwards and may also be seeking accommodation to be offered.

Gardener-in-Charge

This role normally is described similarly to that of a Head Gardener and is sometimes used when there is only one other full time member of the gardening team or part-time labour is used to assist.

A Gardener-in-Charge would be seeking a salary in excess of £20000 dependant on location and if accommodation is offered.

Sole Gardener

As the name describes this is a gardener who works single-handed in the grounds and/or gardens. A Sole Gardener is generally employed in a smaller or more manageable garden. Once again he/she will already have gained some valuable previous experience from working within a similar role and will have suitable horticultural qualifications and/or experience. Depending on the nature of the role it may also be expected that he she will have a chainsaw license and a chemical spray certificate. Some general house/property maintenance may also be expected as well as driving duties as/if required.

Depending upon whether accommodation is on offer a Sole Gardener would normally have a minimum salary expectation of £18000 but more if it is a live out position.

Kitchen Gardener/Ornamental Gardener/Lawns and Park Gardener

These are all positions that are generally employed by larger estates that have sections within the grounds that are managed by supervisors. He/she may have additional members of staff to support them within their section but will ultimately have the responsibility to ensure that this area is managed and maintained at all times and will report directly to the Head Gardener. It is normally expected that this person is a specialist in the subject and have received some excellent training and qualifications to support this.

These senior positions will normally command a minimum salary of £18000 but could be considerably more depending upon the estate size and responsibilities.

Under Gardener

An Under Gardener is usually someone that has either recently completed their horticultural qualifications and seeks to make a long term career in gardening or someone that is experienced in gardening but happy to be supervised in their day to day activities. These Gardeners are the ‘worker bees’ in the gardening world and should never be over looked. Many an excellent gardener has commenced their career at this level but quickly progressed into a more senior position.

Generally an Under Gardener would be employed on a salary circa £16000 and upwards.

There are many other job titles and descriptions used within the gardening world but I hope that the above generalisation helps in some way.

My sector is small within general horticulture jobs but I hope that my own first-hand knowledge and experience within horticulture will help both employer and employee alike

I am always happy to discuss things in more detail with you over the phone and to address any questions on gardener employment that you may have.

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