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Horticultural Production Worker

Also known as: 

Fruit and Vegetable Worker; Glasshouse Production Worker; Plant Propagator; Nursery Worker.

Job Description: 

Horticulture Production Workers work in either food production or ornamental plant production/sales environment, producing plants in production areas, such as ornamental plant nurseries, fruit and vegetable production farms, cut flower grower farms, or on any farm or

site that produces plants.

Ornamental production of plants can include production for your local park to the shelves of the big garden centre chains, the trees, shrubs and flowers we all enjoy are grown at ornamental plant nurseries (an ornamental plant is one that looks good, but you can’t eat!).

Fruit and vegetable production; think of a greengrocer shop or supermarket aisle filled with British fruit and veg: you’d see apples, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, watercress…

They’re all grown by fruit and vegetable nurseries in the UK. The technology involved in growing edible plants plus the job opportunities from management to marketing make working on a fruit or veg nursery a rewarding career.  

Both areas of production may include either field production or protected production in glasshouses or plastic tunnels.

Horticultural Production Workers are likely to be involved in some of the following:

  • Growing plants, including sowing seeds, planting bulbs, cultivating cuttings and transferring the seedlings to pots and containers
  • Continuing to nurture plants by watering, weeding, pruning, and nutrient application
  • Identifying and dealing with pests and diseases
  • Maintaining horticultural tools, machinery and technical equipment
  • Identifying produce to be picked and packaged
  • Making sure the temperature, light and humidity in production area is at the optimum level
  • Working in teams to produce, pick and pack the final product
  • Customer service
  • Picking and packing of produce
  • Labelling of produce
  • Retailing of produce.

Some plant production centres can be quite large and have many different areas of work, where a variety of skills are required, such as production areas, garden centres and packhouse/dispatch areas.

The work can be challenging and affected by the weather and the changing seasons.

There are opportunities to progress to supervising a team of Horticultural Production Workers or specialise within a specific technical area such as irrigation specialist or soil specialist.

Working Conditions: 

The hours vary depending on the type of farm or production nursery and on the season. In large farms or nurseries staff may work a standard full-time week. In many businesses early starts are common in the summer months.

In both types of production businesses, weekend work, late evenings and overtime are common. There are also part-time and casual jobs available.

The work is rewarding and can be physically demanding. Workers may work inside or outside in all weather conditions. Protective clothing or a uniform is usually supplied.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary depending on the employer and where people live:

  • Starting salaries may be around £10,000 to £15,000 a year
  • With experience, Horticulture Production Workers may earn around £18,000 to £20,000
  • Those in supervisory or management roles may earn from around £20,000 to over £40,000 a year.
Skills: 
  • Be able to prepare sites for planting
  • Be able to prepare growing media
  • Be able to collect and store propagation material
  • Be able to propagate plants from seed
  • Be able to establish crops or plants
  • Be able to control the environmental conditions for protected crops
  • Be able to maintain the growth of crops or plants
  • Be able to harvest crops using varies means
  • Be able to complete post harvest operations, such as washing produce, trimming, grading, labelling etc.
  • Have good customer service skills.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Work in a team/with others
  • Work on your own
  • Time management
  • Self-motivated
  • Flexible working
  • Mobility.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Production Horticulture Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Production Horticulture

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Production Horticulture and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

There are no formal entry requirements, but some employers ask for GCSEs (A*-C), especially in science subjects, or a Level 1 Award, Certificate or Diploma in Horticulture.

Customer service experience and skills are also important and some employers may also look for this type of previous experience or qualifications in retail and/or sales.

It may also be possible to enter this career as an assistant Horticultural Production Worker or through an appropriate Apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer and will pay at least £107 per week.

Getting On: 

Horticultural Production Workers could progress to supervisory positions where they supervise the work of teams of Production workers.

If you wish to specialise within a particular area such as irrigation, soil, nutrition etc., you could gain technical experience and qualifications within a specific area and become a Horticultural Production Technician/Specialist with certain areas of responsibility.

Different areas in the UK specialise in particular types of production depending on the climate and soil.

There is also a range of jobs outside the immediate area of growing. Supermarkets require field officers to manage the need for a daily supply of fresh produce.

There are also the suppliers, who provide everything from packaging to spray chemicals, who need specialist advisers and research workers to develop new products.

Vacancies are advertised directly, through the local or national press or company websites.

Further Information: 

You can also find additional information from the following organisations and publications:

Industry Information

Publications, Magazines and Journals (Some may be priced):

  • Ranger Magazine
  • Countryside Magazine

Jobs

A to Z: 

Horticultural Production Supervisor

Also known as: 

Nursery Supervisor; Glasshouse Production Supervisor; Fruit and Vegetable Technician; Technician/Specialist

Job Description: 

Horticulture Production Supervisors work in either food production or ornamental plant production/sales environment, producing plants in production areas, such as ornamental plant nurseries, fruit and vegetable production farms, cut flower grower farms, or on any farm or

site that produces plants.

Ornamental production of plants can include production for your local park to the shelves of the big garden centre chains, the trees, shrubs and flowers we all enjoy are grown at ornamental plant nurseries (an ornamental plant is one that looks good, but you can’t eat!).

Fruit and vegetable production; think of a greengrocer shop or supermarket aisle filled with British fruit and veg: you’d see apples, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, watercress…

They’re all grown by fruit and vegetable nurseries in the UK. The technology involved in growing edible plants plus the job opportunities from management to marketing make working on a fruit or veg nursery a rewarding career. 

Both areas of production may include either field production or protected production in glasshouses or plastic tunnels.

Horticultural Production Supervisors are likely to be involved in some of the following:

  • Ensuring plants are grown correctly, including seed sowing, bulb planting, cultivation of  cuttings and the transferal of seedlings to pots and containers
  • Ensuring plants nurtured by watering, weeding, pruning, and nutrient application
  • Identifying and dealing with pests and diseases
  • Ensuring horticultural tools, machinery and technical equipment are maintained correctly
  • Identifying produce to be picked and packaged
  • Ensuring the temperature, light and humidity in glasshouses is at the optimum level
  • Supervising a teams of horticultural production workers to produce, pick and pack the final product.

Those Horticultural Production Workers who don’t wish to progress to supervising a team can specialise within a specific technical area such as irrigation specialist, soil specialist or propagation specialist and become a technician/specialist in that particular area. 

Many of these specialist areas can be taught on the job at farm or production nurseries, or learn as part of a wide range of horticultural courses, including degrees, diplomas and distance learning.

Working Conditions: 

The hours vary depending on the type of farm or production nursery and on the season. In large farm’s or production nurseries staff may work a standard full-time week. In many businesses early starts are common in the summer months.

In both types of production, weekend work, late evenings and overtime are common. There are also part-time and casual jobs available.

The work is rewarding and can be physically demanding. Workers may work inside or outside in all weather conditions. Protective clothing or a uniform is usually supplied.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary depending on the employer and where people live.

  • Starting salaries may be around £10,500 to £15,000 a year
  • With experience, Horticulture Workers may earn around £18,000 to £20,000
  • Those in supervisory or management roles may earn from around £20,000 to over £40,000 a year.
Skills: 
  • Ensure propagation material is collected correctly
  • Ensure materials and sow seed are prepared correctly
  • Control pests, diseases and disorders
  • Ensure sites are prepared and resources are available for planting crops
  • Ensure crops are harvested correctly using the most appropriate method
  • Ensure nutrients are provided correctly to crops
  • Ensure crop development is monitored and maintained correctly
  • Ensure watering systems are monitor and adjust correctly
  • Ensure plants are provided with correct support and protection
  • Ensure teams are performing
  • Have good customer service skills
  • Good communication skills.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Be able to work alone or in a team
  • Have good interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with colleagues
  • Have an interest in plants and their production
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Production Horticulture Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Production HorticultureYou may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Production Horticulture and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=enIf you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsniIf you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

There are no formal entry requirements, but some employers ask for GCSEs (A*-C), especially in science subjects, or a Diploma in horticulture.

Customer service experience and skills are also important and some employers may also look for this type of previous experience or qualifications in retail and/or sales.

Full-and part-time courses are available at many colleges. These provide theory and practical experience, and give a good grounding in horticulture.

It may also be possible to enter this career through an appropriate Apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer and will pay at least £107 per week. More information is available on the Apprenticeship page.  

Getting On: 

There are a variety of opportunities within the whole sector. Employment opportunities are plentiful and there is an increasing demand for experienced workers.

If you supervise a team of Horticultural Production Workers you could progress to a management position such as Quality Assurance Manager, Nursery Manager, etc.

If you specialise in a particular area such as soil, nutrient, propagation you could progress your career into Propagation Scientist, Seed Scientist, Plant Pathologist, Agronomist.

Further Information: 

You can also find additional information from the following organisations and publications:

Industry Information

Publications, Magazines and Journals (Some may be priced):

  • Ranger Magazine
  • Countryside Magazine

Jobs

A to Z: 

Horticultural Production Manager

Also known as: 

Fruit and Vegetable Farm Manager; Packhouse Manager; Quality Assurance Manager; Nursery Manager; Plant Nursery Manager.

Job Description: 

Ornamental production of plants can include production for your local park to the shelves of the big garden centre chains, the trees, shrubs and flowers we all enjoy are grown at ornamental plant nurseries (an ornamental plant is one that looks good, but you can’t eat!).

Fruit and vegetable production; think of a greengrocer shop or supermarket aisle filled with British fruit and veg: you’d see apples, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, watercress… They’re all grown by fruit and vegetable nurseries/farms in the UK.

The technology involved in growing ornamental and edible plants, plus the job opportunities from management to marketing make working on an ornamental or fruit or veg nursery a rewarding career. 

Both areas of production may include either field production or protected production in glasshouses or plastic tunnels.

Horticultural Production Managers tend to raise crops, plan strategies for maximum yield and sustainability, organise farm/nursery administration, work machinery, organise associated businesses and manage staff.

They need to have technical and practical competence coupled with the ability to make sound business decisions.

Working Conditions: 

Most Horticultural Production Managers' are contracted to work 39 hours a week. However, in practice, many managers work longer hours. The nature of this job means that horticultural production managers may be on call day and night, seven days a week.

There are often no set hours and certain times of the year are particularly busy. Early morning starts are typical. The hours worked, are influenced by the particular season such as harvest time. Days worked during these seasons can be typically long.

Practical work on the farm/nursery is usually outdoors, in all weather conditions. Horticultural Production Managers also spend time in an office dealing with paperwork.

On a smaller site the manager will get involved in many of the production tasks, while on a larger site the manager is likely to spend most of their time in an office.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live:

  • Starting salaries for Horticultural Production Managers are at least £20,000 a year
  • With experience, Horticultural Production Managers may earn between £26,000 and £30,000
  • The manager of a large site with over ten years' experience may earn over £50,000 a year.
Skills: 
  • Be able to prepare contract specifications and monitor and maintain agreed contracts
  • Be able to manage budgets for your area/s of responsibility
  • Manage the quality assurance system
  • Produce plants for your area/s of responsibility
  • Recruit staff
  • Manage your area(s) of responsibility.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Interpersonal skills  
  • Work on your own
  • Time management
  • Self-motivated
  • Flexible working
  • Mobility.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Production Horticulture Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Production Horticulture

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Production Horticulture and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

Many Horticultural Production Managers start by working at a nursery and develop their career through apprenticeships, combining on-the-job training and practical experience with day-release at a college, as well as developing specialist skills and in most cases people management and customer service skills.

Getting On: 

From large glasshouses growing tomatoes, other salad crops or ornamental plants, to very large sites specialising in field-grown vegetables, fruit growing or shrub growing, there are a range of opportunities to progress within this industry.

From managing multiple sites, regional management, or even working as consultants or civil servants making policy with Government departments such as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

There is also a range of jobs outside the immediate area of growing. Supermarkets require field officers to manage the need for a daily supply of fresh produce.

There are also the suppliers, who provide everything from packaging to spray chemicals, who need specialist advisers and research workers to develop new products.

Further Information: 

You can also find additional information from the following organisations and publications:

Industry Information

Publications, Magazines and Journals (Some may be priced):

  • Ranger Magazine
  • Countryside Magazine

Jobs

 Horticulture jobs

A to Z: 

Herdsperson

Job Description: 

A Herdsperson is responsible for the livestock on a farm. This will include ensuring they are fed and watered and looked after to meet health and welfare requirements as well as growth targets. They may also have some responsibility for staff working on the farm.

 

A livestock farm may have a range of cattle at different ages on the farm. Some farms keep and rear their own replacement animals, whereas other buy animals in to replace those which have reached the end of their production period. 

 

Some farms rear animals for meat and these are fed specific diets to enable them to grow until they reach the correct weight and fatness when they are sold through livestock markets and abattoirs.

Many farmers take pride in producing a quality animal to high welfare standards to go into the food chain and a good Herdsperson is key to achieving this. A Herdsperson would be responsible for:

 

  • Feeding correct diet rations to the cattle
  • Monitoring their health and condition and reporting any problems
  • Weighing the cattle to monitor performance
  • Moving cattle to different fields and buildings
  • Ensuring cattle are tagged and identified correctly.
Working Conditions: 

A Herdsperson generally works as least 39 hours per week but it may be necessary to work paid overtime during busy periods. Early mornings, evenings and weekend work can be necessary, for example during the calving or lambing season to ensure help is at hand with any difficulties during birth.

 

The working conditions will depend on the farm. Some livestock are kept indoors and fed on silage, straw, or hay with grain, whereas other farms leave the livestock to graze on grass outside for most of the year, bringing them in for the winter months.

 

Many farmers do a mixture of both production systems depending on their grass growth, soil conditions, location and cattle breeds. A Herdsperson would be expected to work both outside and in livestock buildings.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These salaries can vary according to the responsibility. Individual employers may pay more according to the Herdsperson’s skills and experience.

 

  • Starting salaries for a Herdsperson are at least £16,000- £18,000 a year
  • With experience, a Herdsperson may earn up to £25,000- £30,000 a year.
 

Many Herdspersons will be provided with rent-free accommodation and a vehicle. There may also be other benefits such as free farm produce and a pension scheme and a vehicle.

Skills: 
  • Control the movement of livestock from one location to another
  • Promote and maintain the health and well-being of Livestock
  • Monitor the provision of feed and water to Livestock
  • Enable livestock to initiate pregnancy
  • Monitor and maintain livestock on outdoor sites
  • Manage forage production to support livestock
  • Manage grassland to support livestock
  • Manage grazing of livestock
  • Plan and implement breeding programme
  • Plan and manage health plans.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Problem-solving
  • Work in a team/with others
  • Work on your own
  • Self-motivated
  • Flexible.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Agriculture Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Agriculture

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Agriculture and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

It is important to enjoy work outdoors and working with livestock. To progress to a Herdsperson you may have started as a General Farm Worker or basic stock person gaining experience in working with livestock and undertaken further training.

 

A Herdsperson will need to have an interest in farming and in using agricultural machinery. Experience of working on a farm, either through work experience or a weekend or holiday job is valued by employers. 

 

It may be possible to enter this career through an appropriate Apprenticeship scheme.

On large farms there are likely to be specific Herdsperson vacancies. On smaller mixed farms, a Herdsperson is likely to be involved in other farm enterprises such as arable crops.

Getting On: 

With the right qualifications and experience, a Herdsperson can gain promotion to a Unit Manager on a large farm, or expand their skills to work across a range of businesses on the farm as a General Farm Manager.

 

For those wishing to progress into farm management, a degree in subjects such as agriculture and animal or farm management may be an option.

There may also be opportunities to work abroad.

Further Information: 

You can find additional information from the following organisations and publications:

Industry information

Publications, Magazines and Journals (some may be priced):

  • A Life on the Land
  • Scientific Farm Animal Production – Pearson Education
  • Farmers Weekly
  • Farmers Guardian
  • Dairy Farmer
  • Beef Farmer
  • Sheep Farmer
  • Poultry Farmer
A to Z: 
Industry: 

Head Gardener / Head Grounds Maintenance Worker

Also known as: 

Head Park Ranger; Team Leader/Foreman; Senior Gardener; Machine Plant Supervisor; Parks Officer; Curator.

Job Description: 

The UK has more than 30,000 public parks managed by local authorities, many with world wide recognition. These parks, many designed in Victorian times, now meet many demands of the surrounding communities and are becoming more important in meeting the challenges of climate change, air pollution, public health conditions and community inclusion, to name but a few.

Head Gardeners/Head Grounds Maintenance Worker generally works for local councils and private companies managing parks, open and green spaces. They work to maintain and develop public parks and open spaces for the benefit of local residents and visitors.

They supervise and allocate work to teams of gardeners and landscaping staff. This job role gives the opportunity for plenty of ‘hands on’ work as well as opportunities for those who wish to get into the managerial side of park and green space management.

Their main tasks are usually to:

  • Organise the maintenance of parks and open spaces, for example mowing grass, re-turfing, adding fertiliser and weeding
  • Plan landscaping and planting of flowers, shrubs and trees
  • Organise planting programmes at appropriate times of year
  • Arrange areas and facilities designated for sports and recreation purposes
  • Engage and work with community and volunteer groups
  • Organise and plan events in parks
  • Ensure environmental and conservation requirements are optimised.

Much of their time is spent checking on the progress and quality of maintenance and planting programmes. Their teams can vary from two or three people to around 20 people, according to the number of sites and the areas covered.

Head Gardener/Head Grounds Maintenance Workers also:

  • Ensure vehicles and equipment used by their teams are maintained in good and safe condition
  • Plan ahead to ensure equipment, materials and human resources  are available at the appropriate times of year
  • Work with other members of staff such as ground maintenance staff or landscape architects to regenerate and/or develop horticultural features, such as plant beds
  • Establish the future needs of parks and open spaces by consulting with park users and members of the local community
  • Ensure all health and safety guidelines are followed monitoring the safety and condition of features and facilities, such as play areas
  • Discuss policy matters and write reports
  • Prepare proposals to offer services and products and gather data on the characteristics of sites
  • Prepare estimates and ensure they work to budgets
  • Ensure staff receive all the necessary training.
Working Conditions: 

Standard working hours for a Head Gardener/Head Grounds Maintenance Worker are 35 to 37 a week, Monday to Friday. At times actual hours worked may be more flexible, according to the season and jobs in hand, and sometimes include evenings and weekends.

A fair amount of time is spent working on plans, budgets, project organisation, administration and communication to all the various partnership organisations and the public.

However, the majority of time is spent outdoors in all weathers, visiting parks, open spaces, sports areas or depots where teams and equipment are based. Their work involves considerable walking around sites. 

Some parks officers manage work at sites that are some distance apart. A driving licence may therefore be necessary.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.

  • Starting salaries are usually from around £17,000 a year
  • Experienced Head Gardener/Head Grounds Maintenance Worker can earn up to £27,000 or more
  • Senior positions may earn up to £40,000 or more.
Skills: 
  • Good knowledge of parks management and landscape design
  • Enthusiastic, with the ability to motivate staff, colleagues and local residents
  • Good planner, project manager and able to prioritise tasks
  • Good staff management and delegation skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Able to establish effective rapport with customers
  • Respond quickly to customers seeking assistance
  • Understand relevant health and safety issues
  • Work within budgets and to meet deadlines
  • Administrative and computer skills needed for planning and budgeting.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Have a genuine interest in gardens and landscape design
  • Be committed to providing pleasant, useful and safe environments for residents and visitors
  • Flexibility
  • Friendly and approachable.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Horticulture Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Horticulture

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Horticulture and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

Jobs are available throughout the UK working for local councils and private businesses involved in park and open space management.

Vacancies may be advertised in local newspapers and in The Guardian public sector section. Useful websites include LG Jobs for local government vacancies, Total Jobs (public sector and services section) and individual council websites. Jobs bulletins may be available from local councils, libraries, local community and employment offices.

There are no set academic requirements for entry to this job, but most employers expect applicants to have at least five GCSE grades (A*-C) and some qualifications and/or experience in horticulture or landscape work. Practical work experience or voluntary work in these fields is useful.

Some applicants start their careers as gardeners or groundsman and work their way up, taking horticultural or management courses while they are working. Direct applicants with management qualifications or other local amenity management experience may be considered.

It may also be possible to enter this career through completion of an appropriate apprenticeship scheme.

Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. Apprenticeships are flexible training programmes tailored to meet the needs of a business. They combine practical and theoretical skills, and are designed to help employees reach a high level of competency and performance. More information can be found on the Apprenticeship website

Getting On: 

There may be opportunities for promotion to senior or management positions, especially in councils with larger parks departments. Some people move to management positions in other areas of council work.

Promotion opportunities may be less in some private companies. Employees sometimes progress by moving into other areas of amenity and leisure management.

A to Z: 

Head Forester

Also known as: 

Forest Manager.

Job Description: 

The Head Forester may have progressed from a working role in the woodland into this more managerial position. In addition to being responsible for the management of Forestry Workers, they will also undertake the planning of planting and harvesting activities and the monitoring and management of planted areas.

The role may also include significant conservation work, such as creating and restoring native woodlands. The type of practical work carried out on site will vary depending upon the nature of their employer, the type and location of the woodlands being managed. Working in private woodland or for the Forestry Commission will often require a wider range of skills and knowledge including land management skills.

A Head Forester will also usually have to control a budget and follow a business plan developed for the sites they manage. Some Head Foresters may manage several forests with Assistant Head Foresters looking after the teams at each location. Their main tasks may include planning the work to be carried out by staff and contractors, managing the maintenance of machinery and equipment, maintaining records of work and ensuring that heath and safety policies are observed. They will also be required to survey and inspect trees and sites, selecting and marking up timber to be harvested as well as planning, monitoring and evaluating habitat management work.

A Head Forester will have an excellent understanding of sustainable forestry and be able to achieve high standards of environmental quality, protection and conservation.

Working Conditions: 

Forest and woodland managers need a range of technical and professional skills. There will be significant indoor and outdoor work.

Work can be physically demanding and Head Foresters need to be prepared to work outdoors in a range of weather conditions.

Head Foresters typically work full-time with some of the time spent office based,.  However, the hours may vary and weekend or Bank Holiday work can be required.  

It is potentially hazardous work, requiring the use of power tools and heavy machinery. Protective clothing may need to be worn for certain tasks.   Tools, equipment and any protective clothing required to undertake the job are usually provided by the employer.

Depending on the area covered, there may be a significant amount of travelling between different sites. A driving licence may be required. Occasional periods may be spent working away from home.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary depending on the employer and where people live.

  • Starting salary could be between £16,000 and £21,000
  • Experienced Head Foresters could earn up to £30,000 or more.
Skills: 
  • Measure, record and forecast volume of timber
  • Survey trees
  • Manage harvesting operations
  • Identify the need for, and plan, habitat and ecosystem management work
  • Assess forest and woodland yields
  • Monitor the work of your staff
  • Plan and design a woodland
  • Manage specimen trees
  • Provide financial forecasts
  • Compile and maintain the forest and woodland inventory
  • Work to forest certification standards and regulations.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Responsible
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Energetic and enthusiastic
  • Good with people.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Trees and Timber Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Trees and Timber

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Trees and Timber and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

The forestry commission, forest management companies, forestry contracting companies, private estates, local authorities, conservation organizations and charities employ head foresters. Most jobs are found in rural locations with large forested areas.

If you are interested in becoming a head forester it is important that you:

  • Enjoy working outside
  • Enjoy practical/physical work
  • Are interested in the environment.

Lists of organisations, voluntary environmental projects and jobs are advertised on the Countryside Jobs Service website. Job vacancies are advertised in national and regional newspapers. 

The Forestry Commission publishes vacancies on its website and the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) lists vacancies in its Quarterly Journal of Forestry.

Many foresters aim to complete the requirements for Chartered Forester or Arboriculturist status from the Institute of Chartered Foresters. This brings a high level of professional recognition within the sector.

Getting On: 

As a Head Forester, progression will depend upon type of organisation that you work for. 

Head Foresters may seek to become Forestry Consultants or move into a forestry contracting role.

Further Information: 

You can find further information from the following organisations and publications:

Industry information

Publications, magazines and journals

  • Chartered Forester - ICF
  • Forestry Journal
  • Horticulture Week
  • Quarterly Journal of Forestry.
 
A to Z: 
Industry: 

Harvesting Manager

Job Description: 

The role of a Forestry Harvesting Manager is mainly about the felling of trees and their preparation for transport and processing. 

The Harvesting Manager is responsible for the selection of suitable timber and planning of harvesting activities.

Working in private woodland or for the Forestry Commission will often require a wider range of skills and knowledge, including land management skills.  The Harvesting Manager will usually have to control a budget and follow a business plan developed for the sites they manage. 

They may be answerable in the first instance to the Head Forester, or land agent, who oversees the forestry work on a number of different locations.

A Forestry Harvesting Managers main task will be the planning the harvesting work to be carried out by staff and contractors. 

They may be required to survey and inspect trees and sites, selecting and marking up timber to be harvested, planning of harvesting activities and managing output of felled timber against set income targets.

Working Conditions: 

Although a Harvesting Manager is a management role, it can be physically demanding. Some of the time will be spent office-based but individuals should still be fit and able to work outdoors in all weathers.

Harvesting Managers typically work a standard full-time week. However, the hours may vary and weekend or Bank Holiday work can be required.

It is potentially hazardous work and may involve the use of power tools and heavy machinery. Protective clothing may need to be worn for certain tasks.

Depending on the area covered, there may be a significant amount of travelling between different sites. A driving license may be required. Occasional periods may be spent working away from home.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary depending on the employer and where people live.

  • Experienced Forestry Workers may earn between £14000 and £24,000 a year
  • Self employed Forestry Contractors may earn up to £30,000 a year or more
  • Forestry Consultants can earn more than £30,000 a year depending on the employer and may also receive health benefits.
Skills: 
  • Business management
  • Work site safety and hazard recognition
  • Risk Assessment
  • Equipment use and maintenance
  • Machinery use and safety.
Personal Qualities: 
  • Good communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Be able to plan and manage work have good organisational skills
  • Be practical and good at working with their hands
  • Be able to work safely
  • Be responsible, diligent and self-motivated
  • Enjoy working as part of a team but also confident working independently
  • Have good communication skills
  • Be able to plan and manage workloads
  • Be able to deal confidently and tactfully with others on a one-to-one or group basis
  • Responsible and aware of health and safety issues
  • Resourceful and mechanically minded.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Trees and Timber Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Trees and Timber

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Trees and Timber and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

The UK trees and timber industry employs around 22,500 people, many as Forest Workers.

The largest employer is the Forestry Commission. Private estates, local authorities, conservation organisations and charities, government agencies and forest management companies also employ Forest Workers. Most jobs are found in rural locations with large forested areas.

If you are interested in becoming a head forester it is important that you:

  • Enjoy working outside
  • Enjoy practical/physical work 
  • Be interested in the environment.

Lists of organisations, voluntary environmental projects and jobs are advertised on the Countryside Jobs Service website. Job vacancies are advertised in national and regional newspapers. 

The Forestry Commission publishes vacancies on its website and the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) lists vacancies in its Quarterly Journal of Forestry.

Getting On: 

As a Forest Manager progression will depend upon type of organization that you work for. 

Forest Managers may seek to become forestry consultants or move into a forestry contracting role.

Further Information: 

You can find additional information from the following organisations and publications:

Industry information

Publications, magazines and journals (some may be priced)

  • Chartered Forester - ICF
  • Forestry Journal
  • Horticulture Week
  • Quarterly Journal of Forestry - Royal Forestry Society.

Jobs

A to Z: 
Industry: 

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Assistant Herdswoman - Maureen Hedley

“From an early age I had the desire to work in agriculture, especially with animals” declares 25-year-old Assistant Herdswoman Maureen Hedley. Maureen, who lives in Pembrokeshire in South Wales, was brought up in the beef farming industry alongside her father. “I always wanted to pursue an agricultural career, so at the age of 21 I applied to Gelli Aur College” she says. During her studies she was successful in getting a job as a Milker/Calf Rearer, before being promoted to her current position of Assistant Herdswoman.

Horticulture Apprentice - Craig Welford

Craig Welford began work at the De Vere Dunston Hall Hotel Golf Course as a summer casual working with the greenkeeping team. He quickly became a trainee green-keeper and began his Apprenticeship NVQ Level 2 in Sports Turf and Amenity Horticulture.

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