Horticultural manager

Garden centre manager

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A horticultural manager grows plants commercially for use in parks, gardens and public spaces.

Salary range: £18,000 to £40,000

How to become a horticultural manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • horticulture and management
  • commercial horticulture
  • horticulture and plant science

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

College

You could work towards this role by doing a college course in a relevant subject like:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture
  • Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture
  • Level 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice

You can also complete Royal Horticultural Society qualifications.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role by starting with a horticulture supervisor advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could work your way into this role by starting out as a horticultural worker and applying for promotion when you’ve got more experience and qualifications.

Other routes

Some larger companies have graduate management trainee schemes for the fresh food, produce and arable industries.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a horticultural manager from The Royal Horticultural Society and Grow Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • business management skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • preparing and updating operational and business plans
  • keeping records and managing budgets and accounts
  • analysing costs
  • developing new products and markets, and negotiating with suppliers
  • designing layouts and developing planting programmes
  • scheduling the planting and harvesting of crops
  • managing pest, disease and weed control programmes
  • making sure health and safety regulations and procedures are followed
  • recruiting and managing a skilled and trained workforce

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a garden centre.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

You could move to a senior management position or set up your own nursery or garden centre.

You could complete The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Master of Horticulture qualification, if you have the RHS Level 3 Diploma or equivalent and at least 4 years of experience.

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