Nursery Retail Jobs in Australia: A Guide

Working in a nursery retail environment is a rewarding experience for those passionate about horticulture and providing customers with the best plants for their garden. In this role, you’ll get to work with a variety of plants, from bedding flowers to exotic shrubs and trees, and help customers choose the perfect plants for their needs. But what exactly does a job in nursery retail entail and what are the pros and cons?

Let’s take a closer look.

What Does the Job Entail?

Nursery retail workers are responsible for the daily operations of a plant nursery. Their duties include:

  • Maintaining the appearance and organization of the nursery
  • Assisting customers with plant selection and offering expert advice
  • Watering, pruning, and caring for the plants
  • Keeping track of inventory and ordering supplies as needed
  • Operating cash registers and processing sales transactions
Female horticulturist in a nursery horticulture role

Retail horticulture workers need plant knowledge and customer service skills. Image source


  • Working with plants: For those who love being around plants, a job in nursery retail is a dream come true. You’ll get to work with a variety of plants every day and learn about their care and growth habits.
  • Customer interaction: Nursery retail workers also get to interact with customers and help them choose the perfect plants for their garden. This can be a very satisfying experience, especially when you see the customers’ excitement about their new purchases.
  • Opportunities for advancement: For those looking to advance in the horticulture industry, a job in nursery retail looks great on your resume. It can even be a great starting point for your career. Many nursery retail workers go on to become growers, landscape designers, or garden centre managers.
  • Seasonal work: Nursery retail jobs are sometimes seasonal, meaning that there is a lot of work available during the spring and summer months. This can be great for those looking for a flexible schedule.


  • Physical demands: Caring for plants can be physically demanding, especially during the busiest times of the year. Nursery retail workers may need to lift heavy bags of soil, bend down to water plants, and move heavy carts of plants around the nursery.
  • Limited hours: Some nurseries may only be open for a few hours each day or just on certain days, meaning that employees may only have a limited number of hours available to them.
  • Seasonal layoffs: As with many seasonal jobs, nursery retail workers may experience layoffs during the off-season. This can make it difficult to plan finances and find steady work.

Average Pay

According to Payscale, the average hourly pay for a Nursery Worker in Australia is AU$23.01 [1], however annual wages can range anywhere from $50k to $70k+, depending on the value you bring to the workplace.

It’s important to note that retail nursery workers may not be covered by the Nursery Award [2].

Qualifications and Skills

Retail nursery positions in Australia can require previous experience and formal qualifications, but sometimes positions are advertised for people entering the industry, depending on the skill sets of other team members. The more experience and the higher your qualification level, the higher your award wage will be.

Here are some good qualifications and skills for retail nursery workers:

  1. Qualifications: A certificate in horticulture, landscape design or a related field is desirable. A higher qualification such as a diploma or degree in horticulture is preferred by some employers.
  2. Plant Knowledge: A strong understanding of different plant species and their care requirements is crucial. Retail nursery workers should be able to advise customers on the best plants for their garden and how to care for them.
  3. Customer Service Skills: Good communication skills and the ability to interact with customers are important for success in this role. Retail nursery workers must be able to build relationships with customers and provide them with the information they need to make informed purchases.
  4. Physical Strength: Retail nursery workers need to be physically fit, as the job involves a lot of heavy lifting and manual labour.
  5. Attention to Detail: Retail nursery workers are customer-facing. They need to present nicely, be detail-oriented and able to keep accurate records of inventory and sales.
  6. Sales Skills: A strong sales background is highly beneficial in this role as a retail nursery worker that brings in extra revenue is a valuable asset for any nursery or garden centre.

Find Your Dream Retail Nursery Job Today!

Discover opportunities in the field of nursery retail by exploring job listings on the Australian horticulture job portal, Hort People. Your dream job could be waiting for you.

With a range of job opportunities in different sectors and the chance to work with a variety of plant types, nursery retail is a rewarding career choice for those with a passion for horticulture. If you’re interested in starting a career as a retail nursery pro, don’t wait, upload your resume to Hort People today to start the process. Let employers chase you for a change.

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