Salaries and Rates Guidelines

Salaries and Rates Guidelines

For 2016 the PGG recommends a 3% increase across the range, based on an increase of 10% as the National Minimum Wage moves to the National Living Wage, reflecting growth of the UK economy, rising living costs and the continued need to attract young people to a career in Horticulture.

Gardens Manager – recommended band £33,950 to £48,800+

Role Profile

Reports to: Owner, Property Manager, Board of Trustees or similar.
Line management responsibility: 10 – 50 employees supervised.
Budget responsibility: in range £250,000 to £500,000, comprising both expenses and wages.
Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • NVQ Level 4 or equivalent together with substantial horticultural experience.
  • Formal management training allied with proven management experience.
  • Budget planning and control skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • A detailed understanding of the relevant Health & Safety Regulations, Environmental Management and employment legislation, manual handling and risk assessment.

Head Gardener – recommended band £27,585 to £38,200+

Role Profile

Reports to: Owner, Gardens Manager, Gardens Advisor, Property Manager or similar.
Line management responsibility: 2 -10 employees supervised, plus volunteers and contractors where appropriate.
Budget responsibility: garden expenses excluding wages.
Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • NVQ Level 3 or equivalent, NCH, HND, OND, City & Guilds, Kew or Edinburgh Diploma in Horticulture, RHS level 2, RHS Level 3, MHort RHS.
  • A proven track record of high quality horticultural work.
  • People management and communication skills training with proven supervisory experience.
  • Thorough understanding of relevant Health and Safety legislation, formal training in manual handling and risk assessment, a valid driving licence.

Deputy Head Gardener/Sole Gardener – recommended band £ 23,340 to £29,700+

Role Profile

Reports to: Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager, Gardens Advisor or similar.
Line management responsibility: assistant or part-time gardeners, contractors and volunteers supervised in absence of Head Gardener or other line manager.
Budget responsibility: day-to-day expenses, petty cash purchases or similar.
Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • NVQ Level 3 or equivalent, RHS Level 1, 2 or 3, HND, OND, City & Guilds.
  • At least three years relevant experience in horticulture together with 1 year’s proven supervisory experience, together with comprehensive plant knowledge. (cont.)
  • Clear understanding of the relevant Health and Safety legislation, formal training in manual handling and risk assessment, a valid driving licence.

Gardener (skilled) – recommended band £21,220 to £27,585+

Role Profile

Reports to: Head Gardener, Deputy Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager or similar.
Line management responsibility: basic guidance of trainees and volunteers under supervision of Head Gardener.
Budget responsibility: none.
Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Practical experience and/or Entry Level Qualification in gardens and/or landscape management. NVQ level 1or 2, RHS level 1 or 2.
  • Comprehensive plant knowledge, a keen interest in gardens and landscapes, familiarity with most gardening practices together with the use and maintenance of machinery eg. mowers and strimmers.
  • A willingness to work alongside and to support other staff and volunteers.
  • Well motivated with an eye for detail and a desire to achieve a high standards, ability to work on own initiative.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills, good organisational skills, a good understanding of Health and Safety issues, a valid driving licence.

Gardener – recommended band £16,975 to £22,280+

Role Profile

Reports to: Head Gardener, Deputy Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager or similar
Line management responsibility: none.
Budget responsibility: none.
Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Basic knowledge of plants, gardening practices and use of garden machinery.
  • Appreciation of gardens, willingness to learn new skills.
  • Degree of self-motivation and organisational skills.
  • Good understanding of Health and Safety issues.

Junior gardener (age 17)/ trainee – recommended band £14,855 to £16,975

Role Profile

Reports to: Head Gardener, Deputy Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager or similar.
Line management responsibility: none.
Budget responsibility: none.
Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • A willingness to learn by participating in training programme.
  • Ability to work to agreed standards; with direction, to work with a wide range of horticultural tools & equipment, in a safe manner.
  • Ability to grasp information and apply recently gained knowledge.
  • Keen interest in plants and horticulture, enthusiasm for working outdoors.

The above bands reflect minimum recommended basic salary payment with effect from 1st April 2016 and are based upon a 37.5 hour week.

The benefit value of any accommodation provided has not been included and should be negotiated separately. Bonuses, overtime and subsistence payments have not been included in the salary bands and are therefore additional.

Regional pay variations have been taken into account within the bands. Higher cost areas of the country would expect to make salary awards at the upper levels of the appropriate band. Institute of Groundsmanship research indicates regional pay in London Inner (0-6miles of Charing Cross) £3,579 pa, London Outer (7-16miles) £2,137 pa, London Fringe (17-22 miles) £639 -£1,283 pa. Other UK regions are broadly similar in their pay levels. We would expect pay for over 18’s in London to always be above £18,400 to ensure a living wage.

It is recommended that Junior Gardeners, Gardeners and Skilled Gardeners receive financial recognition within the salary bands of £500 pa for successful completion of each relevant professional qualification e.g. NVQ levels 1 and 2.

Employees with other relevant vocational qualifications such as a First Aid, Chainsaw or Spraying certificates should be recognised with additional remuneration.

It should be noted that whilst these salary bands are recommended by the Professional Gardeners’ Guild, individual negotiations must be conducted between an employer and employee taking into account individual circumstances.

Self Employed recommended minimum rates

London rates – £22 to £32 per hour
SE, including East Anglia – £19 to £27 per hour.
Scotland, Wales and UK Regions – £17 to £27 per hour.

For information:

The National Living Wage (Apr.2016) is £7.20 per hour which equates to £14,976 pa for those over the age of 25, £6.70 (£13.936pa) for those aged 21-24 and £5.30 for those aged 18-20 (£11,024pa). This represents a 10.7 % rise from the previous National Minimum Wage

The ‘Living Wage’ is £8.25 per hour (£9.40 in London) which equates to £17,160 pa (£19,552 pa in London) ie a 5% increase in the last year
www.livingwage.org.uk/what-living-wage

Published April 2014
Revised April 2015, March 2016
Patron: The Viscount Ashbrook

1 Comment
  1. I would be very grateful if you could send a copy of this very useful information in normal text (without the green background) so I can share with WFGA members and others as the definitive advice on gardeners’ salaries and wages? You have already kindly agreed that we might include this information in our proposed Career Opportunities Pack for WRAGS trainee and other members. I am hoping to start work on this in the next few months, so the up-to-date information will be extremely useful.

    Liddy Davidson
    WFGA Regional Manager, East and West Sussex
    Liddywfga@gmail.com
    07789 776061 Mon-Fri 9.00am to 6.00pm

Leave a Reply

Renew Subscription

If it's time to renew your PGG subscription you can now do this online at the PGG Store

Day Visits & Study Tours

The PGG organise delightful visits and study tours to all parts of the UK and overseas.

Members: update your details

Members - you can access the Members Area to change/update your membership details.