“Gardeners are good at nurturing, and they have a great quality of patience, they’re tender. They have to be persistent.”
Ralph Fiennes, Actor
Pros and Cons of Working as a Gardener
You consider becoming a gardener? Great!
However, before making your final decision, I recommend that you look at all the pros and cons of being a gardener in this article.
After evaluating all the upsides and downsides of becoming a gardener, you may want to go for an alternative career path instead.
Table of Contents
Being a Gardener – Job Profile
|Short Job Description
|Gardeners can work for private companies or public institutions. Their job is it to make garden and cityscapes look nicer. Some gardeners also work in reforestation or try to preserve natural habitats.
|$38,000 per year on average, most gardeners make between $32,000 – $45,000 per year.
|Rather low job security since there are almost no barriers to entry for competitors.
|Good if you love gardening.
|Good work-life balance.
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?
|Physically demanding job.
|Rather poor since some jobs will be lost due to automatization in the future.
|No special educational requirements necessary.
Advantages of Being a Gardener
- Gardeners can work outdoors
- Being a gardener means going back to the roots
- You can help people with making their garden nicer
- You don’t have to sit in an office all day long
- Being a gardener is often quite relaxed
- You don’t have to work that many extra hours
- Gardeners have a regular workweek
- Free weekends and holidays
- Good work-life balance for gardeners in general
- You can be creative as a gardener
- Easy for gardeners to start side hustles
- You can learn a lot for your private purposes
- You don’t need a college degree to become a gardener
- Gardeners can work for private companies or for public institutions
- You can found your own gardening business
Gardeners can work outdoors
One advantage of being a gardener is that you can work outdoors.
While many people have to work indoors in a rather artificial work environment, you can enjoy the sun.
We as humans have never meant to stay indoors for an extended period of time since we just evolved outdoors in the middle of nature.
By working as a gardener, similar to foresters, you can enjoy the fresh air and can also experience nature to its fullest since you will be responsible for growing many different vegetables, fruits and plants.
Being a gardener means going back to the roots
As a gardener, you will also be able to go back to the roots.
In fact, gardening has a lot to do with how our ancestors lived for many thousands of years.
In the past, it has been quite common for people to grow their own plants to make a living or just for private purposes.
However, over time, plenty of knowledge vanished since people in our current state of the world rather buy their vegetables and plants in the local store.
By working as a gardener, you can preserve plenty of precious knowledge regarding how to grow various different plants and you can also hand this knowledge over to your children.
By doing so, you can honor your ancestors and can use this knowledge to grow many exciting plants, trees and flowers.
You can help people with making their garden nicer
Another upside of being a gardener is that you can simply make the garden of other people much nicer.
If you work for a private gardening and landscaping company, your job will often be to improve the look of peoples’ gardens.
People will often rely on your expertise when it comes to the decision of what materials to use, how much to spend on their garden and so on.
Hence, as a gardener, you will not only carry out the actual work, but you will also have sort of a consulting role and this gives you the great opportunity to talk to people and to really figure out what fits best for their garden.
Consequently, through working as a gardener, you can also get to know many different people and you will work with them for weeks or even months, especially when it comes to quite demanding projects.
In turn, chances are that you will also be able to make new connections or even friends through your job as a gardener.
You don’t have to sit in an office all day long
As a gardener, you will also be able to escape standard office life as we know it today.
Many people in our current state of the world just stare at a computer screen all day long.
While some people like the office life, many others just don’t like it at all since you will often not see the fruits of your labor in those jobs.
Quite often, you will just prepare presentations that will not provide that much value and you will work on projects where the true long-term effects on the business success are rather unclear.
Consequently, many people who work in office jobs will become quite frustrated in the long run, even though they might earn pretty decent money.
In contrast, many gardeners are quite happy with what they are doing since they can see the direct results of their labor and can really make a positive impact on the lives of people.
Being a gardener is often quite relaxed
Working as a gardener is also not that stressful.
While there might be some days that are labor-intensive and where you really struggle to get all things done, this will not be the case most of the time.
In fact, most gardeners have a pretty relaxed life and are not stressed out by their work too much.
Some gardeners are even really looking forward to their work since they are really passionate about it and time will fly if you love what you are doing.
Hence, you can really have an awesome life as a gardener in case gardening is really a passion of yours and you would even do it without getting a salary for it.
You don’t have to work that many extra hours
Another benefit of being a gardener is that you also don’t have to work many extra hours.
Most gardeners just work 40 hours and some of them even work far less.
This means that you will have plenty of time for other things you like even more.
Of course, if you really love gardening and 40 hours are not enough for you, you may even have the option to work in a second job to earn additional money and to spend your time with the thing you love most.
Gardeners have a regular workweek
Most gardeners also work a standard workweek, which means 9 to 5 or at least pretty close to that.
This regular schedule will allow you to spend plenty of time with your family and friends and also that you can plan way ahead.
For instance, if you want to meet up with your friends during the week, you can easily do so in the evening since you know that you will never have to work during nighttime.
While working schedules in many other jobs may change quite spontaneously, you can be pretty sure that this will not be the case for you since gardeners just have a pretty standard workweek.
You also don’t have to be available after leaving your workplace like in many other jobs where you still have to be on for calls or other minor things that need to be done.
Free weekends and holidays
As a gardener, you can also avoid working on weekends or holidays.
You may take this for granted. However, there are still many people out there who have to do exactly that.
For instance, a bus driver will often work on national holidays or during weekends since people who don’t have a car still have to get around somehow.
You as a gardener don’t have to do this and can relax on your couch or also make nice weekend trips with your family and friends.
Good work-life balance for gardeners in general
Since you do not have to work on weekends or holidays and you have a pretty standard workweek as a gardener, the overall work-life balance in this field is pretty good.
In fact, there are not that many other jobs out there where you will have that much leisure.
Since the job as a gardener is often pretty relaxed, you will also have plenty of power left when you leave your workplace.
This means that you can do many nice things in the evening.
You can be creative as a gardener
Being a gardener also allows you to be creative.
While many other jobs are pretty standardized and have a rather rigid plan regarding how to do things, you will not have this standard approach as a gardener.
This means that you will often have to think about how to solve problems and this can be pretty demanding.
However, it also means that you can use your creativity to invent and introduce new concepts.
You can also develop completely new things for your clients who will often be pretty happy since they will get a unique result instead of just a standard template that they have already seen many times in conventional garden centers.
Easy for gardeners to start side hustles
Another advantage of working as a gardener is that it will be easy for you to start a side hustle.
For instance, you could start a blog or a YouTube channel where you can share your best gardening tips with the general public.
In fact, it has never been easier to build an audience from scratch than right now since it is just free to start a YouTube channel and pretty cheap to start your own blog.
By doing those things, you can earn some extra money and your side hustle may eventually become a real business if you work hard on it.
You can also just build some passive income which can be great since you will have more money to spend on the things you like.
You can learn a lot for your private purposes
As a gardener, you can not only improve the looks of other peoples’ yards.
You can also learn a lot for your own garden.
In fact, you will always get new ideas during your work as a gardener and you will be able to transfer this knowledge to your own projects which can help you to make your property look really awesome.
You can also help out your family and friends and give them gardening tips so that they can get the best experience and results out of their efforts.
You don’t need a college degree to become a gardener
Gardeners also don’t need fancy education to work in their jobs.
In fact, you just need to complete high school and you will be eligible for becoming a gardener.
You also don’t need to go to college.
This means that you don’t have to spend many years on your education and you can also avoid high tuition and other costs related to college.
In turn, you can also avoid getting into student loan debt which many college students do and which will greatly hurt them later on in their lives.
As a gardener, you can earn money right after school instead and this will give you the opportunity to become independent of your parents pretty soon.
Gardeners can work for private companies or for public institutions
As a gardener, you will also have the option of either working for a private gardening company or working for a public institution.
In fact, there are many public organizations that are looking for good gardeners to improve the cityscape or for reforestation projects.
Consequently, you will have many different job options as a gardener and you can go for the ones you like most.
You can found your own gardening business
You also don’t have to necessarily work as an employee forever.
You can just acquire some gardening knowledge during your first years by working for a company.
After this period of time, you can just quit your job and work self-employed if you are a rather independent person who wants to do everything on his or her own instead of having a boss dictating how your workday looks like.
Thus, becoming a gardener can also make sense if you want to have your own business one day and don’t want to work for someone else in the long run.
Disadvantages of Being a Gardener
- Gardeners don’t make lots of money
- Some gardeners even need a second job
- Rather low job security for gardeners
- Some jobs will vanish due to automatization in the future
- Working as a gardener can be physically demanding
- Job as a gardener may become boring in the long run
- You have to work outdoors during bad weather
- Promotion opportunities are rather limited
- Difficult to switch fields
- Some gardeners even have to quit at an older age
- Rather low social status as a gardener
- Hard time in the dating market
Gardeners don’t make lots of money
While there are definitely many upsides to becoming a gardener, there are also some issues related to this job option.
For instance, one problem with being a gardener is that you will simply not earn that much money.
In fact, gardeners in the US just make around $38,000 per year on average and there are barely any gardeners making over $50,000 per year while financial analysts and many other people often make far more money on average.
This also means that man gardeners will struggle to pay their bills, especially in regions where rents are quite high.
Some gardeners even need a second job
Some gardeners even need to work in a second job to cover all their expenses.
This is especially true for big cities where costs of living are high and the salary as a gardener will simply not be enough to enjoy a decent lifestyle.
Hence, make sure that you are willing to live quite humbly before deciding for a career as a gardener.
Rather low job security for gardeners
Becoming a gardener can also be problematic from a job security perspective.
Since barriers to entry are pretty low in this field and you don’t need a college degree or any other fancy education, most people can do this work and this means that you will be replaceable pretty easily.
Hence, your boss could just employ someone who is younger and has more power than you and fire you afterward.
Some jobs will vanish due to automatization in the future
Many jobs in the gardening world will also be carried out by machines in the near future.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, many machines will just become smart enough to carry out many gardening tasks in a reliable manner and gardeners will simply no longer be needed.
Of course, not all tasks will be done by machines.
However, a significant portion of jobs in the gardening industry will still vanish and you should be aware of the fact that your job prospects will not be that good in the future.
Working as a gardener can be physically demanding
Many people also underestimate the physical component of working as a gardener.
In fact, it can be pretty exhausting to plant flowers or trees all day long and it also involves plenty of physical work.
Hence, if you don’t want to work with your hands and rather want to sit in a comfortable office in front of a computer all day long, a career in gardening will just not be suitable for you at all.
Job as a gardener may become boring in the long run
Some gardeners also get bored sooner or later.
Sure, the job as a gardener can be exciting at the beginning when everything is new.
However, after a few years, you will have seen most things and tasks will repeat pretty frequently.
Some gardeners even quit their jobs after a while since they are simply no longer excited about gardening.
You have to work outdoors during bad weather
While working outdoors can be great during good weather, the opposite can be true once it rains or snows.
In fact, working outdoors in those conditions can be pretty annoying.
However, there will just not be any room to complain since your boss will just tell you that this is part of the work as a gardener.
Hence, make sure that you are willing to work outdoors under those extreme conditions before deciding for a career in the gardening industry.
Promotion opportunities are rather limited
There will also not be that much room for promotions as a gardener.
Sure, if you do your job well, you may get the chance to lead some younger employees in your company.
However, you will likely never get into management positions in a company since you usually need a college degree for that.
Difficult to switch fields
Another disadvantage of being a gardener is that it will also be pretty difficult for you to switch fields once you are in this industry.
Especially if you have never learned anything else, you will often just not have the qualifications to work in a different industry.
Thus, make sure that gardening is really what you want to do for the rest of your life since you will have serious difficulties to work in a different field.
Some gardeners even have to quit at an older age
Some gardeners also have to quit their jobs due to serious health problems once they get older.
For instance, if you suffer from back pain, you will often no longer be able to carry out the physical tasks that are required for your job as a gardener and your body may force you to give up sooner or later.
In turn, many former gardeners will struggle to pay their bills and may even end up homeless since they will often no longer be able to pay rent.
Rather low social status as a gardener
Another downside of being a gardener is that you will also have a rather low social status.
While doctors, pilots or lawyers will have a pretty high reputation in society, you will just be someone who plants trees and grows plants, at least in the eyes of most people and you should make sure that this will just not bother you.
Hard time in the dating market
Since you will not earn that much money and will also have a rather low social status, chances are that you will have a rather difficult time in the dating market as a gardener.
In fact, finding a significant other greatly depends on those two things mentioned before and you should be aware of this fact before making a career choice.
Top 10 Being a Gardener Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Gardener Pros
|Being a Gardener Cons
|Gardeners can get plenty of fresh air
|Being a gardener may become boring
|Gardening can be a passion
|Gardeners don’t earn good money
|Being a gardener is rather relaxed
|Physically demanding job
|Gardeners have regular workweeks
|Some older gardeners have to quit
|You don’t have to work on weekends
|Job security is rather low
|Good work-life balance
|Automatization is a problem in gardening
|You don’t have to work in an office
|Limited promotion opportunities
|Gardeners can start a side hustle
|Hard to switch fields
|You can work self-employed
|Rather low social status
|You can help out your friends
|Potential problems in the dating market
Should You Become A Gardener?
As you can see from the previous discussion, there are many important advantages and disadvantages of being a gardener.
Now it is on you to evaluate all the arguments and to decide whether you still want to work as a gardener or if you rather want to go for alternative career options instead.
If you want to learn even more about being a gardener, you should also get detailed information on the salary, outlook, working hours, work-life balance, job satisfaction, educational requirements of gardeners and much more.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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