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Nursery hand

Nursery hands perform a range of tasks in nurseries. They propagate and care for plants, and may also serve and advise customers.

Find out what a nursery hand does and the related Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses and pathways you can take to secure a job.

What is a nursery hand?

Nursery hands oversee the life cycle of plants in a nursery or garden centre. They propagate new plants, including trees, bushes, vegetables and flowering plants. They also look after the plants, including watering, weeding, and pest and disease control.

As a nursery hand, you may also be involved in the presentation of plants for sale. You may advise customers of the best plants for their environment, and assist with customer service. 

Find out more about nursery hands(opens in a new window) and these related jobs on the Victorian Skills Gateway(opens in a new window):

Search for related VET courses on the Victorian Skills Gateway(opens in a new window):

You may be eligible for government funding to help pay for your course.

Average salary

The average weekly earnings for nursery persons in Australia is $821.  

Source: Your Career(opens in a new window) 

Note this salary is current as of April 2024 and is indicative only. A range of salaries apply to different roles across the industry.

Job demand in Victoria

Below are the employment forecasts for nursery person jobs in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

‘New workers expected’ accounts for workers adding new jobs to the economy and replacing retirees over the next 3 years. These forecasts are estimates only. There will be additional jobs available as people move between jobs and industries.

Separate nursery hand statistics are not available.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Victoria2,1591.1%153
Melbourne – inner metropolitan5581.5%45
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan1221.4%10
Melbourne – southern metropolitan2071.0%14
Melbourne – northern metropolitan1581.4%13
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan2421.7%22
Melbourne – western metropolitan1391.1%10
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)670.8%<10
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)770.7%<10
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)1051.2%<10
Gippsland1520.5%<10
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)260.0%<10
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)730.7%<10
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)690.5%<10
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)540.5%<10
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)1090.0%<10

Below are the employment forecasts for garden and nursery labourer jobs in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Victoria8,337-0.5%587
Melbourne – inner metropolitan1,222-0.5%86
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan406-0.6%27
Melbourne – southern metropolitan1,360-0.6%92
Melbourne – northern metropolitan912-0.6%63
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan1,159-0.6%79
Melbourne – western metropolitan838-0.6%57
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)260-0.3%20
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)305-0.6%21
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)4830.1%43
Gippsland428-0.4%32
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)63-1.4%<10
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)305-0.5%22
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)278-0.4%21
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)190-0.2%15
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)131-1.2%<10

Source: Victorian Skills Authority employment forecast dashboard

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