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Horticultural therapist

Horticultural therapists use gardening to improve their clients' health and wellbeing.

Potential salary
£17,000 to £30,000
Working hours
37 to 39 variable
  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • the ability to work well with others
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • developing clients' practical or social skills, confidence or self-esteem
  • helping clients to learn or re-learn basic skills, including numeracy and literacy
  • providing outdoor activity and exercise to restore strength and mobility after injury or illness
  • supporting clients to take horticultural qualifications or to move into employment
  • working closely with other professionals like psychologists and social workers
  • managing staff and volunteers
  • drawing up proposals for projects

You could work in a garden, on a country estate or in a therapy clinic.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically demanding.

You could use horticultural therapy as part of a wider role, like occupational therapy. With experience and further study, you could move into a supervisory role, or research.

You could also become self-employed.

You can find out more about becoming a horticultural therapist from Thrive and the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.

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