Sally always wanted to work in horticulture and she got started straight after leaving school. Today, in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, her role involves growing specimens for the University’s experiments.

She also curates several plant collections of her own, including varieties of lavender, rosemary and other British wild plants. It helps that she is a walking encyclopedia of plant knowledge.

“What I love most is the variety of plants I cultivate,” she says. “From a glasshouse full of rice and tomatoes to high-alpine cushion-forming plants to unusual succulents, along with interesting requests from around the world. Some varieties have never even been cultivated before”.

Sally enjoys working outdoors. And while helping with the research, she can learn more about the cutting edge of plant science from many of its greatest minds. “Sometimes I even take part in projects that change the world”.

Click here to find out more about technician career opportunities at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens.

Sally - Career Pathway

  • 2009
    Left School
  • 2011
    Completed a National Diploma in Horticulture (equivalent to A Levels). She also worked privately for the National Trust in Northern Ireland during the two year course
  • 2012
    Threave Gardens, Scottish Borders – a Practical Certificate in Heritage Horticulture
  • 2016
    Horticultural Technician University of Cambridge, Botanic Gardens

Stats - Horticultural Technician

Average Salary


Employment Statuses

Full Time Employed: 11,690
Part Time Employed: 3,454
Self Employed: 3,730
Total Employed: 18,874

Gender Split

Male: 9,484
Female: 9,390

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Horticultural technicians grow and take care of plants in educational, research, corporate and commercial settings.

Horticultural trades

Horticultural trades workers intensively cultivate vegetables, plants, fruit, shrubs, trees and flowers in greenhouses, market gardens, nurseries and orchards.


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