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We asked Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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Occupation Details

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Amenity Horticulture Worker

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

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At a Glance... header image

Operates a variety of commercial grass cutting machinery and other equipment in amenity horticulture environment e.g. sports ground maintenance.


The Work header image

Horticultural workers involved in amenity horticulture are responsible for all stages in the care and planting out of flower beds, trees, shrubs and lawns.  
 
Areas are prepared for planting by measuring and marking out, cultivating the soil and spreading compost; horticultural workers then plant flowers, shrubs and trees according to a design.  
 
A good knowledge of plants is required, including:

  • identification and care 
  • when and how to prune
  • the use of fertilisers 
  • how bedding plants are laid out.  

Horticultural workers also carry out general maintenance of green areas such as laying turf, cutting grass, trimming hedges and keeping areas tidy and free of weeds. They erect fencing, lay pathways and may also carry out concrete and brickwork. Some specialise in nursery work such as raising plant stock or tree care, which is known as arboriculture.  
 
All horticultural workers may be required to drive tractors and use other light machinery such as hedge trimmers, rotavators and mowers as well as using hand tools. They must be able to clean, maintain and carry out minor repairs to these machines. May involve some weekend work, early mornings and usually longer hours in the summer.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Operate vehicles and powered equipment, such as mowers, tractors, twin-axle vehicles, snow blowers, chain saws, electric clippers, sod cutters, and pruning saws.

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Mow or edge lawns, using power mowers or edgers.

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Shovel snow from walks, driveways, or parking lots and spread salt in those areas.

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Care for established lawns by mulching, aerating, weeding, grubbing, removing thatch, or trimming or edging around flower beds, walks, or walls.

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Use hand tools, such as shovels, rakes, pruning saws, saws, hedge or brush trimmers, or axes.

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Prune or trim trees, shrubs, or hedges, using shears, pruners, or chain saws.

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Gather and remove litter.

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Maintain or repair tools, equipment, or structures, such as buildings, greenhouses, fences, or benches, using hand or power tools.

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Mix and spray or spread fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides onto grass, shrubs, or trees, using hand or automatic sprayers or spreaders.

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Provide proper upkeep of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, fountains, planters, burial sites, or other grounds features.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment:  Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

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Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment:  Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material:  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Building and Construction:  Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a horticultural worker you will carry out a wide range of practical tasks so you need to be adaptable and not afraid of getting your hands dirty. Some of the work can be physically demanding: digging, lifting and carrying are regular tasks for all horticultural workers.  
 
Landscape construction work is generally more physically demanding than other horticultural work and can involve using basic building skills and lifting materials like bricks and wooden planks. You must be able to follow plans and drawings provided by landscape designers or landscape architects. You must also have numeracy skills, in order to measure accurately and calculate quantities of materials required.  
 
A driving licence is useful, but not always a requirement.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: National Botanic Gardens
  Address: Glasnevin, Dublin 9
  Tel: (01) 804 0201
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Teagasc - Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority
  Address: Head Office, Oak Park, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 0200
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: College of Amenity Horticulture
  Address: National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
  Tel: (01) 804 0201
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland
  Address: Cabinteely House, The Park, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
  Tel: (01) 668 4358
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Kildalton Horticultural College
  Address: Piltown, Co. Kilkenny
  Tel: (051) 644400
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Industry Expert


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Food

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If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
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Biotechnology
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DCU
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Food Science with Business
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Herbal Science
Cork Institute of Technology
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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 113


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