City and County of San Francisco

Apprentice Gardener (#3410)

$19.06-$27.74 Hourly / $3,304.00-$4,808.00 Monthly / $39,650.00-$57,694.00 Yearly


The Apprentice Gardener class is an entry level training class.  This class exists to develop the competencies required of a journey level Gardener, while working under close guidance and direct supervision.  Apprentice Gardeners perform routine tasks in support of Gardeners.  Assigned duties increase in scope and difficulty as the Apprentice Gardener demonstrates skills in performing diverse duties that are learned through an on-the-job training rotation.  Work is performed under direct supervision and is evaluated on the basis of progress in a structured work experience training program.

Demonstrated competence and successful completion of the structured training program leads to meeting the minimum qualifications for the promotional class of Gardener.  Failure to achieve demonstrated competence and acceptable work habits or the inability to complete the training program within two (2) years results in loss of employment in the 3410 class.  The appointing officer may provide an extension of time to complete the training program, however, appointments to this class cannot exceed 3 years.

Under direct supervision, learns to perform care and maintenance of a variety of plants and landscaped areas, including planting, pruning and pest control; removes debris and litter; operates hand or power lawn mower; performs routine maintenance of tools and equipment; and performs related duties as required.

Distinguishing Features

The Apprentice Gardener is a trainee classification which performs routine and basic duties to assist Gardeners in the care of athletic fields, squares, parks, playgrounds, stadiums, thoroughfares, medians and/or other landscaped areas.   This class is distinguished from the Gardener class by structured training program requirements, the close supervision received, and the developmental nature of the class.

Incumbents in this class are Exempt City employees, serving at the pleasure of the appointing authority, and participate in a formal alternative work program which provides experience and training needed to qualify to compete for positions in class 3417 Gardener.

Supervision Exercised


Examples of Important and Essential Duties

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

Under direct supervision, duties include:

1. Participates in a structured on-the-job and classroom training program and learns routine and basic manual labor tasks.

2. Waters lawns, planted areas and playfields, manually or by means of automatic sprinklers; uses hand or power mower to cut lawns; fertilizes lawns, shrubs and flower beds.

3. Performs routine and limited trimming and pruning of shrubs and hedges by use of hand or power shears; gathers and disposes of cuttings.

4. With close supervision, sprays herbicides; plants and transplants shrubs or small plants; traps or destroys rodents; assists in the renovation of lawns or play areas.

5. Removes debris and litter; sweeps and otherwise cleans play areas, paths or roadways; removes trash; assists in the loading of debris on truck.

6. Rakes and weeds lawns; weeds and cultivates planted areas; cleans restrooms or other auxiliary buildings in a playground or park.

7. Sharpens, cleans and otherwise maintains tools and equipment, and performs general maintenance duties.

8. Assists in responding to specific service requests generated by the public, department or other City agency.

9. Loads and unloads materials, supplies, and equipment on and off trucks in proper and safe manner.

10. Assists in making minor repairs and adjustments to landscape irrigation systems, mower equipment, and hoses.

11. Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Ability to: learn general grounds maintenance and plant care, pest and rodent control and the use of the required tools and equipment.

Requires ability to:  follow oral and written instructions and cooperate with others in the performance of duties.

Experience and Training

These minimum qualifications are to be used as a guide for establishing the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license which may be required for employment in the class.  Although these minimum qualifications are typical of the class, additional minimum qualifications and special conditions may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the job announcement.

Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities may be qualifying.


Essential duties require the following physical skills and work environment: Ability to safely and correctly lift, drag and/or move with assistance large and/or heavy plants and equipment to truck bed level and the ability to kneel, bend and squat for considerable periods of time.  The nature of the work may require exposure to inclement weather conditions and may require exposure to infectious and/or hazardous materials and/or conditions.  Some positions require driving.  Some positions may require riding mowers and driving small utility vehicles.  Some positions may require weekend or shift work.

License or Certificate

Some positions may require possession of a valid California Class C driver license.


Amended: 7/21/10

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

CLASS: 3410; EST: 7/22/2010; REV: ;