Norfolk Botanical Garden Employment Opportunities

The Norfolk Botanical Garden gladly accepts applications for any open job posting.
All open jobs are posted here. If you cannot find a job match at this time, please consider a volunteer position.


Position:       Gardener

Position type: Full time hourly employee, 40 hours per week.

Description:Performs all aspects of display bed maintenance in the assigned area to set a standard of horticulture excellence.

Essential Functions: Maintains horticulture beds and collections through weeding, watering, pruning, deadheading, mulching, edging, raking, fertilization and pesticide application. Areas of responsibility include the Hofheimer Camellia Garden, Camellia Garden, Renaissance Court, Figure 8 Garden, Old Rhododendron Garden, and The Glade.  The Hofheimer Camellia Garden is one of two camellia collections in the United States accredited by the North American Plant Collections Consortium. This garden requires the highest of horticulture standards and will be maintained in this manner. Other responsibilities include supervising assigned Gardener’s assistants and volunteers. Writes articles for the newsletter, assists in teaching classes and supports special events as requested.  Has the ability to work outside for 8 hours in heat, cold or light rain and can continuously walk, stand, bend and/or stoop.   Has the ability to push, pull and/or lift 50 pounds during working hours.

Education and Experience: Requires an Associate’s degree in Horticulture or a related field and 2 years of hands on experience or a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture or related field and 1 year of hands on experience.  Requires good communication and organizational skills.  Must have or obtain a Virginia Registered Technician pesticide license within 6 months of hiring.  Must have a valid Virginia driver’s license. Experience with chainsaws and related certified arborists activities is highly desirable. Experience with heavy machinery such as tractors, forklifts, skid steers, and front end loaders a plus.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

  1. Maintains major woody collections and display beds through weeding, watering, pruning, deadheading, mulching, edging, raking, fertilization and pesticide application
  2. Prepares and submits label and plant removal requests to the Curator of Woody Plants.
  3. Must monitor assigned area for insect, disease and weed problems, find the appropriate solutions and carry out the treatment.
  4. Performs the appropriate soil preparation and planting of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.
  5. Operates small and large engine equipment safely. (golf cart, weed-eater, blower, edger, truck, tractor, etc.)
  6. Cleans, and uses hand tools and equipment responsibly.
  7. Gives clear instructions and trains their assigned Gardener’s Assistant to perform the basic necessary tasks in assigned area when ill, on vacation or attending staff meetings.
  8. Works alongside other members of the Woody Plants team and Horticulture Department in team projects. The ability to work well within a team environment is essential.
  9. Assists with the selection and evaluation of Gardeners Assistants.
  10. Writes at least 1 article for the newsletter and teaches 1 educational class or leads an educational tour per year.
  11. Assists with special events and other duties as assigned.

Salary range: $27,000-$32,000 with benefits package

Reports to:   Curator of Woody Plants

Submit Resume to: matthew.gobla@nbgs.org or fax to 757-441-5825 attn Brian O’Neil.


(There are no part-time positions available at this time)



DGOL Light Crew

Light Crew Needed – Seasonal position September – November 5 days/40 hours and possibly evenings Thanksgiving through New Year’s.  …To assist with installation of outdoor light displays and maintaining lights during show. Able to climb, reach, and lift bulky objects.  Valid driver’s license required.

Submit application to: Director of Visitor Services and Special Events at  marcia.riley@nbgs.org  and DGOL Designer linda.saunders@nbgs.org

Garden Guide

Description: This is a term position that performs front line visitor services functions.  Term lasts March-October. Possible intermittent work October – January.

Essential Functions: Conduct garden tours and programs for the general public and relay general visitor information.

This is a front-line visitor services job with high visibility. As a Tour Guide, you serve as the face of Norfolk Botanical Garden and should at all times present a highly professional demeanor.

Education and Experience: Requires excellent oral, written and customer service skills.  Applicants must be creative and have the ability to work independently.  Must also enjoy working with people and the ability to speak to large groups is essential.  Weekend and evening work required.

Other Requirements:  Must be 18 or older with valid driver’s license.  Must be able to lift 50 lbs.

Pay: $7.25 an hour

Specific Job Responsibilities:

•               Conduct tram and boat tours
•               Implement daily visitor programs (walking tours, educational presentations, etc.)
•               Greet and help orient visitors
•               Respond to visitor inquiries
•               Assist with special event tour related activities
•               Work evenings for Dominion Garden of Lights (November – December) as assigned
•               Assist Public Program Coordinator(s) with other duties as assigned

Reports to: Public Program Coordinator(s)

Submit application to: Public Program Coordinator at publicprograms@nbgs.org or Visitor Center front desk.

  Youth Educator

Description: Seasonal Term position.
School Term:  September-May; Summer Term: June-August
Average weekly hours vary throughout the year; Spring and Summer Terms averages 20-35 hours per week. At least three weekend day shifts per month required.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden Youth Education seeks Educators who are creative, energetic, flexible and passionate about environmental education. This position is both educational and customer service based. In all programs we strive to create an educational and fun environment for experiential learning. Educators must be willing to work primarily outdoors.

Essential Function:
School Term:  Facilitate school, scout, family and birthday programs for children to age 12.
Year Round: Present “Discovery” programs to visitors and help to ensure overall safety and customer satisfaction in the World of Wonders: A Children’s Adventure Garden.

•    College experience required. Bachelor’s Degree
•    Requires teaching experience at the elementary or pre-school level. Experience in the field of horticulture, biology, gardening, natural science, or a like subject preferred.
•    Pre-screening drug test, state background check, social security card and valid driver’s license required.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

School Programs (March-June) are Monday-Friday from 9AM-1PM
•    Conduct school programs both on-site and for outreaches in area schools.
The World of Wonders Children’s Garden is open daily from 9AM-7PM
•    Educate the public using various props, WOW plants and natural materials.
•    Orient visitors to Children’s Garden map, guidelines and activities. Enforce guidelines.
•    Encourage families to have positives interactions with WOW materials, plants and properties.
•    Perform cleaning duties to ensure a sanitary work environment.
•    Educate visitors about current special exhibits.
•    Perform additional duties and responsibilities as requested.
Family, Scout and Birthday Programs take place primarily in evenings and on weekends
•    Lead Birthday programs for children ages 5-10. Assist families in hosting parties.
•    Lead Girl Scout and Boy Scout Badge programs.
•    Lead night hikes, songs and games for evening events.

Reports to: Youth Programs Managers. Send resumes and NBG Application to jen.erving@nbgs.org

Download a Job Application here