But, in general, the survey found wage rises were modest, except for those forced by the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB).
HTA business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "Sales is the front end of the business. You can have the best-quality stock but if you don't drive sales there's no point."
He added: "Cautious salary increases reflect the state of the economy but average salaries don't show that many businesses offer good career opportunities.
"The cost burden placed on nursery businesses by AWB will continue to severely impact on UK industry competitiveness."
The survey's findings included:
- - AWB forced pay rises mean nursery workers' pay is up 6.6 per cent on average, to £14,494;
- - there are fewer office managers and assistants as businesses look to reduce overheads;
- - highest paid (below executive posts) are sales managers, nursery managers and garden centre managers;
- - catering managers earn up to £27,000 depending on size;
- - there are fewer school-age workers because of red tape.
- - For the full survey results, email email@example.com or call 0118 930 3132.
Nursery sales managers: Up 8.3 per cent to £28,607
Garden centre manager: Up two per cent to £26,623
Small nursery manager: Down one per cent to £24,348
Large-nursery manager: (£5m to £50m turnover) £31,437
Planteria manager: £19,936
Nursery proprietor/partner: Up five per cent to £28,104
Garden centre owner: Up 17 per cent to £34,359
Catering manager: Up 1.8 per cent to £20,522
Nursery worker: Up 6.6 per cent to £14,494
Garden centre worker: Average wage increase of 3.16 per cent