Do you want to take your career in horticulture to the next level? Are you exploring the careers horticulture has to offer? Then you are at the right place.
Whether you already have some industry experience, or you are just getting started. There are many opportunities and careers in horticulture. So much that you will be spoiled for choice.
Generally, graduates can opt for careers in production, marketing, management, education or research. Some even setup their own businesses like a nursery, greenhouse, garden centers or landscape design and maintenance.
What’s more, horticulture is a rewarding career. Working with nature is the best therapy. After all, green spaces improve the environment and quality of life. Besides, nature rewards you with fresh produce and promotes a healthy diet.
Indeed, horticulture opens a world of possibilities for nature lovers. So, let’s explore the careers in horticulture.
Careers in Horticulture
The plethora of careers in the Horticulture industry attracts many gardening and nature lovers. The green industry enhances our lives with green spaces and nutritious food. With the progress in horticulture, the industry has grown exponentially.
Today, we have many innovative ways to grow a wide range of plants. And there are careers that you may not even know exist. However, most horticulture careers demand professional skills and technologies.
Here are some careers in horticulture for you to explore:
This career involves managing a business such as a greenhouse, nursery, garden center, landscaping service, food processing or any other related industry.
You could get involved in marketing and sales of fresh produce from greenhouses or farms. Sometimes, you may need to manage sales of nursery plants, flowers, cuttings and houseplants too. Many wholesale distributors, private and government agencies hire marketers to promote sales.
Sharing your knowledge and skills with people is a great way to raise awareness of the industry. That’s why many people choose to work in the education industry as well. Most universities and schools need qualified horticulturists.
What better way to contribute to the industry than research? Through research you could discover new ways to improve quality and yield of produce. Moreover, researchers are always developing new ways to improve handling, storage and postharvest conditions. In fact, the past 100 years have seen the most innovation in horticulture throughout history.
Generally, landscaping companies employ horticulturists to design and maintain landscapes. Often, you may see some of them starting their own landscaping business. It involves tasks such as:
- Landscape design and blueprints
- Cost and quantity estimation
- Bidding on projects
- Landscape construction
You could unleash your creativity by designing landscapes with unique combinations of plants and other elements. As a matter of fact, landscapers need to be aware of all the design principles. Additionally, they select the most suitable plants by studying site conditions.
Additionally, they need to combine softscape and hardscapes to create an aesthetic landscape. Besides aesthetics, the design also needs to be practical for the long run. Indeed, a rewarding career that combines horticulture skills and green spaces.
If you have amazing communication and listening skills, then consider taking up consultancy as a career. Generally, a consultant provides services to various businesses that are related to the industry.
Based on your specialization, you could be working with greenhouses, gardens, parks, nurseries, golf courses or even farmers. They also advise on the best plants for your regional climate. Ideally, you should have knowledge of horticulture as well as business skills.
Hence, a consultant should know all about plants in various soils and climates. Besides the technical specs, they also need to ensure that they provide practical solutions to reduce maintenance costs.
Once you have enough experience in the industry, you could become an industry expert. Generally, Industry experts contribute to research and development of the latest innovations. Moreover, they host events to raise awareness of the best practices in horticulture.
Many suppliers, landscapers, nurseries, greenhouses, postharvest and related companies take advise from them. And this helps to boost produce quality, yield and sales.
If you have a business background, then this career is for you. Professionals in this career may:
- Start a nursery, garden center or greenhouse
- Open a landscaping business
- Operate a farm with growers
- Provide consultancy services
And much more..
However, you will need knowledge and skills in both horticulture and business management.
As a horticulture therapist, your goal is to help people recover from mental illnesses or trauma. And you will be using plants and gardening as a tool. Therapists use their skills on plant and human science to provide therapy sessions.
Many universities have degree programs in horticulture therapy. Otherwise, you could consider Accredited Certificate Programs to pursue a career in horticulture therapy. Generally, the course is taught by registered therapists with a minimum experience of 3 years.
Upon completion, you will be able to improve the physical and mental well-being of all kinds of people. Moreover, it helps you develop leadership and people skills. It’s vital for therapists to continuously develop their skills with training.
Many people take their career to the next level by starting a consultancy business. However, most therapists work with rehab teams as educators and providers of therapy.
Related: Horticulture Therapy and well being
As an inspector, you will ensure that businesses in the industry maintain a high standard of quality produce. You will need to examine crops to ensure that they meet the quality standards. Moreover, you should advise on possible improvements to meet them.
Most government and private agencies hire inspectors to ensure that businesses follow best practices. Such as limiting the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides. Consequently, it increases consumer confidence in the produce.
Experienced horticulturists may consider writing for magazines, newspapers and websites. Even better, being hosted on tv shows and other events to raise awareness of horticulture.
This career involves all kinds of plant care activities. Nurseries, garden centers, greenhouses, gardens and parks often employ technicians.
Generally, a technician is responsible for:
- Growing plants and herbs for medicinal, educational, research or aesthetic purposes
- Maintenance tasks like pruning and watering
- Landscape planning for gardens, parks or golf courses
- Selecting low maintenance plants
- Arranging plants in green spaces
- Hardscape design to integrate architecture
- Installation of irrigation systems
- Inspect and protect plants from pests and diseases
If you love colourful flowers and bright blooms, then this career is for you. Typically, you may work at a florist, nursery or a landscaping agency. In general, you will work with all kinds of flowering and ornamental plants.
Here are some examples of an Ornamental Horticulturist’s work:
- Designing bouquets and flower arrangements for weddings and special occasions
- Managing florist shops or nurseries
- Maintenance of decorative plants and flowers
- Enhance a landscape with bright blooms
- Create practical and easy to maintain flower beds
- General care tips and advice to customers
Plant Care Worker
Plant Care Workers are responsible for a wide range of tasks such as:
- Care for plants at customer’s location
- Maintenance tasks like watering
- Examine plants and soil
- Identify pests and diseases
- Plant disease treatment
- Transplant plants to flower beds or pots
- Maintain records of planting and maintenance tasks
- Provide advise to customer on plant care tips
- Remove dying, diseased or unused plants
Working in a garden is a dream come true for nature lovers. Tasks include managing landscapes and plants in public gardens. Moreover, you may work with a wide range of plants. Indeed, a great outlet for creativity.
As the name says, nursery workers take care of growing plants in a nursery. In fact, young plants and microgreens need a lot of care. That’s why nursery staff must ensure that their needs are taken care of.
A nursery worker’s tasks include:
- Planting, watering, pruning, transplant and general care of plants
- Maintain and monitor plant growth environment
- Estimate and Place orders to suppliers
- Create schedules and keep records of maintenance tasks
- Handle packaging and transport for customers
- Develop and implement pest management plans
- Avoid harmful chemicals and pesticides
- Manage and supervise nursery staff
- Help customers select plants and provide care tips
Pest management requires working with regulatory agencies, suppliers, processing plants and farmers. However, this career may require prior experience in the industry.
In depth knowledge of various pests and plant diseases in needed. That’s why you need to be aware of laws and best practices.
Plant Pathologists perform trials on plants to find the ideal growing condition. They also study pests and diseases to improve resistance.
Usually, you may need to travel to customer locations. Its vital to take samples of soil and plant matter to study them in detail. This in turn allows them to improve plant resistance to pests and diseases.
I hope that you are inspired to pursue a career in horticulture. So, which career are you pursuing? Let me know in the comments section below.
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