WHAT IS THE JOB?
Horticulture is an interesting, refreshing vocational field. If you like
working with plants, soil, and the environment and if you are interested in
nature, ecology and growing things, then this is the area for you. Horticulture
is a field which provides varied challenges in areas such as design,
construction, management, supervision, skilled working positions, and
counseling. The result is self-satisfaction and an enjoyable work environment.
WHAT ARE THE PERSONAL
QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS NECESSARY FOR A CAREER IN HORTICULTURE?
Employment qualifications and skills vary greatly depending upon the job. The
more education and training that you have, the better your opportunities
industry-wide. Many horticulture positions require some specialization or
expertise, good work ethics, and the ability to communicate well and work with
others. Nursery sales, floristry, management, landscape design, pest control
and horticultural consulting require little physical strength. Landscape
installation and maintenance, urban forestry, park and grounds maintenance are
physically demanding and require strength and stamina.
WHAT ARE THE WORKING
CONDITIONS AND SALARY?
Horticulture employment offers a variety of work environments with time required
both indoors and outdoors. Labor positions usually require lifting, bending,
stooping, and good physical condition is essential. Salary varies and depends
on the level of education, type of employment, specific job tasks and skills. According
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hourly earnings for landscaping and grounds
keeping workers positions in 2006 range from $9.00 - $18.00 per hour.
WHAT ARE THE EMPLOYMENT
Many job opportunities await graduates of the Kaskaskia College program in
horticulture. Just a few include: residential and commercial landscape
installation and maintenance; park, grounds, and golf course maintenance;
retail and wholesale greenhouse operations and management; floristry; plant
pest control and horticulture consulting; and residential landscape design.
WHAT IS THE EMPLOYMENT
Increased interest in the quality of the environment, conservation, and
restoration projects are stimulating growth in
the horticulture industry. Quality nursery and landscape operations require
skilled, educated people. Long-term, secure prospects are good for the
applicants with college training such as those in the horticulture program
offered by Kaskaskia College. According
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the Horticulture industry employment needs
will expand by 18% in the next decade.
Grounds maintenance workers will have among the largest numbers of new
jobs arise, around 270,000 over the 2006-16 periods.
Careers in Horticulture and Related Fields
Horticulture is an
applied science dealing with fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. It is an
extremely diversified field with nearly unlimited career opportunities in a
variety of job settings.
The majority of
horticultural positions require a minimum of either a two- or four-year degree.
In some careers, however, educational requirements can vary greatly, depending
on the level of expertise required for the position. Some entry level positions
provide on-the-job training and require only a high school diploma, while other
positions within that same career may require specialized technical or
The following list
is meant to provide basic information on some of the more common careers in
horticulture and horticulture-related fields.
Botanical Garden, and Horticultural Garden Worker
and maintaining plant collections in naturalized, systematic or aesthetic
arrangements. May also propagate plants, teach and conduct research. Employed
by arboreta, botanical gardens, city parks, colleges/ universities, historical
sites, nature preserves, public and private gardens, and recreational areas.
Wide range of educational requirements.
Urban Forester and Tree Service Technician
Concerned with all
aspects of the care, protection and maintenance of woody plants, especially
trees, in urban settings. Employed by arboreta, botanical gardens,
colleges/universities, consulting firms, Cooperative Extension, government
agencies, landscape maintenance firms, large private estates, parks departments,
research institutions, resorts, theme parks, tree nurseries, tree service
companies, and utility companies. Wide range of educational requirements.
Studies the form and
function of plants. Most are employed by educational institutions and government
agencies. Others may be employed by arboreta, biological supply companies, biotechnology
firms, botanical gardens, chemical companies, food companies, fruit growers, research
institutions, and seed companies. Requires a minimum of a four-year degree.
horticultural advice to businesses and growers. May specialize in one area,
e.g. nursery crops. Many are self-employed; others work for equipment
companies, landscape firms and pesticide companies. Requires a minimum of a
four-year college degree.
coordinates programs to promote agriculture in the county. Involves research (such
as field trials and test demonstrations) and providing educational
opportunities for growers. Employed by land grant universities. Requires a minimum
of a four-year college degree.
coordinates programs to promote horticulture in their state. Provides
educational opportunities for Extension agents and conducts applied research.
May also have teaching responsibilities at the university. Employed by land
grant universities. Requires a Ph.D.
or related subjects at high schools, colleges, universities, vocational schools,
technical schools, and junior colleges. Requires a minimum of a Bachelors
Degree or Masters Degree. Ph.D. required for teaching at the college or
Studies the science
of wine and winemaking. Job types include operating machinery, picking grapes,
teaching and research, as well as winemaker. May be hired by colleges/ universities,
wineries, and grape producers. Wide range of educational requirements.
A general term for
horticulturalists who specialize in cut flowers, bedding plants, and potted
plants. May be involved in marketing floral supplies and products, teaching or
conducting research. Employed by colleges/universities, florists, garden
centers, producers, and technical schools. Wide range of educational
design flower and foliage plant arrangements. May also care for and sell live
or dried floral material. Positions in florist shops and floral retail
businesses. Also large grocery stores and retail chains with floral
departments. Wide range of educational requirements.
Owner, Manager and Worker
plants, tools and supplies in a retail outlet. Provides plant information to
customers. Positions include garden center owner, manager, field worker,
greenhouse worker, and sales clerk. Wide range of educational requirements.
Manager and Worker
manages and harvests greenhouse crops. May be hired by commercial greenhouses
or landscape companies. Wide range of educational requirements.
Producer and Farmer
horticultural crops for retail or wholesale markets. Works on and/or owns a
vegetable farm, orchard, nursery, vineyard, greenhouse, sod farm, etc. May be
an independent grower or be employed by other producers. Wide range of educational
Uses plants and
horticultural activities to improve emotional, mental and/or physical
well-being of patients. Works as part of a team consisting of other health-care
professionals, rehabilitation specialists and/or social workers. May work with
mentally disabled, emotionally disabled, senior groups, inner city youth, and
prisoners. Employed by hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, schools and
rehabilitation centers. Requires specialized training in a post-secondary
program accredited by the American Horticultural Therapy Association.
installing and maintaining interior plantings in private or public buildings. May
be self-employed or work for landscape or interior design companies. Wide range
of educational requirements.
operates and repairs irrigation systems at various locations, such as golf
courses, athletic fields, farms, nurseries and greenhouses. Requires a two- or
four-year college degree in grounds management, landscape design or a closely
Plans and designs
exterior landscapes for parks, recreational areas, campuses, industrial sites, institutional
grounds, shopping malls, and other large projects. May be self-employed or work
for developmental companies, government agencies, landscape architectural
firms, or resorts. A four-year college degree is required for most entry level
positions; however, some positions require a graduate degree. State
registration or certification required.
plant material, turfgrass and structural landscape features according to plans from
a landscape designer or landscape architect. Employed by a landscape contractor
firm or landscape nursery. Wide range of educational requirements.
Plans and designs
exterior landscapes for homes, estates, and small commercial buildings. Generally
involved in smaller projects, compared to a landscape architect. May be
self-employed or work for landscape firms. Requires a minimum of a two-year
college or technical degree.
Maintenance, Landscape Gardener, Groundskeeper and Grounds Manager
and maintaining private and public landscapes, gardens and lawns. Employment
opportunities exist at amusement parks, cemeteries, golf courses, parks, lawn and
garden service companies, public grounds, racetracks, recreation and sports
facilities, and university campuses. A two- or four-year college degree is
maintenance, including mowing grass, seeding lawns, applying pesticides, and
making fertilizer applications. Generally employed by lawn care companies, but
may also work for landscape firms or government agencies. Some serve as
independent contractors. Wide range of educational requirements.
Involves all aspects
of marketing and promoting horticultural crops or products, including improving
methods and equipment used in grading, packaging, storage and shipping. May be
employed by processing companies, producers and marketing organizations. Post
secondary training is required.
Nursery Manager and Nursery Worker
transplants, maintains, and harvests nursery crops. May be involved in grafting
and propagating plants. Job opportunities at greenhouses, landscaping companies
and wholesale or retail nurseries. Wide range of educational requirements.
Produces new and
improved plant varieties. Positions with arboreta, biotechnology firms, botanical
gardens, colleges/universities, consulting firms, government agencies, and research
and development departments in large corporations. Requires a four-year college
degree for entry level positions and a graduate degreefor advanced positions.
attempt to determine the cause of various plant problems, which can include
plant diseases, insects, and cultural problems. Provides pest management
solutions. May be employed by colleges/universities, the Cooperative Extension Service,
greenhouses, and large nurseries. Requires post-secondary training.
Inspects plants in
commercial nurseries, garden centers, orchards, field plantings, as well as county,
state or national entry/exit points, to ensure material is free of specific
insects or diseases. Generally federal or state employees. Requires a four-year
degree or graduate degree.
diseases, their cause and management. May be involved in teaching, research,
diagnostic work or agribusiness sales. Some serve as private consultants, while
others may be employed by colleges/universities, the Cooperative Extension
Service, industrial firms, government agencies, pesticide companies, and regulatory
services. A four -year college degree is required for technical positions,
while a graduate degree is essential for more advanced positions.
Propagates new plant
material using various techniques (e.g. grafting, seed production, tissue culture,
and vegetative propagation). Employed by arboreta, botanical gardens,
greenhouses, propagation nurseries, and universities. Wide range of educational
Specializes in the
production and marketing of tree fruits, tree nuts and small fruits. May be an
independent grower or employed by colleges/universities, research institutions,
and food processing companies. Wide range of educational requirements.
experiments, studying various aspects of plant cultivation, propagation,
production, pest control, etc. Basic and/or applied research. Employed by
arboreta, chemical companies, colleges/universities, experiment stations,
government agencies, private industry, public gardens, research institutions,
and seed companies. Requires a graduate degree.
and Sales Manager
Coordinates sales of
horticultural crops and products. Provides information and advice to customers.
Employed by garden centers, floral shops, nurseries, and other retail outlets.
Wide range of educational requirements.
assistance to professionals, such as arborists, foresters, landscape architects
and researchers. Employed by arboreta, botanical gardens, chemical companies,
colleges/ universities, government agencies, research and development
departments in large corporations, research firms, and seed companies, Requires
a minimum of a four-year college degree; however, some positions require a
estimate tree values and the cost of tree damage for insurance claims. Employed
by insurance companies. Requires post-secondary training.
maintains turf areas, such as those at commercial sites, golf courses, sod
farms, and sports fields. Types of positions include golf course
superintendent, golf course manager, and greenskeeper. May work for athletic
fields, golf courses, government agencies, landscaping companies, lawn care
companies, and sod farms. Requires a two- or four-year college degree in turfgrass
production for wine, juice, raisins and other grape products. Employers include
companies manufacturing grape products, colleges/universities, vineyards, and
wineries. Requires a four-year college degree.