Horticulture has been around since the beginning of mankind. Either as a hobby or as a profession, horticulture spans all aspects of growing, producing, and using plants to their maximum capabilities. Therefore, careers in horticulture will always be a necessary and continuous part of modern society. Whether we are using beautiful ornamental plants as decorations or benefiting from the nutrition that home-grown fruits and vegetables offer, horticulture touches our lives, in some aspect, every single day.
Growth in the Horticulture Industry
In recent years, the horticulture industry has been in growing in popularity. In fact, a recent report published by the horticulture industry’s leading analysts stated that they forecast the Greenhouse Horticulture market to grow at a rate of 10.79% between 2018 and 2022. This expected growth will likely contribute to more job opportunities all over the world. Since horticulture is always in demand, careers in horticulture will always be available.
So, what jobs does the horticulture industry offer? Whether you love working with your hands, have a love of nature, or even a keen eye for salesmanship, there is probably an employment opportunity waiting for you inside the vast, versatile field of horticulture.
Production Nursery workers grow plants from seedlings or cuttings to sell, usually at the wholesale level. Fruit trees, berry plants, deciduous trees, and evergreens are some common types of plants grown in production nurseries. There will always be a high demand for food, therefore,
Landscape Nursery employees help prepare sites for landscape projects. Everything from new neighborhoods, shopping centers, hospitals, and schools require landscaping that not only beautifies, but that also meets the codes and requirements of the area.
Landscape Maintenance involves the upkeep and wellness of landscaped areas. Whether you are helping your community maintain beautiful lawns, or you work with a large team to maintain the landscape of an industrial complex, this job is always in demand. It is also a great opportunity for starting your own business or creating side jobs as a means for extra income.
Garden Centers are retail shops and nurseries that sell to the public. These businesses often become a central source for gardening supplies, landscaping materials, tools, and equipment for hobby growers and larger growing operations.
Arboretums & Botanical Gardens
Arboretums & Botanical Gardens are popular community attractions in most big cities. Often centered on local flora, guests can learn about what grows in their area while enjoying a self-guided tour throughout the collections of plants. These types of gardens often use conservatories and greenhouses to protect delicate and endangered plant species from the elements. Students, scientists, and growers use these gardens to research plants and the environments.
Each of these landscaping related careers in horticulture can offer a variety of employment opportunities, including:
- Inventory and Control Personnel
- Field Forepersons
- Field Supervisors
- Managers and Salespeople
- Shippers and Traffic Managers
- Landscape Designers
- Plant Doctors
- Educational Directors
- Superintendents of Operations
- Greenhouse Managers
Plant & Flower Production
Plant & Flower Production is an opportunity for small hobby growers to earn extra income, and an opportunity to expand to or work within a large, wholesale growing operation. Catering to florists, greenhouse managers, grocery stores, garden centers, & many other customers in the horticulture industry means that plant and flower producers will stay in high demand.
Wholesale Florists usually handle the cut plants and flowers that garden centers and grocery stores often rely on to stock their own floral departments. These careers often also handle the distribution of dry goods such as growing containers, and other florist supplies.
Retail Florists often own, manage, or work in florist shops. These shops are the most common retail outlets for the public purchase of fresh flowers, houseplants, wedding bouquets, bereavement arrangements, and many other every day and special occasion flower needs.
Garden Centers and other retail stores often have smaller areas within their departments that sell fresh-cut flowers, gardening supplies, houseplants, and other horticulture equipment. Discount stores usually have garden centers that offer competitive pricing on everyday gardening needs.
Employment in the floriculture field can offer a wide variety of career opportunities, including:
- Production Superintendents
- Marketing Managers
- Inventory Controllers
- Greenhouse Managers
Working with Fruits and Vegetables
Production of Fruits and Vegetables
Production of Fruits and Vegetables can involve working in smaller, independent orchards, and vineyards, or in large commercial operations. These careers are sought out by college-trained horticulturists because of the highly mechanized, technological aspects of producing these plants. Whether you are looking to start a family farm, or work for an established, corporate-owned business, fruit and vegetable production careers will always be available.
Marketing careers have become some of the most highly sought after jobs of the modern era. The marketing of fruits and vegetables is no exception. Informing customers of improved growing practices, safe alternatives to pesticides, organic techniques, nutritional values, and sustainability of fruits and vegetables takes considerable effort and finances. These careers attract employees who want to use their creativity and people skills, while also potentially earning a high salary.
- Field Workers
- Sales Agencies
- Factory & Warehouse Supervisors
- Marketing and Promotional Organizers
- General Managers & Executive Directors
Education & Research
Horticulture Specialists work for the government usually or on college campuses. Specialists often work in all aspects of horticulture and agriculture. However, they can also have a more focused specialty wherein they work with a specific plant, habitat, ecosystem, etc. These jobs involve getting outreach groups, 4-H clubs, student communities, and other youth-driven organizations involved with horticulture training programs.
Consultants are self-employed horticulturist who offer help and advise individual growers, federally regulated farms, and anyone else who needs help with their operation. Private consultants apply their knowledge to help educate growers about pest and disease issues, soil nutrition, and economical control methods.
Communicators help organize and present seminars, webinars, educational meetings, and other group events wherein the attendees will learn about horticulture. They often also write blogs, articles, and columns for horticulture publications.
Teachers of horticulture are working from preschools grades through doctoral programs. Certified teachers can work in private or public schools as either full-time teachers, part-time lab teachers, or adjunct professors. Non-certified teachers can often work in public gardens, early childhood development centers, nature reserves, and community centers.
Research Scientists are an important part of horticulture. Studying, breeding, and developing new techniques for growing plants helps keep the horticulture industry effective and profitable. These scientists can work as independent consultants in the private sector, or for federally funded schools and programs. Therefore, the knowledge of how to use the latest sophisticated technology usually makes this career a high earning one.
Plant Inspectors work at the federal and state levels, ensuring that facilities are up to code and implementing best practices. Some inspectors from private companies perform independent testing to combat bias.
While the list of career opportunities connected to Education and Research facet of the horticulture industry is vast, some jobs available include:
- Teacher or Professor
- Assistant Teacher
- Lab Technician
- Lab Assistant
- Independent Consultant
- Corporate Consultant
- State or Federal Inspector
- Research Assistant
- Promoter or Presenter
There’s no doubt that horticulture is a huge part of our everyday lives and careers in horticulture are readily available. So, if you are interested in starting a horticulture training program in your area, call us today at 1-800-531-4769 to discuss your goals.