Horticulture is a diverse career sector with various fields focusing on plants. Specialists in this discipline can work in manufacturing, economics, agriculture, as well as the study of food science.
If you enjoy being outside and working with your hands on the ground, appreciate gardening and landscaping, and are fascinated by science, this is an excellent profession for you.
Is Horticulture a Good Career?
Horticulture is a good career choice for people who are passionate about plants and want to work in a constantly evolving field. This modern applied plant science will give you the skills you need to succeed, and you can start your journey by completing a degree. You may need to get paid higher, but you’ll be able to grow healthy food using sustainable production methods.
But first, there are specific qualifications you must accomplish if you want to serve in horticulture. Let’s find out!
1. Applied Plant Science
Horticulture is the research, efficient production, distribution, and application of high-value, extensively grown food and ornamental plants.
It is both an applied science and an art form. In this career, a multitude of green job opportunities is possible, including:
- Greenhouse Farming
- Garden Businesses
- Florists and Garden Centers
- Landscape Architecture
- Construction Businesses
2. Excellent Career Choice
Horticulture is a challenging career for some people. First, you must undergo extensive training.
You will be engaging with your hands outdoors, collecting samples, and being in nature for a significant portion of the day.
But one major benefit of starting your horticultural profession is that you may earn an income as you train.
In addition to that, Horticulture can increase people’s fascination with the industry.
It offers engaging, demanding, and meaningful employment at all levels, and there is a rising demand for knowledgeable, well-trained students in this field.
3. Minimal Compensation
According to career explorer, the regular salary for a horticulturist in the U.S. is around $73,060 annually.
At the same time, some private businesses still provide the following benefits:
- Flexible work hours
- Transportation options
- Work-from-home policy
- Additional soft skill training
Some horticulturists claim that while the spiritual rewards are excellent, the monetary compensation is poor. As a result, plants, gardens, and gardening services are all underestimated.
When looking for cities in the U.S. that provide higher rates, you can consider these areas:
- Brooklyn, NY ($23.56/hour)
- Boston, MA ($22.13./hour)
4. Passion for Plants
Working in horticulture involves a passion and knowledge of plants.
Additionally, it aims to promote gardening and landscaping, which can open up career options for everyone.
These experts know the therapeutic benefits of gardening, the power of plants, and the significance of gardens in the ecosystem.
Many of them had an orchid collection when they were kids. So they invested time learning about greenhouses and plants. For them, it’s always another gardening adventure.
5. Degree Credentials
To pursue a career in horticulture, you must possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree combined with extensive knowledge in agriculture, forestry, or landscape architecture.
A certification to handle or manage fertilizers and other chemical substances may also be necessary for particular professions.
To advance your career and work in research and advancement of academics, you generally need a master’s or Ph.D.
Lastly, you need solid verbal and scientific communication skills.
6. Scientific Knowledge
Professionals in horticulture can gain a lot from having a solid scientific background. This is beneficial while completing duties like identifying native vegetation and pests.
Mechanical abilities are also helpful since you can rely on them to understand components like drainage, airflow, and heat.
Moreover, legal knowledge can be valuable to horticulturists applicable to environmental and pesticide regulations.
Finally, it would be best to have decent physical stamina since hard labor in vineyards, vegetable gardens, or farms is expected.
7. Hands-on With Shrubs and Plants
For this career, you must have practical capabilities.
Your initial focus will be on practical horticulture and maintenance activities, or standard business and retail operations, rather than line managing other individuals.
Beginners learn to plant and grow aesthetic and functional plants and relocate and prune small trees and shrubs.
If you want to work on the business end, industry experience, gardening experience, and proof of expertise in fresh vegetables and plants are all desirable.
Some professionals gain experience from a nursery or a farm that grows crops.
8. Career Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agriculture and food scientists’ total employment will increase by 8% annually, with 4100 new jobs added yearly.
There are various career paths in the industry, such as,
- Plant Pathologist
- Ornamental horticulturist
- Horticultural technician
- Plant Care Worker
- Landscape Designer
- Pest Management
9. Life as a Horticulturist
Life as a horticulturist involves workweeks that differ depending on the crop, season, and location in the production process.
Horticulturists spend most of their time in the field, working at research facilities, ranches, greenhouses, parks, botanical gardens, and in nature.
Flexibility is necessary when there is high demand, such as before holidays or harvest season.
There are also strict deadlines to achieve as well as excellent standards for quality and quantity control.
In the farming sector, self-employment, part-time labor, and career pauses are all alternatives.
10. Healthy Hobby and Profession
Being a horticulturist is a way of life rather than just a profession. The work revolves around nature and seasonality.
In addition, a horticulture career is a healthy hobby that individuals of all ages can enjoy because it nourishes the body and the mind.
Many of these horticulturists initially view it as a hobby and a form of socially acceptable leisure and sustainable quality. As a result, people have high job satisfaction and a great career.
11. Labor Intensive and Long Hours
Remember that horticulture can be a labor-intensive industry while contemplating your career.
You’ll most likely spend much time far away from home and work long hours even in harsh weather. Moreover, there is a high possibility that you, the main horticulturist, may be required to work during peak hours.
As you can see, the horticulture sector is a part of labor-intensive industries like coal mining, construction, and agriculture.
If you are a nature lover, the opportunities are endless in horticulture.
While it may not be a perfect fit for every person, horticulture is still a solid career option.
Ultimately, it can be just as rewarding as a hobby or a profession if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort required.