Thinking about a career in horticulture? Here’s a challenge: name every job you can think of in the field of horticulture.
We bet your list will just scratch the surface.
A horticulture degree can lead to careers in plant breeding, genetic engineering, landscape design, farming, floral design, research, nursery production, education, food science, landscape construction and management, pest control, marketing — the list goes on.
There are jobs out there you might not even know exist, like horticulture therapists who help senior citizens and those with disabilities by using their expertise in therapeutic plants.
Let’s take look at some of the best horticulture careers.
From Soil To Science
Technically, horticulture is the study of fruits, vegetables and landscape plants used for human consumption, garden decoration and environmental management.
That covers a lot of ground, so to speak. You might assume all careers in horticulture involve hands-on contact with all things green. But technology is a big part of the nursery and landscape industry, too.
Do You Need A College Degree?
Work in the horticulture field ranges from grounds maintenance staff who require no formal education to scientists who need a minimum Ph.D.
Many positions in the nursery and landscape industry require a 2- or 4-year college degree. Depending on the career you choose, you can earn an associate, bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree in horticulture or a related field.
Bachelor's degree programs introduce you to topics in soil sciences, management methods and ecological studies that typically qualify you for lots of different horticultural jobs. You might need graduate-level education if you want to pursue advanced scientific research or teach.
A horticulturalist working in greenhouse management may need only an associate degree or equivalent experience.
Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree
Not all horticultural careers require a degree. Grounds maintenance workers, for instance, are typically trained on the job by more experienced workers or supervisors.
But most states require licensing for workers handling pesticides, and certification is also available from national organizations.
Horticulture Degrees And Salaries
There are high-paying horticulture careers.
Post-secondary agricultural sciences teachers earn as much as $128,280 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 85 percent of these teachers have doctoral degrees.
Soil and plant scientists earn an average of $63,890 per year, with some making as much as $101,120 per year. They research ways to improve the breeding, yield and physiology of plants, trees, shrubs and nursery stock.
More than 40 percent of these scientists have doctoral degrees, 37 percent have bachelor’s degrees and 20 percent earned master’s degrees.
According to PayScale.com, the mid-range salary for horticulturalists is $27,237 to $44,567.
Wages fluctuate based on your job, with landscapers earning between $32,500 and $51,000, and agricultural positions paying $37,210 to $48,750 per year.
The highest and lowest paid are self-employed, with a wide earnings range from $16,000 to $65,000.
A Few Careers To Consider
Here’s a look at a few popular careers in horticulture, and the average national salaries.
Food Scientist: $62,210
Soil And Plant Specialist: $69,470
Nursery And Greenhouse Manager: $64,660
Landscape Designer: $42,800
Commercial Landscape Company Operations Manager: $47,000
Lawn Care And Mowing Technician: $13 per hour
Landscape Company Field Supervisor: $15 per hour
Come Work With Us
Looking for a horticulture job in Washington, D.C.? At Level Green Landscaping, we offer many different jobs in the field of horticulture. We happen to think it’s the best field around.
We’re looking for driven people who value quality work and client relationships as much as we do. Our team members receive competitive pay and benefits and they have the opportunity to move up within the company.
We love what we do, and we’re always looking for others who feel the same way.
Apply below for one of our available jobs, and we’ll be in touch with you soon.