Horticulture is broadly defined as the practice of cultivating plants, but this definition only scratches the surface of the field. A horticulture worker might find themselves working with plants personally in a cultivation role, or they might find themselves in a lab designing the best soil for plant growth. Here is a list of the top ten horticulture careers, which will certainly help you decide what direction to head in.
This position requires the worker to manage all aspects of a produce operation. Long term operations take the form of setting quotas, managing finances and hiring skilled workers. In the daily operations, orchard managers delegate tasks to workers, set daily goals and oversee operations. Innovation is another special factor in this job, as improving upon the efficiency of an orchard is essential.
Orchard managers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in horticulture or agricultural sciences. Orchard managers are also expected to have lengthy experience in managing agricultural production.
In 2018, the average orchard manager in the United States made $68,725 per year.
An estate gardener, or master gardener less specifically, is a fantastic position for those looking to work hands on with plants every day. Estate gardeners are extremely experienced gardeners who work under an estate, becoming the primary overseers of plant life. These specific locations range from smaller private estates, all the way to entire wineries. General day to day responsibilities include maintaining the cultivation of current plants and planting new greenery based on estate requests.
Qualifications for an estate gardener vary from high school diplomas to bachelors degrees. However, most estate gardener positions can forgo formal education with large amounts of prior gardening experience.
Estate gardeners are typically paid hourly, with a national average of 15.10$ per hour.
Plant pathology is a horticulture career more catered towards scientific interests. Plant pathologists identify diseases that could affect plants, and once identified, work towards creating cures for them. This identification of diseases that target plants is a vital process, preventing any massive outbreaks that could limit food supplies globally.
A bachelor’s degree in horticulture, biology or a related scientific field is required for this position. Work within a laboratory is also a great way to get an introductory plant pathologist position.
Payscale.com reported that Plant pathologists make $60,050 annually on average, and the position is expected to grow by up to 7% in the next ten years.
Landscape designer is another career that shows the broad nature of the horticulture industry. Landscape designers work in technical programs to design landscapes for a large variety of clients. This position requires advanced knowledge of creating blueprints and plans, as well as an aesthetic eye for design. Landscape design is a great career for technically skilled individuals with creative touches.
Typically, this position requires a bachelor’s degree in architecture or another closely related technical field. This position also requires advanced knowledge of design programs of all varieties, and a proven track record of project completion.
The average salary for landscape designers in the United States is $47,000 a year, according to PayScale.com. For senior landscape designers, the average salary is $71,000, with a far larger high end earning potential.
Lawn Care Technician
This is a career that grants the worker the ability to work closely with plant life. In addition, this position lets the worker be outside in nature as they monitor plant health. Lawn care technicians work with lawns in every aspect and often branch out into other plant life. Mowing, seeding and weed removal are just a few of the potential daily duties required by this job.
The position of lawn care technician doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, but they do require extremely hard working individuals. You will be expected to stand for long periods of time, and must be able to lift objects over 30 pounds.
Lawn Care technicians average annual salary come in at $29,802, according to the most recent data by Glassdoor.com
An enologist is responsible for scientifically cultivating wine in all aspects. They monitor and alter the chemical composition of soil, maintain proper grape growth and harvest at exactly the right time. This job features the brilliant opportunity to get to work closely with the production of wine, utilizing scientific interests to go above and beyond industry standards. If you love wine and love experimenting, consider a career in enology.
A strong basis of chemistry and biology will go a long way in the creation of good wine, making a bachelor’s degree in either of these areas a must. The last requirement may seem odd, but having a good sense of smell is a must when working with wine.
According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for an enologist is $51,000 a year. The average salary skyrockets to $108,000 for senior level positions.
Landscape Field Supervisor
Landscape field supervisors conduct a large crew of laborers, communicate with designers to properly execute plans and set deadlines for production. Landscape field supervisors also provide advice on the health and cultivation of plants, making sure to educate whoever is looking for landscaping on proper maintenance.
This position rarely requires a bachelor’s degree, but certainly requires experience. Employers like to see previous project management experience, as well as work in the landscaping industry.
The average salary for a landscape field manager is $41,000, and higher end positions pay up to $61,000 per year.
Nursery and Greenhouse Manager
Nursery and Greenhouse managers provide top tier cultivation of plants, and manage large scale operations of a nursery or greenhouse. The positional duties range from producing high quality food, to producing beautiful flowers for display. This position is a fantastic opportunity for individuals who love working outside, as well as who love communicating with other people.
An associates degree or certification is often required for Nursery and Greenhouse Management, and management experience is certainly a plus.
PayScale.com reports the average Nursery and Greenhouse Manager salary as $45,389.
The position of food scientist is another dream career within the horticulture industry, allowing individuals with a love for science and food to work in a dream environment. The position isn’t all food tasting, as food scientists examine the process of food production every step of the way. Consumption, packaging and product assurance are all relegated to this position.
A bachelor’s degree in biology or chemistry is the minimum, but many food scientists go on to pursue a masters or doctoral degree. Proficiency in technology is necessary as well, as data entry and analysis is an essential part of the food sciences process.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average annual food scientist salary as $72,030.
This position requires you to communicate and teach concepts covering all areas of horticulture, and often, agricultural science in general. Horticulture teaching is occasionally found in high school, but positions are most widely available post secondary. Communication and patience is essential to this career, as teaching can often be a frustrating task without them.
Post secondary teaching requires a master’s degree, but most often are required to obtain a doctorate degree in their field of teaching.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2016 that the average salary for Agricultural Sciences is $96,630, and that is the most accurate report for horticulture teacher salaries available.