To some, gardening is a chore. To others, gardening is their happy place. Do you enjoy being outdoors? Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty? If you don’t mind a little dirt under your fingernails, perhaps a career in horticulture is for you. In addition, to achieve your dream job, you may only be required to earn a certificate or a career diploma, however, some positions, such as in management, may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
With an online certificate from a horticulture or landscaping program, you can easily obtain an entry-level job performing a variety of duties. Or, if you desire, an online program can also help you brush up on the skills needed in a specific topic in which you need some extra training, making that promotion you want within reach.
Here, we will look at a few career opportunities to consider. Retail or privately-owned garden centers are a popular choice of employment for those that have an interest in flowers and vegetable plant care and sales. In this position, you would be responsible for watering, feeding and maintaining large flats of plants for customers to buy for their home gardens. You would also keep an eye on inventory and help to reduce plant diseases, as well as, provide useful information to consumers. Excellent customer service skills are a must. Garden center workers are typically paid by the hour, just as other retail workers are paid, approximately $11.00 to $15.00 per hour, depending on your area of the country. This also includes work within greenhouses or nurseries. With a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and several years of experience, upper management in this field can earn you upwards of $126,000, depending on experience, degree and location.
Do you hear the golf course calling your name? If you are a golfer, an entry-level position as a grounds keeper at your favorite golf course would be a good choice. Grounds keepers work diligently to care for the greens and fairways by mowing, watering and fertilizing the grass. They also are responsible for controlling weeds and rodents. In this capacity, you can earn approximately, $28,110 annually, depending on your experience and job location. Grounds keeper positions are also often found in city parks, zoos and amusement parks. If you would like to further your career, an associate or bachelor’s degree may be required to become a superintendent in turf grass management, along with, several years of maintenance experience.
Landscape workers play an integral part in lawn maintenance which includes planting flowers, pruning shrubs, mowing grass, as well as, controlling weed and pest issues. In this application, you may be hired to tend lawns and gardens in a business or residential setting. Entry-level workers earn approximately $31,000 annually, while landscape architects can earn up to $108,470 per year, depending on educational degree and experience.
Through your online career certificate in horticulture, you may be interested in a position as a floral designer. As an entry-level floral designer, you will need to have somewhat of a creative side. You will arrange floral displays for all occasions blending color and greenery in complimentary ways. In addition, you will need to stay current on the latest trends in wedding floral needs, as well as, in more traditional settings, such as funerals. An advanced degree in horticulture or floriculture is helpful and may be required for florist management. Floral arranging salaries can range from between $26,350 to $40,000 annually, depending on experience.
Also, the work environment in the horticulture field can often be seasonal, so, you may need to find other work in the winter time to supplement your income, however, some companies take advantage of the slow season to repair and do maintenance on lawn and farm equipment. Extreme weather conditions may be a deciding factor for some, however, if you would prefer to work indoors, a floral designer’s position may be more suited for you.
Do you have a strong back? Being a gardener can also be very physically demanding at times, as you are constantly bending, kneeling, shoveling and lifting. It’s best to learn the proper ways to lift, as well as, other equipment safety rules to avoid injury.
If you think you have a green thumb, check out our choices for the Best Online Schools for Horticulture.