Without a doubt, continuing education is the key to success. After you complete your career diploma program in horticulture, you have just begun your educational journey in the field. As you begin your career and after you get some real-world work experience under your belt, you will want to gain certification through the American Society for Horticultural Science. ASHS certification will show your employer that you are serious about your career!
Horticulturist take pride in their work. As you combine science and art in your endeavors, you are tasked with helping Mother Nature produce her finest fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers. Additional certification will prove to your employer that you have put forth the time and effort to ensure a job well done. And, it will certainly enhance your resumé, as well, should you seek employment elsewhere.
Although this certification is voluntary, more and more employers are requesting that their employees obtain ASHS certification. Currently, the ASHS offers three distinguished certification opportunities, however, with a career diploma from an online school in horticulture, you most likely would qualify for only one of the examinations, which would be the Certified Horticulturist Certification test. To qualify, you must have three or more years of experience or a combination of experience and education.
The ASHS Certified Horticulturist (CH) certification is designed to test your knowledge and skills in all areas of horticulture. The exam is a four-hour long test that focuses on the following topics: Landscape Design and Maintenance, Production of Fruits, Vegetables, Turf and Ornamental Plants, Shipping and Handling of Final Product, Propagation, Monitoring and Testing, Diagnosing and Managing Plant Problems, and Business Practices.
If later you decide to earn additional educational degrees, certifications at higher levels are available. The ASHS Associate Professional Horticulturist (APH) certification is available to those who are working towards an advanced degree, as well as, gaining work experience in the field. After you have earned your bachelor’s degree and have obtained a minimum of five years of work experience, you will be eligible to sit for the ASHS Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH) exam, which is the highest level of certification that is offered by the American Society for Horticultural Science.
But wait, the learning doesn’t stop there… Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required to obtain a current certification status. A Certified Horticulturist (CH) must submit a total of 30 CEUs every three years. You must also pay the renewal fee each year, as well. The renewal fee is due every three years from the date you passed your CH exam. Examples of continued education opportunities include professional meetings and workshops, self-directed studies, community service and the reading of relevant educational materials such as, scientific papers and books. See website for details.
Active membership is available for $135 annually and is open to anyone with an interest in horticulture. The examination fee for ASHS Members is $160, however, if you are not a member, your exam fee will be $235. Upon passing your certification exam, you will receive a distinguished certificate and an ID card. Your annual membership will provide you with many benefits such as, a bi-monthly newsletter, networking opportunities through interest groups, blogs and member forums, in addition to, publishing opportunities and access to ASHS publications. You will receive discounted registration to the ASHS Annual Conference and can participate in interest groups, leadership opportunities and gain achievement awards.
ASHS certification will build your confidence, present yourself as more marketable to prospective employers, challenge your abilities and skills, in addition to, displaying your dedication to the field of horticulture. If you are interested in this field, please see our choices for the Best Online Schools for Horticulture.