“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads,” David Henry Thoreau said. Horticulturists are verdant souls who devote more than their fair share of patience and care to earth cultivation so that the rest of us might enjoy healthy bodies and spirits.
Similar Job Titles
- Commercial Horticulturist
- Horticultural Worker
Typical Job Responsibilities
What does a Horticulturist do?
A Horticulturalist would typically need to:
- Oversee plant cultivation and crop production; aid with the planning, development, and upkeep of gardens, lawns, and other recreational spaces.
- Handle the intricate planting and culture time schedules of weekly/ monthly/annual maintenance programmes; advise and organise succession planting
- Continue weed, pest, and disease management programmes in accordance with current health and hygiene requirements.
- For best yields, experiment with different fertilisers and responsible production procedures; if possible, develop new products.
- Assess and make detailed records of crop yields, operational costs and financial returns
- Advise and plan tree planting, succession planting and
- Conduct environmental assessments; write and modify business plans and proposals as needed
- Understand about and follow organic and ecologically friendly farming techniques, norms, and regulations in order to meet the growing demand for such production.
- Help in the repopulation of wildlife in defined locations; establish restoration plans for historical structures and gardens if commissioned to do so
- Evaluate suggested adjustments to current public amenities and recreational facilities while weighing the benefits of such improvements.
- If a sports facility employs you, provide the expected standard of sports surface presentation and advice on pitch conditions.
- Analyze technical and operational issues, study the causes, develop solutions, and run horticultural experiments to evaluate their efficacy.
- Plan technical visits, presentations, and demonstrations to meet with potential buyers and suppliers; advertise and sell products
- Negotiate prices and plans with buyers and suppliers; ensuring that deadlines, quality control requirements, and regulations are met within the constraints of a budget.
- Briefings and presentations should be used to successfully communicate with the visiting public, local officials/elected representatives, and professional groups.
- Manage contractors to ensure a prompt response and the maintenance of service contracts
- Manage stock stocks of products such as seeds, plants, trees, tractors, vans, and sprayers; examine and arrange for equipment upkeep.
- Carry out other administrative tasks such as budgeting and keeping track of accounts
- Train and manage staff following local and international quality, health, safety, and employment standards and regulations
- Develop the knowledge and experience to guide and support a team; operate heavy machinery and equipment, if required
Standard Work Environment
Horticulturists often work outside in all weather conditions; however, they may also operate in enclosed facilities such as greenhouses and hydroponic gardens. Your job description will define whether you work alone or as part of a team.
Horticulturists might work either full- or part-time. Workweeks might be 43-45 hours long when working full-time. During high growth seasons, they may be required to work longer hours or on weekends. They may also be required to work in shifts at times.
Seeking a new job may appear difficult. Horticulturists can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting companies directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies. Self-employment is a possibility.
Horticulturists are usually employed by:
- Food & Produce Companies
- Plant Nurseries
- Garden Centres
- Research Firms
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional organisations and societies, such as the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), and the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS), are essential for horticulturists interested in pursuing professional development or connecting with like-minded professionals in their industry or occupation.
Participation in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Mistakes caused by inattention and inaccuracy can result in agricultural and plant damage, as well as economic loss.
- Meeting employers’ or purchasers’ weekly and monthly deadlines
- Working alongside heavy machinery increases the risk of injury and distraction.
- Working in inclement weather or for lengthy periods in the sun
Suggested Work Experience
Potential Horticulturists must have hands-on experience. Retailing and gardening are viable possibilities since they allow you to develop desirable knowledge of fresh produce as well as customer service abilities that are quite valuable in the business sector.
You can also get a six-month to a year-long internship or work experience placement at a plant nursery or farm. Volunteering at a community gardening project, plant nursery, or local farm also provides valuable practical experience. You can also explore paid or unpaid abroad work experience opportunities in any field of horticulture.
While it is not required for admittance into commercial horticulture, candidates with a bachelor’s degree find that it aids in professional advancement in the long term. Horticulturists with a background in agriculture, horticulture, environmental science, food science/technology, soil/earth sciences, crop/plant science, or commerce will find their education useful.
Certain employment may necessitate a postgraduate degree in the aforementioned disciplines.
Think about incorporating agricultural and horticultural sciences into your foundation degree or HND (Higher National Diploma) curriculum.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Voluntary business/finance management certification from an impartial and reputable organization can help you stand out in a competitive job market, carry a large wage premium of up to 18%, boost your prospects of progression, and allow you to become an independent consultant.
Candidates with credentials such as a Pesticide Applicator’s License are preferred by employers. A driver’s license may also be required. Normally, a license includes an application, processing fees, an examination, and applicable education and experience—for more information, contact local or national horticultural organizations.
Projected Career Map
Horticulturists are most likely to begin their professions by physically participating in agricultural and plant cultivation or maintenance chores. New Horticulturists may perform conventional retail and commercial jobs on the commercial and retail side. Yet, with experience comes a plethora of prospects for advancement.
You can advance to overseeing and leading teams of workers in the manufacturing, marketing, or retail sectors. You can also specialise and advance in horticultural disciplines such as commercial sales, marketing, retail, propagation, stock development, teaching, crop management, and research.
With more expertise, you can work in business management and the development of commercial organizations. Larger retail companies offer more prospects for advancement. Your career path will most likely look like this: farmer > team manager > crop manager > business manager > general management role.
Higher education will prepare you for a career in academia, research, or high-level management.
Applicants with relevant work experience, academic qualifications, certification, and a track record of success have the best career prospects.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active horticulturist in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning.
You will continue to brush up on rules governing the use of pesticides and machines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and the control of dangerous substances. Concentrate in a specific field, such as landscaping, commercial retail, or financial management. To develop the necessary skills and confidence, obtain certification or enroll in a workshop.
CPD helps you to constantly improve your skills, regardless of your age, employment, or degree of expertise. Attend relevant conferences and festivals to stay up to date on the newest developments in your specialty as well as the industry as a whole, and to stay connected with the horticulture community.
The acquisition of both developmental and practical managerial abilities, as well as geographic mobility, would be required for advancement. Create a portfolio of your work, particularly your participation in several successful projects.
Professional certification from approved organizations is available to horticulturists with a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of work experience.
Horticulturists that seek joy in caring for the land and reaping the bountiful fruit it bestows in return are blessed.
Advice from the Wise
Take advantage of any job experience opportunities that come your way and work hard to gain as much experience as possible. Get up to date on industry trends and make every effort to interact with like-minded individuals.