How To Work In Horticulture – Learn About Careers In Gardening

Gardener Holding Plant
garden career
(Image credit: rez-art)

There are plenty of jobs for people with green thumbs to choose from. Horticulture is a wide career field with jobs ranging from gardener to farmer to professor. Some careers require a degree, even graduate degrees, while others you only need to have experience or a willingness to learn on the job. Check out all the possibilities for gardening jobs and related careers to earn a living doing what you love.

Types of Careers in Gardening

If you love gardening, there are plenty of different gardening jobs that allow you to take this hobby and passion and turn it into a way to earn a living. Some of the many possible career opportunities related to plants and gardening include:

  • Gardening/landscaping: This is a great career choice if you want to get dirty, work with your hands, and if you are not necessarily interested in getting a degree. In landscaping jobs you will work in either public or private gardens or for a company that puts in landscapes.
  • Agriculture: If your interest is in food, consider a career in agriculture. This can include farmers, aquaculture, or hydroponics, food scientist, plant breeders, and specialty growers such as viticulturists (grow wine grapes).
  • Landscape design/architecture: Designers and architects in gardening dream up and make practical plans for all kinds of outdoor spaces. These include golf courses, parks, public gardens, private gardens, and yards. Architects get involved with infrastructure while designers focus mostly on the plants.
  • Nursery/Greenhouse management: Nurseries, greenhouses, and garden centers need workers who know plants and have a passion for growing. Managers run these facilities, but they also need employees to take care of plants.
  • Turf grass management: A specialty career in horticulture is the management of turf grass. You have to have specialized expertise in turf and grasses. You may work for a golf course, professional sports team, or a sod farm.
  • Horticulture/research: With a degree in horticulture, botany, or a related field, you can become a professor or researcher working with plants. These scientists usually teach college courses as well as do research.
  • Garden writer: Another great way to do what you love while earning some cash is to write about it. The gardening field has a number of areas where you can share your expertise, be it for a company or even a blog of your own. You could also write a book for your specific gardening niche.

How to Work in Horticulture

How to get into horticulture careers depends on the particular job you’re after and what your specific interests are. To work as a gardener or in a garden center, for instance, you probably need no more than a high school degree and a passion for working with plants.

For careers that require more expertise or knowledge, you may need a college degree. Look for programs in horticulture, botany, agriculture, or landscape design depending on which type of plant-based career you want to pursue.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.