Are you fascinated by plants and seeing them grow? Do you like taking care of them?

A time lapse sequence of plants growing from a bed of soil.

Then, consider turning your interest in plantsinto a career as a horticulturist!

Horticulturists are professionals who help grow high-quality food and ornamental plants.

What Does A Horticulturist Do?

A horticulturist uses scientific knowledge to grow and cultivate plants and maintain their health.

A horticulturist applies their knowledge to various aspects of plant cultivation such as:

Where Do They Work?

Horticulturists can find work in a number of places. Some workplaces are:

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Nurseries and greenhouses: to provide properly controlled environments for the growth and maintenance of plants.

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Botanical gardens: to curate and acquire various plants and ensure their health and aesthetic appeal.

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Farms and agricultural facilities: to ensure optimal crop production and management.

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Landscaping and architecture firms: to create and maintain visually appealing outdoor spaces in collaboration with landscapers and architects.

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Research institutions and universities: to conduct plant research and experiments and/or teach students pursuing horticulture or related fields.

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Government agencies and services: to provide expertise and guidance related to plant cultivation and management.

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Turf facilities: to manage facilities such as sporting fields and golf courses.

What Are Their Work Responsibilities?

The work responsibilities of a horticulturist vary based on their specific roles and workplaces.

For example, a horticulturist working with farming and agricultural facilities may typically do the following:

  • Analyze and improve crop production in terms of amount and quality.

  • Create a crop schedule with farmers to plant and harvest at an appropriate time.

  • Optimize irrigation practices.

  • Test fertilizer mixtures to see which one works best.

  • Manage pests and diseases through continuous research and monitoring.

Still images showing horticulturists working on a farm.

Quiz: Pick the Future Horticulturist

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  • Likes plants and learning about different types of plants

  • Dislikes doing hands-on work

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  • Likes nature and working in the outdoors

  • Dislikes extended periods of collaborative work

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  • Likes plants and helping her grandparents grow vegetables in their kitchen garden

  • Dislikes seeing plants wither


Who would be an ideal fit for a career as a horticulturist?

What is The Pay Like?

Salaries for horticulturists can differ depending on their location, skill level, experience level, and other factors.

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Average yearly salary for a horticulturist as of November 2023 is $46,556 USD.

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Average yearly salary for a horticulturist as of November 2023 is $57,003 CAD.  

Advancing to supervisory roles, working for larger corporations, consulting, or having your own horticultural business could lead to higher salaries and income.

What Are The Pros And Cons?

Are you still wondering if being a horticulturist is the right career for you?

Then, take a look at these pros and cons:

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  • Variety of career opportunities

  • Variety of work environments

  • Use creativity to design and maintain green spaces

  • Help produce quality food

  • Have a positive impact on the environment

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  • Exposure to chemicals and fertilizers

  • Work in a variety of weather conditions

  • Exposure to plant and pollen allergens

  • Risk of injuries

  • Physically demanding work

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Take Action

So, are you interested in becoming a horticulturist?

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