Is Horticulture a Good Career?

Is Horticulture a Good Career?

Horticulture is a good career field for people passionate about gardening and plants. If we think about a career in horticulture, people would probably think about a few career options and job types. One might be apprehensive about the further scope and salaries. Let’s know ‘Is Horticulture a Good Career?’

According to BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics), the employment of Horticulture professionals is predicted to rise by 7% from the year 2018 to 2028.

Let’s explore this field and figure out what are the career options and prospects in Horticulture.

What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is the branch of plant agriculture that deals with the crops grown in the garden like fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.

The word ‘Horticulture’ has been taken from two Latin words ‘Hortus’ means ‘garden’, and ‘colere’ means ‘to cultivate’.

Horticulture involves planting crops for food and plants for ornaments. 

Farming of plants for food includes two fields- Pomology and Olericulture.

Gardening of plants for ornaments includes two fields- Floriculture and Landscape horticulture.

In Pomology, plants grown are-

  1. Fruits
  2. Nut crops

In Olericulture, Herbaceous plants are grown like-

  1. Carrots (edible root)
  2. Asparagus (edible stem)
  3. Lettuce (edible leaf)
  4. Cauliflower (edible flower bud)
  5. Tomatoes (edible fruit)

Floriculture includes flowers and ornamental plants. Plants grown are-

  1. Greenery
  2. Pot plants
  3. Cut flowers

Landscape Horticulture includes plants for a landscape like-

  1. Lawn turf
  2. Nursery crops like shrubs, trees, and vines.

Horticultural Studies

An undergraduate degree enables one to pursue entry-level careers in gardening and agriculture.

Graduate studies enable one in a career involving research and teaching. 

  • For a bachelor’s degree, a high-school diploma or correspondent is necessary
  • For a master’s degree, a minimum GPA, work mentorship agreement, and letter of recommendation are required
  • For a Ph.D. degree, comprehensive science tests are a must. These tests assess candidates’ caliber as a deciding factor to enter into the program.

Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture-

Topics covered are-

  1. Plant Biotechnology
  2. Plant diseases
  3. Study of pesticides
  4. Asexual breeding
  5. Greenhouse studies
  6. Environment and Horticulture biology

Certificate programs

Along with a bachelor’s degree, a candidate can also participate in a certificate program. At this level, they can take certificate programs in fields related to-

  • Greenhouse production
  • Landscape design
  • Landscape management
  • Soil management
  • Protection of crops
  • Floricultural studies
  • Pomology (fruit cultivation) studies

Master’s degree in Horticulture

Along with this degree, the candidate can also enroll in an internship program that provides a real-life experience in the challenges of the field. 

Students, who are keen on the research field, can also opt for a thesis option.

Subjects studied at master’s level include-

  1. Horticultural Photosynthesis
  2. Chemical element analysis
  3. Physiology of plants
  4. Urban ecology
  5. Applied crop physiology

Doctorate in Horticulture

It includes fields of study like-

  1. Tropical fruit research and production
  2. Physiology of seeds
  3. Food and health photochemical studies
  4. Biometeorology
  5. Ecophysiology in plants
  6. Molecular breeding marker in plants

Universities that offer programs in Horticulture include-

  1. Cornell University-

Location- New York

Areas of study

  • Graduate- doctorate, Professional degree, masters
  • Non-degree- Coursework
  • Undergraduate- Bachelors
  1. University of Georgia

Location- Georgia

Areas of study

  • Graduate- doctorate, Professional degree, masters
  • Undergraduate bachelors
  1. Michigan State University

Location- Michigan

Areas of study

  • Graduate- doctorate, Professional degree, masters
  • Non-degree- Coursework
  • Undergraduate- Bachelors
  1. Mississippi State University

Location- Mississippi

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Masters
  • Postgraduate degree certificate- Post Master’s certificate
  • Undergraduate- Bachelors
  1. Temple University

Location- Pennsylvania

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, First Professional Degree, masters
  • Postgraduate Degree Certificate- First Professional Certificate, Post Masters level
  • Undergraduate- Associate, Bachelors
  1. University of Connecticut

Location- Connecticut

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, first professional degree, masters
  • Postgraduate degree certificate- Postbaccalaureate certificate
  • Undergraduate- Associate, Bachelors
  1. Texas Tech. University

Location- Texas

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Masters
  •  Undergraduate- Bachelors
  1. Oregon State University

Location- Oregon

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Masters
  • Postgraduate Degree Certificate- Postbaccalaureate certificate
  • Undergraduate- Bachelors
  1. Utah State University

Location- Utah

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, Masters
  • Non-degree- coursework
  • Undergraduate- associate, bachelors
  1. South Dakota State University

Location- South Dakota

Areas of study

  • Graduate- Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Masters
  • Postgraduate degree certificate- Post Master’s Certificate
  • Undergraduate- Associate, Bachelor

Career options in Horticulture

  1. Horticulture consultant
  • Their average salary is $109,500 (US) per year. 
  • Provides a myriad of essential services to business owners and institutions
  • Provides advice to farmers on selecting efficient crops to grass maintenance for a golf course organization
  1. Landscape designers
  • The average salary of a landscape designer is $68,500 (US) per year. 
  • Fulfills a clients’ need by providing a plant-rich landscape
  • Overlooks soil management for better plant growth and maintenance
  • Provides services to private individuals, businesses, and government agencies
  1. Writer

The average salary of a horticulture writer is $60,000 (US) per year. 

A writer with intensive knowledge in the field can make an earning by writing for-

  • Blogs on Gardening 
  • Magazines on farming
  • TV and radios
  • Social media sites
  1. Plant Pathologist
  • The average salary of a plant pathologist is $126,000 (US) per year.
  • Discovered various plant-based diseases for the betterment of plants
  • Ought to travel to certain locations where plant-based diseases occur. He needs to collect samples, examine soil conditions, and interact with team members for a collaborative approach. 
  1. Horticultural Inspector
  • The average salary is $55,425 (US) per year. 
  • Plays an important role in the food industry
  • Maintains a high level of yields with a persistent level of quality
  • Checking fruits and vegetable crops
  • Provides instructions on how to reform the procedures for a better and high yield of plants
  1. Horticultural Technicians
  • The average salary is $47,500 per year.
  • Role in planting, nurturing, and maintaining plants
  • They work in four major fields to provide their services-
  1. Medicine
  2. Decorative
  3. Educational
  4. Food
  1. Ornamental Horticulturist
  • The average salary is $75,000 (US) per year.
  • Works at nurseries, as florists, or in a landscaping company
  • Provides services in the generation of low-maintenance flower-beds
  • Design and creates bouquets, corsages, and wreaths
  • Work with landscaping companies
  1. Plant care worker
  • The average salary is $54,500 per year.
  • Works with fertilizers, insecticides, and gardening tools to ensure the healthy growth of plants and their maintenance.
  1. Nursery staff
  • The average salary of a nursery staff is $31,500 per year.
  • Work in plant nurseries
  • Helps clients choose the right qualities of plants 
  1. Pest Management technician
  • Their average salary is $44,000 (US) per year.
  • They focus on integrated and long-term pest control procedures. Their role involves using biological control, ecology manipulation, and the use of pest-resistant varieties of seeds and plants. 
  1. Business manager
  • Their average salary is $77,500 per year.
  • Business management jobs include working in the following places-
  1. Horticultural consultancy
  2. Setting up a farm
  3. Nursery
  4. Landscaping Business
  1. Greenkeepers
  • The average salary is $50,000 (US) per year. 
  • Work to maintain recreational areas for sports enthusiasts.
  • Areas, where they work, include-
  1. Tennis courts
  2. Bowling greens
  3. Racking tracks
  4. Golf careers
  5. Soccer fields


Horticulture opens up a vast arena of jobs for those enthusiastic about gardening and the science behind agriculture. Professionals in this field have vast and in-depth knowledge. Horticulture adds to the sustainability and rehabilitation of our environment by adding beauty, greenery, and quality to life. 

The scope in horticulture is as vast as are the diverse crops in the industry and the field. The vast array of individuals in this field include those who farm, landscape, garden, research, supervise the plant crops for nourishment, ornamentation, and health benefits.

If you are passionate about the science and art of planting and sustaining high-value cultivated crops and ornamental plants, Horticulture is the right option for you.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)-

  1. Are there any horticultural jobs that don’t require a degree?

Some horticultural jobs don’t need a degree. For example, a ground maintenance worker is trained on the fields by experienced workers and supervisors. 

But some states need a license for workers handling pesticides, some need certificates approved by national organizations. 

  1. Which are the high-paying horticultural careers?
  1. Post-secondary agricultural sciences teachers. They can earn an average salary of $128,280 per annum., as per BLS (Bureau of Labour Statistics).
  2. Soil and plant scientists. They can earn an average salary of $63,890 per annum, while some can earn up to $101,120 per annum.
  1. What are some organizations or associations where one learns to be a horticulturist?
  • American short
  • American Public Gardens Association
  • American Society for Horticultural Science
  • Garden Centers of America
  1. Are there any self-employed jobs in horticulture?

Graduates who want to start their own business can self-employed themselves in agriculture product shops, Agri-based industry, etc. 

  1. Which are the horticultural jobs in the Argo-Industry sector?

This sector includes jobs in dairy processing, meat packaging, oils, fibers, pesticides, etc. There is a great scope in these fields for researches as well as sales and promotion, technologists, and scientists.

Is Horticulture a Good Career?

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