Careers in Horticulture
Because of the diversity of career opportunities that can be found in the area of horticulture, after graduation most entry level jobs salaries are expected to range from the high twenties to the mid-thirty thousand dollar range. As the graduate gains experience and takes on or is given more responsibility or furthers their education in their chosen profession, the monetary compensation will also increase. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job security in the horticulture sector and related fields for the next ten years looks very good.
Depending upon the student's interests and professional goals, a career after graduation in the area of horticulture may include, but is not limited to:
Production and/or Sales: Owning or managing a business like a fruit orchard, vegetable farming, greenhouse and nursery products, garden center, floral shop, selling of horticultural equipment and supplies, etc.
Marketing: Being a part of the global market economy in the wholesale or retail sale of cut flowers, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, seeds and commodity trading. Being a buyer for chain stores, private institutions, or wholesale distributors are some of the options open to the right person who has a degree in horticulture and good communication skills.
Teaching: Teaching others about the world of plants and their products and how they serve humankind. There is a need for qualified teachers in horticulture in high schools, technical schools and colleges.
Humanitarian Outreach: Serving in a direct capacity to relieve hunger and poverty. This may include serving as a project manager in community development programs in a third world country or here in the United States helping out in the inner city with landscape beautification projects or community vegetable gardens.
Botanical Gardens and Arboretums: Be a part of specialized gardens that collect, maintain and preserve plant life, whether it be of a local or of a worldwide interest.
Research: Be on the cutting edge of improving yields and quality of fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants through plant breeding, genetics, and plant nutrition. Research may also include better ways to store and handle crops safely for higher customer satisfaction and health.
Industry Support: Become a consultant in technical services to help producers and the industry in producing and marketing using the latest technologies and products to keep costs low and improve the quality of what they are producing. This may include soil testing and fertilizer application, pest control field scout and recommendations on the proper use of pesticides, how to set up and manage a farm roadside market business that specializes in organic produce, etc.