Inside Horticulturist Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"How Disconnected Urban Children Are From Nature...
I work at a nature center where I give programs to school children and the community. I was quite surprised to learn how disconnected some urban children are from nature and animals. A lot of children are scared of turtles or don't understand that the animals in the park live there on their own." (Naturalist; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Kansas, female
School: Studied Environmental Studies at Friends University in Kansas; completed Master degree in 2012

"Horticulture Opportunities Are All Around...
Most people are surprised to find out how wide of a range of opportunities there are in the horticulture field. Horticulturists can work at golf courses, theme parks, hotels and resorts and more." (Horticulturist; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Horticulture at North Metro Technical College in Georgia; completed Associate degree in 2007

"Low Pay With Long Hours And No Overtime Pay...
I was surprised at how low the wages were and that horticulture falls under agriculture laws that allow employers to force you to work 48 hours without overtime pay. I think some people would be surprised at just how physical this profession is, and how much you must deal with people who do not speak English if you work for a large grower." (Horticulturist; 2014)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Horticulture at Midlands Technical College in South Carolina; completed Associate degree in 1984

"Frequently Changing...
I have been surprised most by the amount of turnaround in my profession, whether it be with employees, funding, or actual workload or focus. It is ever changing and sometimes hard to keep up with or not be worried about." (Scientist; 2012)

Career: , currently based in Massachusetts, male
School: Studied Zoology at University Of New Hampshire in New Hampshire; completed Bachelor degree in 2005

"Leveraging Knowledge From College...
I have been surprised at the range of different jobs that a horticulturalist can get; I expected the different jobs available to me to be much smaller. Also, I have been surprised at the amount of information from college I have been using in my job; getting the degree was worth it!" (Horticulturalist; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, female
School: Studied Environmental Horticulture at University Of Minnesota in Minnesota; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

Career Background


  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Be Prepared For Hard Work, Low Pay And Long Hours In Horticulture...
If you don't like being hot, cold, wet, dirty or exhausted, don't go into horticulture. Prepare to start out at low wages, long hours and no overtime pay." (Horticulturist; 2014)

"Just Grow...
If you want to be a successful horticulturist, you should never stop growing." (Horticulturist; 2014)

"Need Passion For Nature...
If you want to be a naturalist you have to have a passion for nature and the environment. If you do not have that passion you will not enjoy working everyday." (Naturalist; 2013)