Featured Career: Horticulturist
A person that has a green thumb and likes to work outdoors might enjoy a job as a horticulturist. Horticulture is a scientific discipline that is primarily concerned with the propagation of plant life and is the mainstream of agriculture. It is an extremely diversified field with nearly unlimited career opportunities in a variety of job settings. The horticulture industry consists of four major divisions. Pomology, (the science and practice of growing, harvesting, handling, storing, processing, and marketing tree fruits), Olericulture, (the science and practice of growing, harvesting, storing, processing, and marketing vegetables), Floriculture, (the science and practice of growing, harvesting, storing, designing, and marketing flowering plants), and the Landscape and Nursery industry, (the science and practice of propagating, growing, installing, maintaining, and using grasses, annual plants, shrubs, and trees in the landscape).
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Horticulturists are technically proficient in the agricultural sciences and must have extensive knowledge about trees, flowers, vegetables, nuts, bushes, and fruits. They are responsible for increasing yield and improving the vigor, size, and taste of plants. They often work with farmers, advising them on how to grow crops, experimenting with different strains of fruits and vegetables, and imparting knowledge on pesticides, herbicides, and other ways to make harvests more bountiful. They also have some expertise in decorative plants and will sometimes be hired for landscape design. Some horticulturists prefer to be involved in the restoration of natural biomes, helping to regenerate the local flora. While horticulturalists do work in plant production, they may also find work in management, marketing, education, and research.
Depending on the career, an associate’s degree or equivalent may be required. Most employers require their Horticulturists to have college experience at minimum, frequently requiring a two or four-year college degree in jobs related to nurseries and landscape services. It is not uncommon for horticulturalists to major in horticulture, botany, or biology with coursework generally including plant biology, soil science, pest management, and genetics. Degrees customarily held are in Plant Sciences, Applied Horticulture, and Environmental Science. Certifications such as a ‘Pesticide Applicator’s License’ are typically preferred.
A Horticulturist in the United States earns an average yearly salary of roughly $35,152. Employers in Alaska, California, and New Jersey tend to pay their Horticulturists a highly competitive, above-average yearly wage. Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 7% and produce 2,300 job opportunities across the U.S.
By: Jowanna's Corner
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