Introduction to Horticulture Course Paper -- I have 6 questions

by Morgan
(Virginia, United States of America)

Fraser Valley College

Fraser Valley College

I am taking an Introduction to Horticulture Course that requires me to ask a professional the below 6 questions. I would do it in person but I am staying home because of Covid-19. If you can answer any of the questions below, I would be very appreciative. Thanks!

Answer questions 1-6 using information from the resources and person(s) with whom you
1. What education level and years of experience do you need to work in this career and for
the position you would like within this career?
2. What skills and knowledge would you need to acquire to succeed in this career?
3. What activities would you perform in this career?
4. What is a likely salary range for this career?
5. How common are job opportunities within this career and where are they located?
6. What are the opportunities for advancement within this career?

Comments for Introduction to Horticulture Course Paper -- I have 6 questions

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Aug 14, 2020
Keep in mind
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Keep in mind that I have a very different experience in the education and knowledge than you will have. The course I took is called Crop Production, and was maybe a little more intensive than your Introduction to Horticulture.

Here are my thoughts and responses to your questions - hopefully this gives you what you need;
1. My education was one year, and provided me with a Certificate of Ornamental Horticulture.

The year went from January to October, giving the students an opportunity for a practicum through the summer. I was hired to take over as Head Propagator in June through the end of August, and then went back after my final semester to work for the same company full time.

So technically, the schooling you need for this type of work isn't that long, but you do need to have knowledge and a background. I had a tiny bonsai and tree nursery prior to taking the course, which got me started, plus a long history of gardening with my parents and grand parents, then with my own family.

2. The skills you need depend on where you want to go with it.

If you plan on being a landscape designer, that will take a whole different skill set than if your dream is to own your own flower shop. Sometimes the right skills and talents happen on their own, and the job appears that just seems to click.

With me, I knew I loved propagating and pruning. These skills are pretty much tailor made for becoming a successful propagator. Other skills I already had were in the display field, from other jobs I had worked in, so putting together a display for a trade show was easy for me.

3. The activities you would perform would depend entirely on the job. This is a huge field, and specializing in one tiny area can be extremely satisfying and fulfilling. Most people who go into horticulture as a career already have a pretty good idea of where they need to be, whether that's designing and installing patios, or teaching the elderly residents in a care home how to make wreaths. The possibilities are endless.

4. I can't answer this question about salary range. It's been a long time since I worked for anyone else, and besides that, you're in the US, I'm in Canada. When I first started working in 1989, I received a whopping $9 / hour. In 2001, in a different company, my wage was $19 / hour. But there is such a huge range, and this industry does not pay what people are worth. If you're going into it for the money, my advice is, don't.

5. I can't answer this question with any kind of certainty. I guess if there is a demand for certain skills, there will be jobs. It depends on the type of industry in your area. Wholesale nurseries generally locate their growing facilities where there are a lot of sunny days in the year, good water supply, and other factors (like the availability of workers in the area).

6. The advancement opportunities are varied. In most parts of this industry, it's typically lower paying, so once a person gets to a certain point, there's nowhere to go. Most employers don't want to pay what people are worth, for the most part. So the only advancement you can make would be to owning your own business.

I hope this has answered your questions. Feel free to ask if you need more clarification. Best of luck with your course!

Aug 14, 2020
Appreciate the reply
by: Morgan

Thank you very much for the reply. It has helped a lot.

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