What Does a Gardener Do ?
Do you love plants? Do you feel at home when you are walking through parks and gardens, or ambling through a nursery? If you do, then why not consider a career in the horticultural industry?
What is Horticulture?
Horticulture is concerned with the science and cultivation of plants, including fruits, vegetables, garden and ornamental plants. This industry has an important role to play when it comes to environment and sustainability. Horticulturalists are required to help develop efficient solutions for land management, landscaping and garden design.
Horticulture experts work in a variety of environments including gardens, nurseries, parks and gardens and urban environments. You will need to love plants and be interested in the environment, be comfortable getting dirty and being outdoors. A wide knowledge of plant species is essential. You may be involved in plant propagation, rejuvenation projects, research into plant cultivation, or be responsible for designing beautiful outdoor spaces. Some jobs in the industry may require you to work outside normal business hours.
What Qualifications will I Need?
Horticulture is a varied industry and there are a number of horticulture courses online and in-class, so you are bound to find one that suits you. Horticulture TAFE offer a wide range of qualifications to get you in the industry. A basic course to teach you how to recognise plants, how to plant, prune and collect plant specimens is the Certificate II in Horticulture. This course will also provide you with skills to work in a retail garden centre environment. Upon completion, you will be able to gain employment as a nursery assistant or worker, groundskeeper assistant or horticulturalist assistant.
A Certificate III in Horticulture is aimed at those wishing to enter the industry or those who want to build on their knowledge. You will learn the art of identifying plants, propagation, planting techniques and turf repair. Other skills taught include plant maintenance, irrigation, OHS issues and environmental work practices. A Certificate IV in Horticulture will allow you to increase your skills even further. You will gain skills in modern and traditional horticultural methods, plant nutrition and management, how to cost horticultural-related projects and how to use specialist machinery. With this qualification, you could find yourself working in private, botanic or council gardens.
For an overall education, the Diploma of Horticulture will equip you to become an expert in plants and design. This course will set you up well to work in landscape construction and design, local government, botanic gardens and other horticultural business. The Diploma of Applied Horticultural Science is a qualification highly sought after in the industry, and will set you up to enter many areas of the horticulture industry. The course concentrates on developing your skills in botany, plant physiology and plant health, how to identify and select plants, soil knowledge, sustainability and technical skills surrounding garden maintenance.
If you want a degree in horticulture, then a Bachelor of Horticulture is available. This provides professional qualifications for anyone wishing to work within the horticultural environment. You will learn applied plant science, management and financial skills to allow you to build a strong career within the horticultural industry.
If you love parks and gardens, then a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens awaits you. This horticulture course in Melbourne will show you how to identify a selection of plants, undertake landscape and parks maintenance, how to operate machinery, and a knowledge of soils, plant nutrition and irrigation. If working in a nursery environment is appealing, a Certificate III in Production Nursery will teach you have to cultivate and prepare plants in a wholesale environment. In addition, you will be skilled in plant breeding, providing advice on plant selection, marketing and promotion and sales.
Meanwhile, the Certificate III in Retail Nursery will equip you to work in a garden centre where you will be able to provide the public with advice on plant selection and care. If you love sport and the outdoors, you can turn this into a satisfying career by undertaking a Certificate III in Sports Turf Management. Offered as part of a horticulture apprenticeship, you will learn how to establish and maintain recreational turf, prepare sports playing surfaces, manage sports turf facilities and provide advice on irrigation, pest and disease control.
A Diploma of Turf Management builds upon these skills and will equip you to work in some of the biggest sporting grounds around the world, including cricket pitches, bowling greens or sports fields. In addition to the above, you will gain skills in designing and developing irrigation, drainage and water treatment systems, how to plan, manage and establish sports playing surfaces, as well as managing soil and plant health. If you wish to combine creativity with a love of plants, then a Certificate IV in Landscape Design is probably calling you. In this course, you will learn how to design gardens and produce 2D architectural drawings. You will also learn how to cost out a project and present it to the client. Based on the assumption you are already working in the industry, you will be qualified to work as a landscape designer or manager, or even run your own business. In addition, there are a number of gardening courses on offer for you to brush up your skills, or gain further knowledge of plant species.
Where will it take me?
Strong growth is predicted for this industry over the next five years, which means now is a great time to gain your qualifications. Some of the typical roles and their salaries you could enjoy include:
- Nursery attendant $44,846
- Horticulturalist $46,353
- Horticulture Production Manager $46,500
- Gardener $47,689
- Greenskeeper $48,553
- Landscape gardener $51,00
- Landscape designer $52,259
- Arborist $63,606
- Parks and Gardens Supervisor
This dynamic industry is always looking for well-trained, horticultural experts to contribute to the industry and keep up the important work of conserving our environment and ensuring flora for future generations. If this sounds like you, take action today and get started on your path to success.