A horticulturist is someone who uses scientific knowledge to cultivate and propagate plants, and then uses this knowledge to provide technical information to fruit, vegetable and flower growers as well as farmers and hobbyists. A horticulturist may conduct pest and disease investigations and experiment with improved varieties of plants with greater resistance to disease. They will sometimes work in the field of landscape design to create gardens, recreational areas, and parks, with the goal of preserving our natural resources. Careers and locations vary greatly. Horticulturists with advanced degrees are often found in universities and industry in research, teaching, and extension positions, developing, breeding, and evaluating new varieties of horticultural crops. From businesses and industry to public gardens and research facilities, horticulturists work with plants in many different capacities!
A post-secondary education is preferred, but not needed. An Associate's degree or six months of relevant experience is necessary for many jobs. However, research and higher level positions typically require a Masters degree or Ph.D. depending on the job. Those with advanced degrees often teach courses in horticulture in addition to their research projects.
WHERE TO STUDY
For 2- and 4-year college and university programs across the country, visit our Where to Study page.
In August 2020, the median yearly salary for a horticulturist was $40,721, according to PayScale.com. For more information, visit Study.com's Horticulturist Profile.
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS
- American Public Gardens Association
- American Society for Horticultural Science
- Garden Centers of America
VIDEOS AND TESTIMONIALS
See what it's like for Luke, a horticulturist, to work at Biltmore's historical garden and grounds.