Horticulture as career

aviolet6(7)July 17, 2012

I need some advice. Is it possible for a single person to make enough money to live on their own working in a greenhouse or botanical garden or some similar setting? I just mean enough money not to use up my savings or borrow from others. I have a career that I hate & working with plants is the only thing I can think of that is worth going back to school for. But I don't want to do that only to learn its not possible to do for a living. I'm not interested in some of the things that would make more like running the greenhouse, being a landscaper etc. I want to grow plants or work them, share them, sell them, etc.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

As with all fields, the more education you have, the more experience you get under your belt, the more effort you put into becoming an expert in your field, the more talented you are, and the harder you work...the more successful you can become. I'm going to emphasize the 'experience' aspect of horticulture positions. I've had to turn down many an applicant fresh out of college, even for entry level positions, because they hadn't taken the time to get any hands-on along the way.

I have a BS in Hort. from a great university and have made a great living, loving (almost) every minute of a long career.

I suggest that you explore the many avenues and possibilities you have before starting on your journey. I'll get you started if you click on the attached link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Careers in Horticulture

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:53PM
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Short answer - yes, you can make a living at it. And dependng on what specific career path in horticulture you choose to follow, you can make a very decent living at it.

In additions to the factors Dorie outlines above, I'd also include a regional component......different parts of the country will have different pay rates for very similar activites. And some areas are just going to offer more career opportunities overall.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Unless you own your own business, the growing and hands on side of horticulture is probably not going to happen with a degree. Employers pay the decent wages for education and that education prepares you for running a business or attending to the technical aspects of it, and supervision. It's still very exciting and as Dorie points out there are career opportunities you can't even imagine until you are in the field. I don't regret leaving a professional position to return to hort, it's been a good life and I'd do it over again.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:55PM
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