All you need to know to grow a thriving career as a Horticulturalist
by Lisa Matlin
Posted: January 27, 2022
If you enjoy working outdoors and have a passion for plants, then a career as a Horticulturalist could be just for you! Whether you’re just starting out or hoping to advance your career, our flexible online horticulture courses can give you the all-round knowledge and practical skills you need to succeed.
So, what does a Horticulturalist do? And can you study it online?
Keep reading to find out more!
What does a Horticulturalist do?
A Horticulturalist improves all aspects of fruits, vegetables, trees, and plants. It requires skills like growing and maintaining plants, implementing soil improvements, identifying plant diseases, and implementing management measures.
Horticulturalists work in various environments, such as garden centers, sporting fields, council parks, gardens and nurseries. They generally work outside, in greenhouses, or in labs, depending on their sector and specialised work. The great thing about horticulture is that it can provide you with a wide range of career opportunities. You might work as a landscaper, arborist, or even teach horticulture at a university.
Where can I study Horticulture?
The great news is you can study it online with Open Colleges! We offer both the AHC20416 Certificate II in Horticulture and the AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture. Both certificates are nationally recognised and delivered by industry experts:
AHC20416 Certificate II in Horticulture
The Certificate II is suitable for sole traders, landscapers, and even home gardeners. The course duration is a maximum of 18 months. You’ll learn the fundamentals of planting, potting, and maintaining trees, shrubs and plants, including how to recognise plants and weeds and provide information on products and services. You’ll practice planting trees and shrubs and will conduct simple tests such as light, moisture and pH. You’ll also learn how to test soil, treat weeds, pests, and diseases.
You will then choose one area to specialise in: Nursery, Landscaping, or Parks and Gardens.
To help you along, we provide you with the following resources: Kitchen Herbs - Windowsill Tin, Botanical Field Guide, Combination Meter (Moisture, light and pH tester)
Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to work as a Landscape Gardener, Nursery assistant, Horticulturalist assistant, Crop worker, or Gardener.
AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture
The certificate III will broaden your employment opportunities to larger organisations, such as governments and local councils. The course duration is a maximum of 24 months. In the Certificate III you’ll learn the core skills of Horticulture: recognising plants, preparing plant specimens, how to plant trees and shrubs, plus methods to control weeds, plant pests, diseases, and disorders.
You’ll also learn specialist skills in maintaining large open spaces including parks, sporting fields and playgrounds. Learn how to conduct site and operational inspections, implement soil improvements, and how to implement a grassed area maintenance program.
Upon completion of this course, some potential career outcomes are: Horticulturalist, Turf Creator for a sporting arena, Parks and Gardens Team Member, Vegetation inspector.
Why a career as a horticulturalist might be good for you:
You prefer to work alone
If you’re more of a plant than a people person, then this is a good career for you. Some of the work you will be doing involves talking with customers, clients, or your manager, but Horticulturists may spend a lot of time working alone. So, if you’re self-disciplined and can stay motivated to get the job done, then you’ll make a great Horticulturalist.
You’re analytical, investigative and have good problem-solving skills
A good horticulturalist is research oriented. They need to conduct pest and disease investigations as well as analyse and correct soil deficiencies. They will also need to strategically place plants to create natural-looking settings, so it’s important to be analytical in their approach.
You have an eye for design
Horticulturalists are artists. They take pride in their work and consider the way things will look as they grow. They carefully select each plant for the best possible aesthetic.
You prefer outdoor work
If you can’t stand being shut up in a stuffy office, then this is definitely a good career option. As a Horticulturalist, you will spend most of your time in the great outdoors, getting your hands dirty in all sorts of weather.
For more information about Horticulture, feel free to check out our How to start a career in Horticulture: Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education. And don’t forget: We have a free 7-day course trial. You can experience the first module of this course, our world-class learning platform, and get a feel for online study at Open Colleges.
Interested in learning more? Feel free to have a chat with our friendly enrolment consultants.