Exploring Careers in Horticulture

Gardening is a uniquely British pastime, and a popular one at that. Passed down from generation to generation, the hobby has evolved and expanded; whether tending to exotic flowering plants or building an allotment for robust root vegetables, gardening remains close to the heart of the UK’s public, young and old alike. A recent survey found that, far from being a haunt of older and retired folk, gardening had significant appeal amongst younger generations, as four in five respondents from 18 to 34 considered gardening a ‘cool’ hobby.

Of course, gardening needn’t remain simply a hobby – especially not for those who are particularly taken with all things flora. There are a wide range of jobs and positions available within the world of horticulture, across several industries and all manner of different disciplines. From hands-on landscaping to plant biology, there are numerous ways to make a career from plants, whatever your skill set. But what are the routes to a career in horticulture?

Academic Routes to Horticultural Work

Horticulture is a vast subject, with many different lines of approach and near-endless ways in which to specialise. You can refine your horticultural studies to fit a chosen academic path, or make it your path completely: as an creative type, you might bring plant studies into your photography degree, or as part of an interior design or architecture course; as a scientist, you might focus on plants and flowers in a biology degree, or discover their healing effects in studying medicine. The Royal Horticultural Society themselves offer a degree-equivalent course – the Level 6 Master of Horticulture Award – which provides budding gardeners with the tools they need to excel in the field professionally.

Hands-On Experience

Of course, not every flower fan has the educational itch, and many may learn better by doing. What better way than to get those green fingers stuck into physical work with plant life? Many existing companies and organisations, especially gardeners, landscapers and arborists, offer apprenticeships – meaning you can gain valuable experience in the field as well as working towards a diploma. Working on-site with professional landscapers and arborists can give you a leg-up with regard to learning practical gardening skills. Learning to handle a range of gardening tools will be crucial to your gardening career; plant husbandry can also be better learned through active work than leafing through textbooks!

Potential Earnings

The amount of money you could stand to make from specialising in horticulture varies wildly from discipline to discipline. You might have specialised in garden and outdoor structure design as part of an architecture degree, guaranteeing you an ample wage above £30,000 per year. Professional gardeners sit at a humble £21,000, while plant scientists can earn over £50,000 for their specialist knowledge. However much you could stand to make, far more important is that you can earn doing something you love – whatever your line of work.

Check Also

Premier League Primary Stars celebrates five-year anniversary with launch of new Active Summer Challenge

The Premier League is celebrating five years of its schools’ programme, Premier League Primary Stars. …