Do you want to work in an innovative, progressive industry which offers a wide choice of career pathways? Do you want to work in an exciting, challenging industry which involves plants, machinery and extensive out-of-doors work? The horticulture industry may be for you.
Many skilled people are needed in the horticulture industry. These include workers, supervisors and business managers. The industry can be been divided into seven main sectors, although some horticultural businesses operating across more than one sector. The seven sectors are:
- Arboriculture (tree establishment and management)
- Floriculture (production of flowers, foliage and essential oils)
- Landscaping (construction and maintenance of outdoor landscapes)
- Nursery (growing, selling and/or hiring of plants and related products)
- Parks and gardens (management of planted areas for leisure, recreation and conservation)
- Production horticulture (growing, harvesting and marketing of fruit, vegetables and nuts)
- Turf (establishment and management of grassed area for sports and recreation)
Those with a range of general horticultural skills from across two or more of the above sectors can achieve a national qualification in horticulture.
The type of work carried out in horticulture has been divided into 6 levels. These levels also relate to training and qualifications.
The titles for those who work at these levels are
Certificate II in Horticulture
Certificate III in Horticulture
Certificate IV in Horticulture
Diploma of Horticulture
Horticultural Business Manager
Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
The horticultural worker is likely to be involved in a wide range of tasks under limited supervision.
Work undertaken by horticultural workers could include:
- maintaining plants and planted areas
- operating tractors, equipment and machinery
- harvesting and treating plants
- constructing hoticultural features
- applying chemicals and biological agents
- maintaining irrigation and drainage systems
- recognising plants, products and treatments
- maintaining properties and structures
- treating weeds, pests and diseases
There are a number of ways to get work as an horticultural worker
With horticultural traineeships you will start as an horticultural assistant before moving to work as an horticultural worker.
Individuals with general horticultural experience are often able to obtain work as an horticultural worker in the horticulture industry on a casual basis.
The qualification available for an horticultural worker who has either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Certificate II in Horticulture.
Priority skills areas for a job as a floriculture worker include workplace health and safety, chemical application, plant and planted area maintenance, workplace maintenance and equipment operation.
The horticultural tradesperson - also called a horticulturist - is an experienced worker and is likely to be involved in coordinating a wide range of horticultural activities.
Work undertaken as horticultural tradespersons could include:
- monitoring plant health
- operating and maintaining specialised and advance machinery
- establishing and maintaining planted areas
- providing information on plants, products and treatments
- installing and operating irrigation systems
- erecting horticultural structures
- controlling weeds, pests and diseases
There are a number of ways to get work as an horticultural worker.
With a level 3 horticultural traineeship you will be able to train for work as an horticultural tradesperson. Individuals with extensive general horticultural experience are also often able to work as an horticultural tradesperson.
The national qualification available for an horticultural tradesperson is the Certificate III in Horticulture.
Priority skills areas for working as a horticulture tradesperson include workplace health and safety, irrigation operation and maintenance, planted area maintenance, monitoring health, and machinery and equipment operation.
The horticultural supervisor has responsibility for a number of workers and horticultural activities.
Work undertaken by horticultural supervisors could include
- supervising and training staff
- supervising and planning horticultural activities
- promoting plant health
- supervising machinery maintenance
- recommending plants, products and treatments
- managing irrigation, drainage and treatment systems
- implementing an integrated pest management system
- operating a budget and costing projects
There are a number of ways to get work as an horticultural supervisor.
Many supervisors have had experience working as an horticultural tradesperson. The promotion of an horticultural tradesperson to supervisor occurs when they show they can take responsibility for horticultural operations and supervise the activities of other staff.
With a level 4 horticultural traineeship you will be able to train for work as an horticultural supervisor. The qualification available for an horticulture supervisor who has either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Certificate IV in Horticulture.
Priority skills areas for working as a horticultural supervisor include supervision of planting and plant maintenance activities, staff supervision and training, budget and stock control, and equipment and machinery management.
The horticultural manager is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing horticultural business activities.
These responsibilities could include:
- administrating the business
- developing planting programs
- providing specialist advice on plants, products and treatments
- preparing estimates, quotes and tenders
- preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports
- negotiating with clients and others
- managing growing environments
- production planning
- implementing sustainable horticultural practices
Horticultural managers achieve their position when they have shown they can successfully manage a horticultural business. Often they have worked as an horticultural worker and tradesperson and have a good knowledge and experience of horticultural operations.
The qualification available for a horticulture manager who has either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Diploma in Horticulture.
Priority skills areas for working as a horticultural manager include business administration, specialist knowledge of plants, horticultural products and treatments, staff management and training, and preparing budgets and financial reports.
The horticultural business manager has the primary responsibility to ensure that a horticulture business or organisation is successfully managed.
The responsibilities of this position include:
- managing physical resources
- marketing products and services
- managing business capital
- establishing a horticultural enterprise
- developing staff training plans
- developing a business plan
- promoting the business
- managing human resources
Most horticultural business managers have extensive experience as an horticultural manager. Their role is complex requiring the application of a broad range of knowledge and skills.
The qualification available for an horticulture business manager who has either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Advanced Diploma in Horticulture.
Specialist business management training programs are available on a fulltime or part-time basis in most states or by open learning.
Priority skills areas for working as a horticultural business manager include business planning and management, managing staff and physical resources, marketing and promotion, strategic planning and business capital management.