Did you know that your love for gardening and knowledge of plants can transform into a well-paying career? You can be someone who can not just design beautiful landscapes, but also conserve plants and genetically modify them. 

Ever heard of horticulturists? It is an umbrella term or synonym for careers like agronomist, aero culture specialist, floriculturist, etc. They are also the ones who might have designed the beautiful landscape that you click pics to post on Instagram.

In this article, we’ll tell you about what a career as a horticulturist looks like, job roles, the career path, the skills required, and the top courses, recruiters, industries, and salaries based on stages. 

What does a Horticulturist do?

A horticulturist is a specialist who uses their in-depth knowledge of plants and soils to cultivate, propagate, enhance, or conserve ecosystems for either commercial or environmental purposes.

The responsibilities differ based on the nature of the job and chosen niche. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Research projects that focus on plants that produce offspring.
  2. Planting, harvesting, storing, processing, and marketing crops or vegetables. 
  3. Cultivation of flowers or seeds that are utilized in cosmetics and perfume industries as raw materials.
  4. Maintaining the grounds, sports facilities, public gardens, or parks
  5. Cultivating flowers, and creating scenic floral arrangements
  6. Growing crops and providing wholesome, safe foods to consumers
  7. Native habitat protection and mitigating the effects of climate change
  8. Advise farmers or crop reapers on best practices, fertilizers, and usage. 

Job Roles in Horticulturist

  1. Horticultural Technician:

Horticulture technicians are in charge of a variety of responsibilities for plant cultivation and maintenance. They assist Horticulturists with greenhouse activities, sustainable growth methods, and maintenance procedures.

  1. Horticultural Supervisor: 

The person in this position manages a group of employees responsible for setting up and maintaining turf, nurseries, gardens, and other exterior areas. They oversee several sites and communicate with clients to make sure they are satisfied with their work.

  1. Horticultural Manager:

It is a complex role that involves assigning employees to tasks including planting, harvesting, upkeep, supporting scientists, product grading, packing, or adjusting greenhouse environmental conditions.

  1. Horticultural Consultant:

In a position that requires a few years of experience, consultants work with farmers or industries to advise best practices, soil, fertilizers, storage, and usage. 

  1. Floriculturist:

A floriculturist harvests and produces flowers, and flower seeds, for commercial and export purposes. These are also used in perfumes and cosmetics. 

  1. Ornamental Horticulturist:

Ornamental horticulturists are experts in the cultivation, maintenance, and design of ornamental plants and flowers.

  1. Agronomist:

Agronomists are scientists with expertise in soil management, soil control, and crop production. They look for strategies to increase crop yield from a specific amount of land.

Career path for a Horticulturist

After the completion of Grade 10, one can choose the following career path to become a horticulturist:

Path 1: 

  • Complete Diploma in Horticulture (2 years)
  • Qualify for entrance exams HORTICET, CGPAT, UPCATET, etc.
  • Enrol in Bachelor’s in agriculture, horticulture, botany, or related fields.

Path 2:

  • Complete 11th & 12th in Science stream with PCB or PCMB subjects.
  • Qualify for entrance exams HORTICET, CGPAT, UPCATET, etc.
  • Enrol in Bachelor’s in agriculture, horticulture, botany, or related fields.

You can opt for a postgraduate degree after completing either one of the pathways. You can learn more about it from How to become a Horticulturist

Salary in different stages of a career as a Horticulturist

It is a diverse field that offers multiple job roles and responsibilities. Therefore, the salary of a horticulturist differs based on role, location, experience, etc. As per, glassdoor, and others, the estimated average annual salaries are as follows:

RoleHorticulturistAgronomistHorticulturist TechnicianFloriculturistHorticulture ConsultantOrnamental Horticulturist
Avg. Salary p.a.₹19 lakhs₹20lakhs₹4.1 lakhs₹4.3 lakhs₹12 lakhs₹8.2 lakhs

Skills Required to become Horticulturist

  • Technical knowledge: In-depth knowledge of plants, fruit, seeds, soils, physiology, and specifications. 
  • Communication skills: A Horticulturist is expected to communicate with diverse groups of people for work and education purposes. Therefore one needs to have excellent communication skills. 
  • Planning and Management Skills: The knowledge of plants, and soil is not limited to just the physiology but also the apt time for its production or maximum yield. Thus, planning is an essential part of the profession. Simultaneously, record keeping and assigning duties require management skills.
  • Problem-solving skills: Understanding patterns, and solving production problems or technical difficulties require problem-solving skills. 
  • Innovation: Each location or crop will have its own set of challenges and solutions required. Innovation in techniques, fertilizers, or marketing of the product will help in maximizing the profit and meeting client expectations.
  • Analytical skills: Very much connected to planning and management skills, analyzing skills aid in understanding the pattern, developing methods, and installing systems. 
  • Time management: Time management is crucial both in and off the field as one has to deal with goods that are at high risk of being perishable. 

Is a Horticulturist a good career option?

The scope in the field is pretty wide, as there are a number of industries that deal with plants, crops, or flowers. Thus, from food production to interior design and architecture, horticulturists are required. 

The field also provides global opportunities for growth. Unlike the 9 to 5 desk job, you get to work outdoors and coordinate with diverse groups of people. You understand the needs of the people and the environment. 

It is one of the occupations that provides a good pay scale and room for ingenuity. Aside from the financial advantages, it’s a career that really improves the environment and thus offers excellent job satisfaction. You should consider it if you value and support the environment and the natural world.

Type of industries Hiring a Horticulturist

The scope for horticulturists extends to most industries related to plants, crops, or food. They need horticulturists for optimum and quality production of goods and services. Following are a few industries that hire Horticulturists:

  1. Food industry
  2. Education
  3. Pharmaceutical
  4. Event Management
  5. Government Agency
  6. Entertainment
  7. Food And Research industry
  8. Agro-industry
  9. Landscape Design industry and conservation
  10. Hotel industry 

Top Recruiters for a Horticulturist in India 

The below companies recruit horticulturists for multiple positions and are the top recruiters in India.

  1. Godrej Agrovet Limited 
  2. Nath Bio-Genes (India) Ltd 
  3. National Agro-Industry 
  4. Goodricke Group Ltd
  5. Kaveri Seed Company Ltd 
  6. JK Agri Genetics Ltd
  7. Nath Bio-Genes (India) Ltd
  8. Raghuvansh Agrofarms Ltd
  9. HPC Biosciences Ltd 
  10. Dhunseri Tea & Industries Ltd  

Courses to upskill as a Horticulturist

One way to demonstrate that you have mastered a skill is to enrol in a certificate program. For employment and entry-level positions, many certificate programs are essential. 

Certificate courses are available in areas such as nursery, production horticulture, floristry, and others. Please take note that some certifications are offered at multiple levels and even have prerequisites.

Name of the courseDuration
Certificate III in Floristry2 years
Certificate IV in Production Horticulture by Technical Institute Of Victoria2 years
Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting2 years
Wine Studies Certificate by East Durham College4-6 months
Nursery/Greenhouse Technician certificate by Oconee Fall Line Technical College17 hours

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Qualifications to become a Horticulturist

One needs to complete their schooling in the science stream and earn an undergraduate degree if one wants to become a horticulturist. A postgraduate degree is not compulsory, although it can be pursued to develop an additional specialization.

Degrees in India

A bachelor’s degree can be pursued in a variety of subjects, including gardening, botany, and agriculture. After or during that, individuals can engage in internships to get industry-specific knowledge and experience.

UG degree names 

To apply for undergraduate courses, you must have at least 55% in 10 + 2  or equivalent from a recognized board and institution. A few universities have their own specific entrance examinations that you must pass. HORTICET, CGPAT, UPCATET, etc. are a few examples.

Duration: 3- 4 years.

Here are a few courses you can try:

  1. BSc/ BTech in Horticulture
  2. BVoc Horticultural Sciences
  3. BSc (HONS.) in Agriculture
  4. BSc Agribusiness Management


Name of the courseDuration
M.Sc in Horticulture2 years
PG Diploma in Horticulture1 – 2 years
M.Sc Horticulture Fruit Science2 years
M.Sc Horticulture Science and Garden Management2 years
M.Sc Horticulture Post Harvest Technology2 years
M.Sc Floriculture and Landscaping2 years

Degrees Abroad

A minimum of 55% in the science stream from a recognized university and board is required. Additionally, they must have a minimum of two references and a qualifying score in language proficiency exams such as the TOEFL, IELTS, SOP, and LOR.

An undergraduate degree in Horticulture includes specialization in Garden Design, Food and farming, international horticulture, etc. After the completion of a bachelor’s program and internship, one can apply for postgraduation in horticulture. 

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The duration of these courses is 2 years. Here are a few degrees you can try:

Name of the courseDuration
M.Sc in Horticulture: Post Harvest Technology2 years
M.Sc Horticulture: Crop Production2 years
M.Sc Horticulture: Vineyard and Winery Management2 years
M.Sc Horticulture: seed Science and Technology2 years
M.Sc Horticulture: International Horticultural Science2 years

References for a Horticulturist

Below are a few books that one can try to educate themselves about Horticulture:

  1. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World by  Michael Pollan
  2. American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training by David Joyce
  3. The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening by The Royal Horticultural Society 
  4. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  5. The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean

Here are a few famous professionals in horticulture that you should know about:

  1. George Washington Carver 
  2. Anne Spencer
  3. Marie Clark Taylor
  4.  Edmond Albius 
  5. Charles Jencks
  6. Richard Mabey
  7. Kim Wilkie
  8. Dominic Grieve
  9. Luther Burbank
  10. Brahma Singh

That’s all the information on ‘Career as a Horticulturist’. We will leave you with a quote by Helen Walton, a philanthropist,

“ It is not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you’ve lived.” 

And what better way to abide by the quote than becoming a horticulturist?

FAQs about a career as a Horticulturist

What does a Horticulturist do?

A horticulturist is a specialist who uses their in-depth knowledge of plants and soils to cultivate, propagate, enhance, or conserve ecosystems for either commercial or environmental purposes.

What are the job roles for a Horticulturist?

Horticultural technician, Horticultural consultant, Horticultural manager, Horticultural Supervisor, Floriculturist, agronomist, etc. 

What type of industries hire Horticulturist?

The food industry, Education, Pharmaceutical, Event Management, Government agencies, Entertainment, Food And Research industry, Agro-industry, Landscape Design industry and conservation, and Hotel industry.

How much does a Horticulturist earn?

A Horticulturist earns ₹19 lakhs in India.

Is Horticulture a good career option?

It is one of the occupations that provides a good pay scale and room for ingenuity. Aside from the financial advantages, it’s a career that really improves the environment and thus offers excellent job satisfaction.

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Your love/knowledge of gardening can turn you into a horticulturist. Read more on a career as a horticulturist, the job roles, salary, and industries.

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