Job Options for Gardening Enthusiasts

Your knowledge of garden pest management, beneficial insects, and plants indigenous to your area such as herbs, perennial and annual flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs, could land you a job in the gardening industry. The greater your level of skills and knowledge about gardening, the better the opportunities. Though some positions do not require a college degree, hands-on experience is expected. Update up your resume to include recent accomplishments like Master Gardener certification.

Gardener, Groundskeeper or Grounds Maintenance. Positions of gardeners or grounds people may be for a private homeowner or property management of a commercial building or rental property. Tasks may include tending to flower beds, pruning trees and shrubs, and performing basic maintenance chores like applying mulch or fertilizer. Heavy labor may be involved such as digging and moving soil, and carrying heavy bags of soil or mulch. The nationwide average salary for a full time gardener is about $28,000 according to salary.com. In colder climates, the position of gardener may be seasonal.

Manager of a Nursery or Greenhouse. Combine your managerial skills with tasks listed with “gardener” (above) for a potentially higher paying job. The duties within a nursery or greenhouse may continue year-round. The nationwide average salary for a full time nursery or greenhouse manager is about $41,000 according to salary.com.

Forest Aide. For some gardeners, the forest is their backyard. The nationwide average salary for a full time forest aide or forest technician is about $23,000 according to salary.com.

Arboretum or Botanical Garden. Check this list of arboretum and botanical gardens in the United States to ask about available positions. Depending on your hands-on experience and educational background in horticulture, you may land a high paying position. You may also choose a position with an arboretum or botanical garden that is not directly related to handling plants, like an administrative assistant, or choose a volunteer position that may provide the foot in the door.

County Extension Agent. Many colleges or universities have extension services operated by garden enthusiasts, usually with a college degree and experience who may be called county extension agents. Salaries vary by state and position. As master gardener, you may choose to volunteer your services to the coop. To find the state coop extension service in your area, look for your state at the USDA website. For those seeking to become a Master Gardener, your local coop extension service can provide the information needed.