Horticulture certificate programs can prepare students for grounds maintenance careers in botanical gardens, parks and nurseries. These programs usually take two to three semesters to complete, and many of them include a cooperative work experience or internship among the curriculum requirements. Similar coursework can be found in programs that award certificates in landscape technology.
Certificate Degree in Horticulture
Core courses in a horticulture certificate program are designed to give students a firm foundation in plant biology and horticultural science, and some programs also include a landscape design course or two. Others allow students to focus on an area of interest through electives in such areas as nursery or greenhouse management, turfgrass management, and annuals and perennials. Topics of instruction can include:
- Herbaceous plants
- Trees, shrubs, and groundcovers
- Irrigation techniques
- Plant propagation
- Pest management
- Soil science
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of horticulture certificate programs are prepared for positions as grounds maintenance workers who care for the lawns, trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants found on an organization's grounds. They might also maintain botanical gardens, parks, athletic facilities, and cemeteries. While a certificate is not required for most positions, some employers look for applicants who've received some type of formal training.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, grounds maintenance workers could see a 6% job growth from 2014-2024. Their median annual wage was $29,220 as of 2015.
Continuing Education Information
In some states, licenses are required for grounds maintenance workers who apply pesticides. Typical qualifications include passing scores on an exam.
Grounds maintenance workers can also earn voluntary certifications from such organizations as the Professional Landcare Network and the Professional Grounds Management Society. These credentials are available to experienced professionals who want to advance their careers.
The coursework involved in horticulture certificate degree programs covers plant biology and horticultural science as well as topics of management. Cooperative work experience or internships are also part of the program, which give participants the hands-on experience needed to become a grounds maintenance worker.