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Nursery Manager: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a nursery manager. Read on to explore the requirements as well as details about training, job duties, and career and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Nursery managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a nursery, including growing plants for sale, display, or research, and hiring and training of workers. The responsibilities of a nursery manager normally depend on the size of the nursery. Managers at large-scale nurseries might only be involved in business aspects, such as employee relations and financial considerations, while managers of smaller nurseries could deal with all facets of the nursery, including plant care and customer service. Education in horticulture, agriculture, or botany could aid in qualifying individuals for management positions in nurseries and greenhouses.

Required Education No formal education required, but degree programs in horticulture, agriculture, or botany are available
Other Requirements On-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* -19% for all farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers
Median Salary (2013)* $70,110 for all farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Nursery Manager Job Duties

Nursery managers determine optimal growing conditions for each plant. They take into account the sun each area receives, slopes in the landscape, soil type, drainage, and other factors that affect plant growth. They decide which plants to grow and how many of each plant are necessary for business operations. Managers make calculations based on projected sales or current orders. They might create marketing plans, set budgets, order supplies, and ensure proper working conditions of equipment.

Decisions about when to plant, fertilize, harvest, and sell could be the responsibility of nursery managers. Because weather conditions greatly affect the success of plant growth, nursery managers carefully monitor weather patterns and take proper precautions to ensure the plants are not distressed by unfavorable weather conditions. They examine plants for diseases, insects, wildlife damage, and weeds to protect the health of the garden.

Nursery managers recruit, hire, train, oversee, and terminate employees of a nursery. They provide new employees with proper gardening equipment and teach correct techniques and procedures for plant care. The nursery manager delegates job duties and ensures that employees do their jobs properly. They may schedule work hours and handle payroll. They are also responsible for establishing a safe working environment by creating and implementing safety policies that adhere to legal standards.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The BLS reported that nursery managers, a subcategory of agricultural management, would experience a 19% decline in employment opportunities from 2012-2022. The expected lack of employment growth for nursery laborers was anticipated to directly affect the need for management. Horticulture and organic farming were anticipated to be among the fastest-growing agricultural niches, offering some of the best chances for work in the industry. However, consolidation of agricultural businesses and improved technology could dampen the demand for workers and managers in larger nurseries and greenhouses.

According to the BLS, the median salary among all farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers was $70,110 as of 2013.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics