Greenhouse Management Degree and Training Program Information

Oct 14, 2019

A degree program in horticulture prepares students to work with plants in greenhouses and nurseries. Learn about the undergraduate and graduate program options, common courses and career options.

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Essential Information

While an associate's degree in horticulture examines the fundamentals of plant cultivation, a bachelor's and master's degree in horticulture delve into management and research topics. Internships with gardening centers, landscapers, farmers and horticultural scientists may also be available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Master's-level programs may have research or student teaching components. Additionally, some schools may hold special events and lectures for horticulture technology training.

Applicants to a two-year associate's program and four-year bachelor's program need a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants to a master's program need a bachelor's degree in horticulture and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Associate of Science in Horticulture

These programs introduce the fundamentals of plant cultivation. Students learn how to manage and care for plants in greenhouses and nurseries as well as explore niche aspects of horticulture, which include ornamental horticulture and landscape design. Horticulture technology programs may instead result in an Associate of Applied Science.

Enrollees study proper plant and soil care as well as how to evaluate and solve problems related to plants. They may also learn how to operate horticultural equipment. Typical courses may include:

  • Introduction to horticulture
  • Landscape design
  • Plant identification
  • Soil science
  • Disease and pest control

Bachelor of Science in Horticulture

An undergraduate degree in horticulture emphasizes the production, management and care of plants as well as their relationship to the environment. Students learn about the fundamentals of designing, developing and caring for the land and plants. Some programs may focus on certain aspects of horticulture, including flowering and potted plants, fruits and vegetables or forestry.

Students may be required to complete courses in botany and chemistry in order to fulfill degree requirements. General education units also make up the curriculum. Common coursework may include:

  • Botany
  • Greenhouse management
  • Plant nutrition
  • Landscape design
  • Food crops

Master's Degree in Horticulture

There are two possible types of master's degree program in this field. A Master of Science in Horticulture focuses on research and theory, and it may be best for students who may go on to pursue a doctorate. However, a Master of Agriculture in Horticulture program is considered a professional degree that allows individuals to focus on their work and its direct applications. Either graduate degree allows students to specialize in their own areas of interest, such as plant breeding and development.

Some graduate schools may offer horticulture students the opportunity to study and research plant development and growth outside of the classroom in laboratories and greenhouses. Courses that may be required at the master's degree level are:

  • Plant breeding
  • Plant nutrition
  • Plant identification
  • Greenhouse management
  • Plant biology

Popular Career Options

Graduates with an associate's degree may be able to find entry-level roles in many realms of the horticulture field, including garden center retail worker, certified landscape technician or agricultural farmer/rancher.

Those who complete a four-year degree bachelor's degree in horticulture management may find work in the public or private sector. These individuals can work with city or park commissions or residential and recreational projects. Some other careers they can pursue include golf course or park management, landscape maintenance, flower shop or greenhouse management.

However, a master's degree in horticulture is necessary for those looking to pursue post-graduate education and become horticultural scientists. With a master's degree individuals may qualify for positions such a plant geneticist, floriculturist, viticulturist or pomologist.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Between 2018 and 2028, employment opportunities were predicted to rise 9% for all grounds maintenance workers, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This rate was fast as average compared to other occupations. The BLS noted that as of May 2018, first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers earned an average of $51,280 per year.

Students interested in greenhouse management can pursue an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree in horticulture to study botany, soil science, plant nutrition and more. Graduates of these programs can work a variety of careers in the private or public sectors.

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