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2021 Horticulture Degree Guide

If you have a green thumb, you may be a great fit for Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services.

Horticulture focuses on the production and processing of shrubs, foliage, trees, and other plants. Majoring in Horticulture means you will learn everything there is to know about plants. Many of your classes will include agriculture and biological sciences. Classes will focus on plant genetics, structures, and diseases. You will also take business classes to learn the basics of administration, management, and sales.

Schools offer the ability to major in general horticulture, but you also have the opportunity to choose a specialty. Some of these concentrations include Ornamental Horticulture, Greenhouse Operations and Management, Landscaping and Grounds keeping, Plant Nursery Operations and Management, Turf and Turf grass Management, Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management.

Rapid Growth in Horticulture Degrees Awarded

#194 Most Popular Major
4.5k Degrees Awarded
6.2% Increase in Graduates

Horticulture was the 194th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 4,451 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 276 over the prior year, a growth of 6.2%.

There are 195 schools offering degrees in horticulture in the United States. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of horticulture programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Horticulture

Horticulturists arrange plants everywhere from residences and baseball fields to office buildings and golf courses. A degree in Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services will provide you with the ability to grow and maintain plants while having the ability to manipulate them through genetic mutations.

Since you will be working to sell your services, it is imperative that you have great marketing and customer service skills. You must also be extremely knowledgeable on certain types of plants, soils, and insects so you can meet customers' needs and ensure they are happy with the final result. Self-motivation and stamina are beneficial as you often do physically strenuous labor for long hours with little supervision. Typical work hours are anytime during the daylight hours causing some days to be very long.

Although it is not necessary, it would be beneficial to gain experience in this field with a summer job or internship. This will teach you the basics on how to plant and maintain areas before deciding to enter this field as a career.

Horticulture Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific horticulture careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Horticulture Degrees

Horticulture degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in horticulture to something that takes less time like a associate's. Depending on the horticulture degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to horticulture, with approximately 18.2% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for horticulture workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 27.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 17.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate 13.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 12.4%
Doctoral Degree 8.7%

About 51.0% of workers in careers related to horticulture obtain at least associate's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in horticulture have received.


This of course varies depending on which horticulture career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Horticulture Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$32k Average Starting Salary
3% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There is a wide variety of careers open to you when you major in Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services. You have the option to open your own landscaping business, become a nursery or greenhouse manager, work as a grounds keeper, or go into commercial fruit or vegetable production. Anything plant related is available to you. Plus, this is a growing career. Job opportunities are increasing, especially in areas with a warmer climate.

Steady Demand Projected for Horticulture Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your horticulture degree? Horticulture careers are expected to grow 2.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to horticulture.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Retail Sales Supervisors 1,590,100 3.8%
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers 1,020,700 -0.8%
Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Supervisors 198,600 11.4%
Pesticide Applicators 41,000 7.9%
Agricultural Sciences Professors 13,600 7.9%

Horticulture Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated horticulture students earned an average of $32,043 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $24,300 to as high as $43,400. As you might expect, salaries for horticulture graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Horticulture Careers

Salaries for horticulture graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers horticulture grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors $90,890
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers $79,940
Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Supervisors $51,280
Retail Sales Supervisors $45,080
Pesticide Applicators $38,210

Getting Your Horticulture Degree

With over 859 different horticulture degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased horticulture school rankings to help you with this.

One of 13 majors within the Agriculture & Agriculture Operations area of study, Horticulture has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,910
Animal Science 7,814
General Agriculture 3,551
Agricultural Production 3,536
Plant Sciences 3,278

View All Horticulture Related Majors >


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