Horticulture Overview

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.

Required Skills

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.


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.

A degree in Applied Horticulture and Horticulture Business Services will give a graduate a starting salary of $33,908 and a mid-career salary of $55,231.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Horticulture might open up.

Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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