Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that focuses on the cultivation of plants (flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables).
A horticulturist in Australia may work in a number of different areas including:
Horticulturists may work in nurseries, engaged in the research, development, production and maintenance of the plants, on the wholesale business selling plants to landscape designers and architects, and in the retail business, directly selling to consumers, commercial clients and the government for parks and gardens.
Horticulturists may work with commercial clients, private residences, Government Parks, Reserves and Playgrounds on plantings and garden maintenance.
Horticulturists may specialise as arborists, providing knowledge and experience in managing the health, maintenance and removal of trees.
Horticulturists may use their experience to grow, manage, sell and install turf and grasses to commercial and residential properties and wholesale clients.
Much of the work of a horticulturist is hands-on – preparing soil, planting, maintaining plants, watering, weeding, moving and managing the growth of plants. A horticulturist may also be involved in the retail or sales side of plant production, and possibly the research and development side. Some horticulturists specialise in viticulture and work in wineries, growing, researching and maintaining grapes to make wine (yes please!).
Meet a Horticulturist Trainee
Some of MIGAS’ fantastic horticulture trainees include 2011 and 2012 Horticultural Apprentice of the Year and Safety Winner of the Year Elliot Casey from the Flower Power Group in Moorebank, NSW and 2014 Outstanding Trainee awardee Andrew Camilleri who is completing a Certificate III Horticulture (Wholesale Nursery) with Arborglen Nursery in Glenorie, NSW.
How to become a Horticulturist
The fastest path to becoming a horticulturist in Australia is to complete a certificate II, III or IV in Horticulture at a training institution while receiving on-the-job experience as a trainee. Keep an eye on the MIGAS vacancies page for traineeship opportunities in your area. In the meantime, try work experience or casual work with a local nursery or landscaping business to get a leg up. You may even like to volunteer at a local community garden, or grow your own fruit, plants, flowers and vegetables – the more real-world experience you have with plants, the better.