Horticulture is the study of plants and plant landscapes. A Bachelor’s degree in the field will give you the scientific knowhow required to work with plants from both an aesthetic and production angle.
Many universities around the United States have horticulture and plant science departments that offer degree programs and research opportunities in the field. The programs offered center on landscape design, agricultural and nursery management, soil and environmental sciences, etc.
A Bachelor of Science in Horticulture will enable you to apply for entry-level jobs in gardening, agriculture and related areas. On the other hand, a Master’s degree will pave the way for you to take up horticulture teaching and research positions. A typical 4-year undergraduate degree in horticulture will teach you about soil composition, resource sustainability, plant biotechnology, greenhouse studies, asexual breeding of plants, pesticides usage, plant diseases and horticultural/environmental biology.
The piece provides detailed information for students planning to enroll in a Bachelor’s in Horticulture program.
What is Horticulture?
Horticulture is the study of developing and sustainably producing high-value plants, flowers, trees and vegetables. It revolves around the cultivation of plants for medical and aesthetic purposes. There are five main branches of horticulture: viticulture, pomology, oenology, floriculture and landscape architecture. It combines the scientific elements of plant science with art and design philosophies.
What Careers Can You Pursue with a Bachelor’s in Horticulture?
A Bachelor’s in Horticulture can open up a variety of career paths for you. Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, you can take up entry-level positions in landscape design, crop development, plant genetics and floral event planning. You may also go for a Master’s degree in the field if you are interested in higher level teaching and research positions.
With a Bachelor’s in Horticulture, you can become a landscape architect, grounds maintenance worker (gardener), agricultural and food science technician, etc. Take a look at the recent salary details for some major jobs in the horticulture sector.
Landscape architects are responsible for designing recreational parks, botanical gardens and other similar types of outdoor spaces.
Annual Median Wage, 2018: $68,230
Predicted Growth Rate (2018-2028): 4%
Annual Mean Salary, 2019: $73,970
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: California - $90,940
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: California - 2,510
Grounds Maintenance Worker (Gardener)
The role of Grounds Maintenance Workers/Gardeners involves making sure that the gardens in residential and commercial areas are in pristine condition so that a healthy and attractive environment can be created for everyone.
Annual Median Wage, 2018: $29,400
Predicted Growth Rate, 2018-2028: 9%
Annual Mean Salary, 2019: $37,870
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: Wisconsin - $58,990
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: New York - 3,270
Agricultural and Food Science Technician
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians work under the supervision of experienced Agricultural and Food Scientists. They provide assistance in different day-to-day activities.
Annual Median Wage, 2018: $40,860
Predicted Growth Rate, 2018-2028: 6%
Annual Mean Salary, 2018: $44,170
State with the Highest Salary, 2018: New Jersey - $58,440
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2018: California - 3,880
Note: These figures have been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What to Expect from a Horticulture Degree Program?
A Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture will give you a thorough grounding in all areas of horticulture. Major courses include Landscape Design, Floral Studies, Urban Horticulture Studies, Crops and Soils, Turfgrass Sciences, Plant Biotechnology, Plant Diseases, Study of Pesticides, Greenhouse Studies, Nursery Management and Horticultural/Environmental Biology, etc.
How to Choose a Horticulture Program?
When choosing a Bachelor’s in Horticulture degree program, some of the factors that should be kept in mind include program duration, curriculum, fee structure, location and the available specialization electives. Many schools also offer online programs whereby students complete most of the coursework from the comfort of their home. However, some lab work has to be completed on-campus or at a designated nearby facility.
Doing your research with regards to the curriculum is very important. When selecting a school, you should focus on the program’s accreditation, final project requirements and potential employment opportunities. The University of California – Davis (UC Davis), Cornell University and the University of Florida are some of the top institutions offering a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture.
Bachelor’s in Horticulture Admission Requirements
Admission criteria tend to vary from one school to another. In general, students who want to pursue a Bachelor’s in Horticulture degree must be at least 18 years old and hold a High School Diploma. The equivalent GED (General Educational Development) Certificate will also suffice.