Horticulture Careers

Cultivate. Innovate. Manicure. Arrange. Beautify the world while building a career in horticultural science.

Career Paths

horticulture career, work in horticultureA recently published report from the USDA indicates that graduates with degrees and certifications in agriculture-related fields (including horticulture) will be in high demand, with an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually between 2015 and 2020 (Gallager, Greenhouse Grower, 2015). Employers are looking for graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, renewable resources and the environment. The demand for employees may well be greater than the supply of horticulture graduates.

This is great news for graduates but not so great news for employers. Our graduates typically find employment opportunities in the following three career paths:

  • In traditional horticultural science roles, working with plants in a variety of positions and in a wide range of employment levels;
  • Working the business side of the industry;
  • In education, teaching horticultural science as a postsecondary educator.

Learn more about each of these horticultural science career paths and explore employment opportunities that align with your green thumb.

Traditional Horticultural Science: Working with Plants

Love biology, biotechnology, and other applied sciences? Always enjoyed helping plants grow? Most of our graduates build rewarding careers in one of the following traditional horticulture positions:

The Business Side of the Industry

Graduates who enjoy the business side of horticulture typically build careers in one of the following positions:


Can’t get enough learning? Give students the knowledge and hands-on experience required for success in a horticultural career. Deepen your knowledge, work with a university that offers research opportunities and inspire students through your work in horticultural education.

Additional Positions to Explore

horticulture business developmentYou’ll find a degree or certificate in horticultural science will enhance your career options in a range of positions. The following are job titles our graduates may hold:

  • Extension Agent
  • Agricultural Product Sales & Marketing
  • Chemical Research & Development
  • Consumer Relations
  • Corporate Horticulturist
  • Pest  Manager
  • Equipment Sales Representative
  • Extension Specialist
  • Fertilizer Sales Representative
  • Floral Crop Grower
  • Floral Crop Marketer
  • Floral Shop Manager
  • Fruit & Vegetable Grower
  • Garden Center Manager
  • Garden Writer
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Home & Commercial Lawn Care Manager
  • Horticultural Artist
  • Horticulture Therapist
  • Interior Plantscape Designer
  • Interior Plantscape Manager
  • Interior Plant Rental Manager
  • Landscape Contractor
  • Nursery Crop Grower
  • Nursery Inspector
  • Nursery Sales Representative
  • Park Manager
  • Park/Zoo Horticulturist
  • Plant Propagator
  • Plant Researcher
  • Postharvest Physiologist
  • Professional Gardener
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Radio/TV Editor
  • Retail & Wholesale Sales Representative
  • Roadside Marketer
  • Seed & Bulb Sales & Marketing
  • Sod Grower
  • Teacher – High School/Junior College
  • Urban Horticulturist

Current Job Listings

Here, in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State, we receive 3-6 job opportunities a week from employers hoping to find skilled employees. We post these to our Twitter @HortJobs4U and on a display board in Kilgore Hall. However, we often do not have enough graduates to meet the demand.

Explore current job listings and discover the many opportunities that await.

Ready to Get Started?

Deepen your knowledge. Get the credentials and knowledge you need to build the career you want. Apply today for a certificate or degree in horticultural science.

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