According to a survey by RHS, 70% of people believe that horticultural careers should only be considered by those who have ‘failed academically’. And nearly 50% think it’s a job that requires little skill.
But contrary to these assumptions, horticulture can open doors to a career where you will learn the art and – believe it or not – science of growing plants. There are plenty of ‘garden paths’ you can walk down, from plant conservation and soil management to landscape and garden design. The possibilities are endless.
Here are seven reasons why you should consider a career in horticulture:
According to the City and Guilds’ Career Happiness Index, florists and gardeners came on top, with 87% reporting that they are happy in their job. Likewise, 90% of them said they were ‘working in an environment that they like’ and they are doing ‘something worthwhile and useful’
Jobs in floristry and garden design need people with a good eye for colour and composition, making these roles perfect for creative types. Similarly, careers in gardening and landscape restoration are best suited to those who like to ‘make and create things’, and get satisfaction from seeing a hard graft turn into something beautiful
Far from being a career that’s easy, horticulture offers a range of challenges in all of its roles, whether it’s growing crops and flowers in rapidly changing conditions or figuring out whether a certain floral design works. Figures also support this, with 87% of gardeners and florists saying they were ‘doing something challenging and stimulating.’
That may sound like a line best suited to a Terminator movie parody, but with most horticulture jobs being manual, this means that only humans can do these. So in several years’ time, you won’t need to stress about job security.
With no pun intended, the horticulture industry within the UK is in the middle of a growth phase, particularly DIY gardening. With a stagnant economy – combined with increasing heat waves during the summer - people are more likely to make the most of outdoor spaces close to home, rather than go abroad. This means parks and places with plenty of gardens will need more skilled staff.
According to HL Staffing services, there is – and always will be – a demand for skilled workers within the horticulture industry. With your job being secure, there are many different ways to make your money in the sector, and qualified horticulturists can earn more in future. Plus, with raising costs in the sector from nurseries to landscaping, workers may receive a pay rise!
Plants don’t just make our gardens and parks look pretty. They also release oxygen into the air, and regulate the water cycle by helping to move water from the soil to the atmosphere. Plus, flowers play an important part in pollination, where insects move pollen from one plant to another, helping to fertilise them so they can produce nuts, fruit and vegetables that are important to our diet.
Walsall College offers the Level 1 Practical Horticulture Skills course at its Hawbush Campus. For more information about enrolling on a course at Walsall College, please contact 01922 657000.
Sources: National Gardening Week