About the Horticulture Industry

Do you like the idea of working outside and not being chained to a desk every day? You might enjoy a career in horticulture! Horticulture is a sector within the agriculture industry and looks at the science, art, technology and business of plants, including plant cultivation, conservation, landscaping, garden design, landscape restoration, construction, maintenance and arboriculture. As Australia’s second-largest rural production industry, horticulture employs around 30% of all workers in the agriculture, conservation and horticulture industry. And, according to the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service, horticulture is one of Australia’s fastest-growing industries, employing 125,000 people and turning over $6 billion per year.
Certificate II in Horticulture by Open Colleges
Certificate II in Horticulture by Open Colleges
Certificate II in Horticulture by Open Colleges
Love nature and working outdoors? Learn how our nationally accredited Certificate II in Horticulture course will boost your career and horticultural skills.
Self paced
Maximum 18 months
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Certificate III in Horticulture by Open Colleges
Certificate III in Horticulture by Open Colleges
Certificate III in Horticulture by Open Colleges
Learn how the nationally recognised Certificate III in Horticulture course will give you the specialist skills you need to boost your career.
Self paced
Maximum of 24 months
Online with workplace projects
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What Are the General Entry Requirements for Horticulture?

The entry requirements to study horticulture will vary based on the course you want. Academic requirements will differ between educational institutions and the level of study you undertake. For the most accurate information, you should view the course information on the institution’s website.

Typically, you’ll need to have an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent to complete an undergraduate degree.

For postgraduate courses, satisfactory completion of an undergraduate degree is required. However, some institutions may take relevant work experience or research ability into consideration as well.

For Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses, most students will need to have reached a level of study equivalent to the Australian Year 10. Some courses may require extra prerequisite subjects or work experience.

What Skills Are Needed to Study Horticulture?

  • Knowledge of plants and their care
  • Practical skills
  • Good observation skills
  • Ability to understand and follow health and safety regulations
  • Ability to work either alone or in a team
  • Able to (and enjoy) working outdoors
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking

Is a Horticulture Course Right for Me?

If you prefer computer work or working indoors, horticulture is not for you. If you struggle to keep a houseplant alive, you might also struggle completing a horticulture course. However, if you have a real interest in plants, appreciate nature and enjoy working outdoors, you will excel in a horticulture career. Apart from a love of nature and plants, you’ll also need good observation to identify plants and the environments that will suit them. You also need to be able to work alone, as many horticulture jobs require you to work by yourself.

What Are the Different Types of Horticulture Courses?

There are several pathways to study horticulture courses, from TAFE certificates to university-level degrees. To find the best course in Australia, you need to decide where you want your horticulture career to take you, while also considering your current level of knowledge and any previous study you’ve done.

Here are some of the different horticulture courses available in Australia:

  • Certificate: For routine work in fields like sports turf management, retail nursery, production nursery, arboriculture or floriculture, a Certificate is the ideal entry point. A popular course is a Certificate II in Horticulture, which can take between six months to a year to complete.
  • Diploma: A Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Horticulture provides you with wide knowledge of a specific area, taking around two years to complete.
  • Bachelor Degree: A Bachelor in Environmental Horticulture or Viticulture provides practical and theoretical skills as well as knowledge for professional work. Main study areas include plant science, management and knowledge of sustainability and rural industries.
  • Postgraduate: A Postgraduate Degree like a Master of Urban Horticulture provides advanced knowledge and skills for career advancement, including a potential salary increase.

What Can I Do after a Horticulture Course?

Horticulture falls into several major sectors, including floriculture, arboriculture, landscaping, parks and gardens, nursery, viticulture (winemaking), turf management, pest management and horticultural research)

There are several career pathways following a horticulture course. Here are some potential jobs:

  • Horticulturist
  • Gardener
  • Viticulture (winemaker)
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Tree Surgeon
  • Tree Planter
  • Arborist
  • Nursery Propagator
  • Research Technologist
  • Parks and Gardens Manager
  • Park Ranger

Which Are the Top Institutes to Study Horticulture?

Charles Sturt University, University of Melbourne and Melbourne Polytechnic are some of the leading institutes in the world to study horticulture. University of Technology Sydney, Queensland University of Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology are also excellent choices. Institutions like TAFE, as well as online education platforms like Open Colleges also offer a range of certificates and diplomas in horticulture.

How Much Can I Earn with A Horticulture Qualification?

The national average salary for a Horticulturist is $59,720 in Australia. With further study, you could earn roughly $100,000 as a landscape designer.

Are Horticulture Careers Still in Demand in 2022?

Employment levels in the horticulture industry have risen steadily in the past five years, with gardeners or landscapers rising 16.6%, and park rangers rising 6.2%. So, if you’re interested in studying horticulture, you can rest assured employment trends are on the up, making horticulture an in demand industry now and into the future.

Are Courses in Education Subsidised?

Government funding assists students by subsidising their tuition fees, with funding varying between states and territories. In NSW, for example, Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. It helps people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers. Under Smart and Skilled, the NSW Government contributes to the cost of each course with the student paying the balance. There are currently no horticulture subsidies.