About Amenity Horticulture
Amenity Horticulture is one of Australia's fastest-growing industries, closely linked to urban development and lifestyle. It includes maintaining parks, gardens, golf courses, as well as plant nurseries and landscaping. Climate change is increasingly becoming a significant topic for this sector.
About Production Horticulture
Production Horticulture includes fruits, vegetables, beverage crops and nuts. The industry is widespread and product is grown in all high rainfall regions of Australia, and in many of the low rainfall areas under irrigation as well.
Compared with many other primary products, horticulture is relatively labour intensive, particularly when harvesting and packing. Many fresh-market fruits and some vegetables must be hand picked and treated carefully to avoid brusing and maintain a good appearance. Quality is of prime importance, particularly for products to be exported.
The horticulture industry has adopted new technology such as new irrigation techniques to allow more precise and efficient water use. Cultural practices are changing to make the industry more efficient, reducing costs, increasing yields, and improving fruit and vegetable quality.
Industry sectors are arboriculture, floriculture, landscape, turf, wholesale and retail nursery as well as parks and gardens.
The Horticulture industry offers a diverse and interesting range of rewarding career opportunities. People wishing to pursue a career in the industry can choose to work in any of the following key industry sectors:
Parks and gardens
Wholesale and retail nursery
As an Arborist, you could cultivate, establish, maintain and care for trees and shrubs in public and private gardens, public parks and reserves, bushland, recreational facilities, housing estates, institutions and industrial complexes. A worker in this sector could expect to provide information about trees and their culture, implement tree pruning programs, sample soils and analyse the results, improve plant nutrition, implement tree care and maintenance programs as well as operate chainsaws, undertake complex tree climbing and aerial rescues, remove dead, damaged, dangerous or unsound trees or tree limbs, and fell small trees.
As a Floriculturalist, you must generally be able to plant crops, pick flowers, grade crops, sort flowers, treat and pack crops, drive tractors and other small farm vehicles, propagate plants, maintain irrigation systems, and sample soil and analyse results. There is the opportunity to specialise in plants such as roses, orchids or wild flowers. Depending on the organisation you would be working in controlled indoor environments, or out in a field.
A Landscape Gardener is involved in carrying out landscaping operations in a variety of residential, commercial and public settings, including interior plants setting, golf courses, garden centres, nurseries, greenhouses and playgrounds. In consultation with landscape architects, clients, nursery personnel and garden workers, you'll install and maintain plants, trees, garden ornaments, lawns, walkways and other landscaping features. You may also supervise or be involved in a large range of activities such as seeding and planting, trimming hedges, maintaining established lawns, recommending plants, products and treatments, sourcing information, supervising staff, supervising supplies, services and planting works along with preparing a landscape design and associated costings.
Parks and Gardens
As a parks and gardens worker you must generally be able to prepare garden beds or lawn areas by cultivating soil and adding fertilisers and compost, plant and transplant flowers, shrubs, trees and lawns, maintain gardens by weeding, watering, fertilising and trimming, prune trees and hedges, maintain lawn and grass areas using machinery, fertilisers and chemicals, read landscape plans and construct rockeries, paths or ponds, operate and install irrigation and drainage systems, use chemicals and be involved in the planning of revegetation works, tree planting programs or turf establishment.
As a turf management specialist you are responsible for recreational facilities such as golf courses, parks and athletic fields. Individuals employed by golf courses are sometimes referred to as golf course superintendents. A worker in this sector could expect to plan, organise and direct the establishment and maintenance of turf areas, schedule maintenance activities to accommodate customer activities and events, identify and control insect, disease and weed problems, determine the type and quantity of grass varieties to grow, hire, train and supervise staff and maintain personnel records, prepare, and manage budgets, and ensure the cost effectiveness of maintenance activities, order plant material, supplies and equipment to ensure adequate inventory, oversee the maintenance, servicing and replacement of turf grass/grounds machinery, schedule, maintain and repair irrigation systems and operate a large variety of different types of machinery.
Wholesale and Retail Nursery
In this sector you will be employed in private wholesale and retail nurseries, local government nurseries or garden centres. Employment opportunities occur mainly in metropolitan Perth and to a lesser extent in country towns. Within the retail sector, a worker could expect to be involved in planting and cultivating all plant types in plant nurseries, assisting in general maintenance, supervising sales, nursery plant production, supplies and services, recommending plants, products and treatments, and implementing a propagation plan. There are also opportunities to specialise in various areas such as advanced propagation, horticultural consulting and buying. Within the wholesale sector, a worker could expect to be involved in undertaking propagation activities, treating weeds, operating ride-on vehicles, applying chemicals under supervision, maintaining drainage systems, packaging trees and plants for sale to growers or retail nurseries, and providing information on environmental issues and policies.
To find a Registered Training Organisation who delivers the AHC10 - Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package in WA, click here.
To learn more on how to obtain skills at school, download a copy of the 'Conserve Your Future Growth' brochure.
Links & Resources
Please refer to our Links & Resources for information on Careers, Industry Associations and Employee and Employer organisations within this industry.