LANDSCAPE & HORTICULTURE TECHNICIAN

 
Plants are a vital resource to our well-being. They produce oxygen, are a food source, and can even be considered as a form of therapy. Plants of all kinds play an essential role in our everyday lives, which can sometimes go unnoticed. Horticulture technicians are experts in horticulture and landscaping. Because of the work they do, our homes, workplaces and cities are more lush, healthy and beautiful places to live.
 
A horticulture technician is responsible for growing, installing, and maintaining indoor and outdoor plants. While horticulture technicians are experts in plant knowledge, they also have an aptitude for building and maintaining rural and urban landscapes, including golf courses and parks. Horticulture technicians play a vital role in landscaping, as they are often called upon to determine what plants and greenery would thrive in certain spaces. These professionals help with the beautification and maintenance of our natural environment.
 

HORTICULTURE TECHNOLOGIST, HORTICULTURE SPECIALIST, HORTICULTURIST, PLANT DOCTOR, PLANTSCAPE TECHNICIAN, LANDSCAPE HORTICULTURIST, PLANT CARE TECHNICIAN, HARDSCAPE INSTALLER/SPECIALIST, SOFTSCAPE INSTALLER/SPECIALIST, ORNAMENTAL MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN, TURF MAINTENANCE SPECIALIST, IRRIGATION SPECIALIST, RETAIL HORTICULTURIST

 
Horticulture technicians have a skillset that is useful in a variety of landscaping and horticulture jobs. In general, they
 
  • Spread top soil, lay sod, plant flowers, grass, shrubs and trees, and perform other duties to assist with the construction or maintenance of a landscape
  • Cut grass, rake, aerate, dethatch, fertilize, and water lawns, weed gardens, prune shrubs and trees, and perform other maintenance duties as directed by a supervisor
  • Maintain lawns and grass along roadsides
  • Monitor plants for healthy growth and potential weed, insect, disease, and fertilizer problems in greenhouse crops
  • Use hand tools, such as shovels, rakes, pruning saws, saws, hedge or brush trimmers, or axes
  • Operate landscaping equipment such as walk behind mowers, commercial mowers, push mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers
Landscape and horticulture technicians are in wide demand across many industries. These include:
 
 
There is ample opportunity for advancement as a landscape and horticulture technician in Ontario. As a provincially regulated but voluntary trade, horticulture technicians can advance their skills and expertise through additional training through further education as well as through on-the-job training. With enough experience, horticulture technicians may advance to supervisory or management positions at landscaping companies or garden centres. Some start their own companies or work as consultants.
 
Future employment prospects for horticulture technicians in Ontario are positive. In 2020, there were over 500 job postings for horticulture and other specialized landscape technicians across Ontario.

 

In Ontario, the median annual wage for a Landscape & Horticulture Technician is $39,520. Pending experience, responsibilities, location, hours of work, and qualifications a Landscape & Horticulture Technician can expect to make between $32,240 and $57,283.

 

              

Work Context
Working outdoors, exposed to weather
Working in a team and engaging in problem solving
Interacting with customers and clients
Work Attributes
Attention to detail
Integrity
Cooperation with others
Initiative
Dependability
Creativity

 

HOW DO I BECOME A LANDSCAPE AND GREENHOUSE TECHNICIAN?

 
There is no singular path to becoming a horticulture technician. In Ontario, some people will begin as nursery or garden centre labourers and later acquire additional training and experience to become a certified horticulture technician. Although there are university and college programs to learn about horticulture, it is not required to obtain educational certification to perform the work; many horticulture technicians have gained knowledge and experience on the job. Many employers look to hire new people who are interested in horticulture, regardless of their experience, so long as they are hard working, eager to learn, and have an interest in plants and floriculture.
 
Horticulture technician is a regulated but voluntary trade in Ontario. Upon completing the necessary apprenticeship training program, individuals are issued a Certificate of Apprenticeship, which confirms that someone has the skills, knowledge and experience that meet industry standards. The apprenticeship takes approximately three to five years to complete and consists of on-the-job and in-school training.
Many Ontario colleges and universities offer horticulture programs, which will give you a solid foundation in horticulture knowledge and expertise. This is an asset that many employers value.

 

HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED LANDSCAPE AND GREENHOUSE TECHNICIAN?

The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship requires a candidate to have three years of experience, through a combination of on-the-job and in-school training. It is also possible for individuals to obtain certification through industry associations. For example, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association offers a national Landscape Horticulture Certificate program. Designations include: Hardscape Installation, softscape installation, ornamental maintenance turf maintenance, nursery worker, irrigation, and retail horticulturist.
 
Examples of in-school training can include, but is not limited to:
 
  • Plant science, botany and plant identification
  • Plant material and plant-handling techniques
  • Plant propagation techniques and plant production
  • Turf grass management
  • Landscape construction
  • Pest management
  • Landscape equipment maintenance
  • Irrigation (components, pipe layout and spray rates)
  • Site layout, and grading and drainage
  • Project management
  • Workplace communication and applied trade mathematics
  • Applied safety procedures and first aid

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