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Career in Horticulture: Scope, Career Options, and Employment Areas

Update on 17 Jan, 23

Career in Horticulture: Scope, Career Options, and Employment Areas

What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is the practice of growing and cultivating plants for substantial use. Horticulture Science is plant science that includes both science and aesthetics of plants, Horticulturists use this science to produce edible vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and ornamental plants to commercialize them for consumption.

The word horticulture is formed from two Latin words "hortus" which means garden and "colere" which means to cultivate. Horticulture is a practice considered socially important because it helps to improve the ways of growing and using plants for consumption. Moreover, it somehow also contributes to replenishing the environment's resources.

What does a Horticulturist Do?

Many of you might think that horticulturalists work on farms and garden centers however the career of horticulture is far more than farming, it is a vast field that has a wide range of potential career paths.

Horticulturists are people who possess scientific knowledge about the cultivation and propagation of plants and they apply this knowledge to help flower growers and farmers to grow better quality plants, crops, fruits, and flowers.

Besides the cultivation of plants, Horticulture also involves plant conservation, landscape, and garden design, landscape restoration, construction, maintenance, and arboriculture, In a nutshell, the job of horticulturists includes improving plant growth, quality, nutritional value, yield, and resistance to pests and insects, diseases and environmental stresses.

Horticulturists may also be involved in scientific research that aims to produce a new breed of edible plants.

Since Horticulture is something that provides to the economy of India, the opportunities and scope of growth in this field are immense. Horticulture jobs in India are limited but they offer you lucrative salary packages.

Horticulture is a subdomain of the agriculture discipline that deals with the cultivation of plants and maintaining gardens and nurseries. But there are many career options available in this field including Horticulture Supervisor, Horticulture Consultant, Horticulture Manager, Pomologists, Olericulturulists, Horticulture technicians, Researchers, Floriculturuist, and so on.

Career Scope in Horticulture 2023

Due to the latest advancements in the Agriculture Sector and the world's increasing food consumption and demand, India is currently witnessing steady growth in the horticulture field. One can start working as an advisor or consultant to various agribusiness companies, or one can start your career as a researcher or Ornamental Horticulturist.

There are many government organizations and departments such as the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) by ICAR, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, National Institute of Plant Health Management, Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth and many others.

Many Horticulturists in India choose to work on ornamental horticulture, developing and maintaining landscape gardens. CPWD Department is the only department in the Government of India that works on and executes landscape projects, and no other government department has this type of infrastructure or staff.

This is essentially the work of greening and decorating buildings in order to create a habitable environment filled with pleasant and appealing activities. The term horticulture also refers to crops and plants that are dealt with by the Ministry of Agriculture. Other bodies, such as the NDMC, DDA, MCD, GDA, and HUDA, have created similar establishments to the CPWD. The CPWD serves as a model institution for other horticulture departments.

How to Become a Horticulturist?

To become a horticulturist, begin by opting for a bachelor's degree course that typically specializes in horticulture, botany, biology, or agriculture. If you are certain about building a career in Horticulture,  A BSc. (Hons.) Horticulture is the best course choice among all other horticulture courses.

Here are some basic details about B.Sc. Horticulture Course:

  • BSc. Horticulture Duration: 3 or 4 years
  • Semesters: 6 or 8
  • Delivery Mode: Regular
  • Eligibility Criteria for BSc in Horticulture: Minimum 50%-55% marks in 10+2 with Science stream (Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Mathematics)
  • Admission Criteria: Merit Based or Entrance based (depends on the university)
  • Average Course Fee (Annual): Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000
  • Average Annual Salary after Course: Rs 3 L.P.A to Rs 5 L.P.A
  • Horticulture Jobs: Agricultural Researchers, Consultants, Plant Breeders, Marketing Managers, etc. 
  • Employment Sectors & Areas: Agrobusiness, agrochemicals, Agriculture Research Laboratories, Government departments, Orchids, Nurseries, etc. 
  • Top Colleges: SRM University Chennai, Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, Shri Guru Ram Rai University Dehradun, TNAU Coimbatore, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth Rahuri, Indira Gandhi Agricultural University Raipur, etc.

Horticulture Courses Offered in India

In India, Horticulture courses are offered under Diploma, UG, PG, and Doctoral degree levels. To pursue a horticulture course, one must study the subject combinations of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology/ Mathematics in the previous qualifying level (10th class to pursue a  diploma course, 12th for UG level course, Bachelors for PG level course, and Masters for P.hD course).

Candidates who are looking for detailed information about the top horticulture courses in India can refer to the information mentioned below:

Diploma Level Courses in Horticulture:

Diploma Name Colleges Offering Average Fees
Diploma in Horticulture Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Dr.YSR Horticultural University, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open Universit, University of Mumbai, etc. Rs 5,000 - Rs 30,000

Admission Process of Diploma in Horticulture 2023

Based on the marks by the candidate in the qualifying exams. Many colleges offer direct admission to the aspirants while some colleges offer admission on the basis of the general academic marks weightage. Several renowned universities and institutes also conduct entrance exams to shortlist deserving candidates to offer seats.

Undergraduate Level Courses in Horticulture

Course Name Top Colleges Average Fees
BSc in Horticulture Doon Business School, Lovely Professional University, BFIT Group of Institutions, Sai Institute of Paramedical and Allied Sciences, Uttaranchal College of Biomedical Sciences and Hospital etc. Rs 1 Lac - Rs 4 Lacs
BTech in Horticulture Agricultural college and research institute, Fergusson College, Annamalai University, Indira Gandhi national open university, Sir Choturam Institute of Engineering and Technology etc. Rs 1 Lac - Rs 4.50 Lacs

Undergraduate Level Courses- Admission Process

  • Most Universities and Institutions admit students based on their performance in a state or university-level entrance examination.
  • Some of the popular horticulture entrance exams are HORTI CET and UPESEAT.
  • Candidates seeking admission to the B.Tech Horticulture course have to appear in the JEE-Mains entrance exam to secure admission seats in reputed colleges.

Postgraduate Level Courses in Horticulture

Course Name Top Colleges Average Fees
MSc Horticulture CSKHPKV Palampur, BHU Varanasi, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, UAS Dharwad, Sikkim University Gangtok, AAU Anand, etc. Rs 4 Lacs - Rs 5 Lacs

Postgraduate Level Courses- Admission Process

  • Admission to a Master's degree course in Horticulture is provided on the basis of merit as well as entrance exams. The admission criteria vary from one college to another. Some offer you admission after considering your performance in the qualifying exams (Bachelor's degree) whereas college like Delhi University, and Banaras Hindu University conduct their own entrance tests to shortlist the candidates for admissions.

  • DUET and BHU PET are two popular horticulture entrance exams conducted to provide admission to postgraduate courses.

BSc. Horticulture Syllabus 2023

The duration of BSc. Horticulture course is 3 to 4 years. Below we have tabulated the syllabus of a 4-year BSc Horticulture course which is divided into 8 semesters.

Check it out:

1st Semester 2nd Semester
Fundamentals of Geology & Soil Science Introduction of Microbiology
Elementary Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology Genetics & Cytogenetics
Principle of Plant Physiology Apiculture
Statics and Computer Application Medicinal & Aromatic Plant
Communication (English) Soil Fertility & Nutrient Management
Elective I Environmental Science
- Elective II
3rd Semester 4th Semester
Tropical & Subtropical Fruits Spices & Condiments
Weed Management Temperate Fruits
Tropical & SubTropical Vegetables Ornamental Horticulture
Orchard management Water Management
Principle of Plant Breeding Plantation Crops
Nursery management Organic Farming 
Elective III Elective IV
5th Semester 6th Semester
Temperate Vegetable Tuber Crops
Principle of landscape Breeding of Vegetables & Spice Crops
Farm Power & Machinery Post Harvest Management
Fruits & Plants Diseases Seeds Production
Insects Pests for Plants & Crops Insect Pests
Communication Skills Commercial Floriculture
Elective V Elective VI
7th Semester 8th Semester
Processing of Horticulture Field Work
Protected Cultivation of Horticultural Crops Project
Nursery Production & Management Report & Presentation
Horti-Business Management  
Elective VII  

M.Sc. Horticulture Syllabus

The entire syllabus of MSc. The horticulture Course is divided into 4 semesters. It is a 2-year long course and each year comprises 2 semesters.

Below we have mentioned the semester-wise syllabus of M.Sc. Horticulture:

1st Semester 2nd Semester
Systematic Horticulture Orchard Management
Plant Propagation and Nursery Husbandry Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
Vegetable Crop Spices Plantation
Statistical Method Design of Experiments
3rd Semester 4th Sesmester
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Breeding of Horticultural Crops
Temperate Fruits Floriculture and Landscaping
Minor Fruits Quality Control of Fruits, Vegetables, and Flowers
Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Field Study and Thesis

Diploma in Horticulture Syllabus

Diploma in Horticulture Course is a 2-year long course which can be pursued by 10th passed students. The syllabus of the Diploma in Horticulture course is divided into 4 semesters.

Refer to the table below to check the syllabus:

1st Semseter 2nd Semester
Basics in Horticulture Dry Land Horticulture
Soil and Fertility Management Medicinal & Aromatic Crops Production Technology
Plant Propagation Practices Ornamental Gardening & Landscaping
Farm Machinery Fruits Crops Production Technology
Soil & Fertility Management Agroforestry
Livestock Management & Poultry Production Irrigation
Fundamentals of Agronomy Plant Protection
Physical Education Silvihorticulture
Communication Skills Weed Management
3rd Semester 4th Semester
Commercial Technology Farm Management & Marketing
Crop Pests Management Fundamentals of Extension Education
Vegetable Crops Production Technology Value Addition of Horticultural Crops
Spice Crops Production Technology Post Harvest Handling
Flower Crops Production Technology Seed Production Technology of Horticultural Crops
Crop Diseases & its Management Practical Training
- Tours
- Protected Cultivation
- Plantation crops Production Technology
Is Horticulture a Good Career?

Yes, Horticulture is a Good Career Option, it is best suited for people who love plants, greenery, and nature. A career in Horticulture is not only rewarding in terms of salary but it also allows you to contribute to socio-economic welfare.

There are many reasons that justify that Horticulture is a legit career field for the young generation.

Here are the points that support the statement that Horticulture is a good career:

  • Horticulture is indeed an unconventional career field that is not chosen by many people, however, it doesn’t indicate that Horticulture is not a good career choice. Since it is a road less taken, the competition in this field is lesser than in other fields such as engineering, medicine, and so on.

  • As you may already know that horticulture is quite necessary in the contemporary world. Amid the changing climate and associated water scarcity. The increasing population is causing a high necessity for food production. Many research organizations have already indicated that food security will be a matter of concern for mankind in the coming years, This means if you build a career in horticulture, particularly in food production, you will be offered long-term job prospects and good pay packages.

  • As a Horticulturist, You will be able to put your knowledge to some good use. During a horticulture course, you learn about plant genetics and will be able to produce new varieties of fruits and plants. You will apply your learning to grow and develop plants resistant to disease and better yields of crops.

  • Earning a degree in horticulture helps a person to promote sustainable recreation activities as they are responsible for designing and growing creative plantations at beautiful parks, roadside plantations, and gardens. Horticulturists develop all of these green landscapes and surroundings that attract visitors and inspire them to grow more plants and flowers in their surroundings.

  • Ornamental Horticulturists enhance the aesthetic appeal of residential and commercial properties. Their knowledge as well as talent is also highly valued and demanded in the real estate industry.

Job Profiles in Horticulture

The Horticulture field offers ample career opportunities to graduates. They can find horticulture jobs in government and private institutes of horticulture, including plantations, vegetable farms, and fruit groves. Advancements in the agriculture and Horticulture sector have opened up doors of lucrative job roles in the export industry as well.

Below we have mentioned some of the Top Job Profiles in Horticulture:

  • Olericulturist: In this job. the professional has to deal with the production of vegetables, their storage, processing, marketing, and distribution. Olericulturists can get a job in the export industry, research institutions, educational institutes, and many other types of organizations. 

  • Floriculturist: A floriculturist's job is to look after the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants to build attractive gardens. They also propagate, grow and market all cut flowers and seedlings.

  • Pomologist: The job of a Pomologist involves the cultivation of edible fruits and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, oranges, pears, strawberries, etc. They also work to cultivate new varieties of fruits and nuts and also to increase the yield of existing varieties. 

  • Ornamental Horticulturist: An ornamental Horticulturist is responsible for growing and maintaining the plants which are used in recreation and decoration. They mostly practice this process at a nursery, landscaping company, and floral shop. 

  • Horticultural Technician: A Horticultural technician is responsible for growing and sustaining plants that can be used for medicines, food, education, and decoration. He/she also looks after fertilization, plantation, irrigation, transplantation, and diagnostics and treatment of plant diseases. 

  • Horticulture Consultant: As the name suggests, they consult the farmers to make the right choices for their crops including the usage of soil and fertilizer options. Their aim is to help the farmers in cultivating and achieving high-quality yields and producing surplus quantities to meet their business's financial goals.

  • Horticultural Supervisor: A Horticultural Supervisor oversees the planting and cultivation of various crops, shrubs, plants, and turfs. They also conduct inspections to ensure that plants are damage-free and disease free.

  • Horticultural Manager: The horticulture manager is a leading professional who oversees all the aspects of cultivation. He/She also develops new varieties of plants and markets them and negotiates with suppliers.

Salary of Horticulturists in India 2023

The average salary of a horticulturist in India is Rs 4.20 L.P.A. Both public, as well as private sectors, offer handsome remuneration to Horticulture graduates, however, the salary of a horticulturist is recorded to be higher in the private sector as compared to public organizations.

In the public sector, the horticulturist might get some additional benefits along with their salary. As a fresher, you might be able to bag a job offer with CTC as higher as Rs 3 L.P.A depending on the knowledge and skills you possess.

Once you start working in this field, you may get plenty of opportunities to get promoted to higher job roles in this industry.

Employment Sectors for Horticulture

Speaking of the employment opportunities in the Horticulture field, there is an immense scope and growth in this field. You can find horticulture jobs in both public as well as private sectors in India.

Some of the top employment areas for Horticulture graduates are mentioned below:

  • Farming
  • Food Corporation
  • Warehousing
  • Health Farms
  • Irrigation Department
  • Research & Development
  • Service Sector
  • Export Industry
  • Teaching
  • Sales & Marketing
Top Recruiting Companies for Horticulture
  • Godrej Agrovet Limited
  • Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd.
  • National Agro-Industry
  • Kaveri Seed Company Ltd.
  • Dhunseri Tea & Industries Ltd.
  • JK Agri Genetics Ltd.
  • Raghuvansh Agrofarms Ltd.
  • Goodricke Group Ltd.
  • HPC Biosciences Ltd.
  • Nath Bio-Genes (India) Ltd.
  • Casa Verde Growers
  • Interior Plantscapes
  • Green Decor
  • Sun Valley Landscaping
  • Iffco Kisan Sanchar Ltd.
  • Greater Texas Landscape Services
  • ER&M ecological restoration and management
Advantages & Disadvantages of Becoming a Horticulturist Jobs
Advantages of becoming a Horticulturist
  • Horticulturusrs possess extensive knowledge of various plants species and they also study the ecological impact of different types of plants on our environment. They directly or indirectly contribute to environment conservation.
  • Studying horticulture will offer you rewarding career opportunities in various sectors such as research & development, education, retail management, crop inspection, etc.
  • The jobs of horticulturists don't get impacted even during the recession. The employment rate always remains stable in the food production and agriculture industry and Horticulturist plays a crucial role in these industries.
  • Horticulture is a low-competition career field and therefore you will never get short on finding new job opportunities.
Disadvantages of Becoming a Horticulturist
  • Horticulturists have to work to treat various plant diseases and sometimes they are exposed to hazardous toxic chemicals during their work.
  • To enter the research field, Horticulturists require extensive training and have to do rigorous hard work to become successful.
  • The competition in this field is low but there are also limited jobs available in the research and teaching field.

Signing Off:

Getting a Major in Horticulture will lead you to careers in plant breeding, genetic engineering, landscape design, farming, floral design, research, nursery production, education, food science, landscape construction and management, pest control, marketing, and so on.

And Pursuing a Career in Horticulture will offer you a secured job, good paychecks, and self-satisfaction. Besides, all these things, your job will also allow you to make some positive contribution to promoting nature conservation.

 

 If you are someone who wants to work for environmental welfare and love greenery, plants, or farming gardening, then a job in horticulture would be a good fit for you. 

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