A greenhouse is a high-tech production facility for cultivating horticultural products in a controlled environment. A greenhouse manager ensures the proper care of this facility. If you love plants, greenhouse management is a career you could enjoy.
What Do Greenhouse Managers Do?
Their duties include:
- Supervising and training the greenhouse staff
- Overseeing a range of greenhouse farming activities, from pest control to plant breeding
- Supervising the use and application of various greenhouse technologies, such as temperature control systems
- Maintaining an inventory of seeds and plants
- Developing the budget for running greenhouse operations
- Providing support during the construction of new greenhouses
- Providing support to researchers who want to study plant production in the greenhouse.
Although they have offices, greenhouse managers typically spend their time in a greenhouse or outdoors. A normal workday begins at 9am and ends at 5pm, Monday through Friday. Work may also extend to the weekends.
Greenhouses emit gasses that are toxic to human beings. As such, greenhouse managers often wear greenhouse masks and other types of safety gear while at work.
What is the average annual salary for greenhouse managers? Find out below:
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via the National FFA Association
To become a greenhouse manager, you need to earn an associate’s degree in greenhouse management. The program will enhance your knowledge of:
- Soil Science
- Plant propagation
- Greenhouse operations
- Horticultural crops
- Pest and disease control
Some of the colleges offering this credential include:
- Front Range Community College, Colorado
- Edmonds Community College, Washington
- Ohio State University, Ohio
Because experience is also a common employment requirement, you will certainly start out in entry-level positions such as propagation specialist or greenhouse grower, after which you will work your way up.
To do the role competently you need:
- Excellent skills in personnel management
- An interest in horticultural farming
- Manual dexterity
- IT proficiency
- Good technical skills to effectively operate greenhouse equipment such as soil mixers
- Knowledge of greenhouse safety practices
- The ability to train workers
- Inventory management skills
- Good budgeting skills.
Beginning as an entry-level worker, you may advance to become an assistant greenhouse manager before getting the senior manager’s job. To fast-track you movement between these positions, you should demonstrate the ability to lead.
To improve your advancement prospects to other senior positions:
- Pursue a bachelor’s degree in greenhouse management or closely related fields such as agribusiness or agricultural management
- Join a professional association, such as the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators – AERGC is designed for professionals involved in the management of plant growth facilities
The employers of greenhouse managers include:
- Companies engaged in farming activities, such as industrial flower farmers
- Colleges and universities that offer greenhouse management courses
- Agricultural research facilities
With vast experience, you can be hired by large companies that operate several greenhouses. A bachelor’s degree in agribusiness will enable you to move into horticultural sales while an agricultural management degree will broaden your knowledge and skills, making you a competitive candidate for an agricultural manager’s job.
According to the Occupation Information Network, there will be about 150,000 job openings for nursery and greenhouses managers within the next seven years. Although this represents a three percent decline, the new opportunities should be just about enough since not many students enroll in greenhouse management courses.
So if you’re committed to pursuing a career that promotes sustainable food and farming systems, then maybe you should become a greenhouse manager.