Breaking into Horticulture: Finding Your Niche

When I first got into horticulture, I thought that it was just a way to get out of a sales job I hated. It’s been over 10 years, and I can happily say that it was one of the best decisions I ever made; not only did it achieve the initial desired result of de-stressing me from my sales job, but it ignited what has become a life-long obsession for plants and their care.

The first four to six weeks were hard on my body as I adjusted to using heavy brush cutting equipment as I followed zero turn mowers around public parks 5 days a week. But once my body adapted, the work became therapeutic, which was a stark contrast to the stressful and sedentary sales work I’d been doing previously.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to break into the horticulture industry, and learn everything I wish I’d known 10 years ago, including information about the various niches in horticulture, how to find one’s niche, and how to break into your ideal field.

Jane Edmanson and Daniel Fuller - horticulture media careers

Jane Edmanson, legendary Gardening Australia and ABC radio host and myself, Daniel Fuller, at a Horticulture Media Australia Association (HMAA) industry event.

What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is the art and science of cultivating plants for environmental values, food, fuel, and aesthetic enjoyment. The field encompasses a wide range of practices, from growing vegetables on a small patch of land to managing large-scale commercial nurseries.

It plays a critical role in our daily lives, providing the food we eat, the beauty that surrounds us, and the air we breathe. It also helps maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems and contributes to local economies by providing jobs and economic growth.

There are many different niches within the field of horticulture, each with its own unique challenges and rewards. Some of the most common niches include landscaping, agriculture, nursery work, arboriculture, parks and gardens. Each niche offers different opportunities for growth and advancement, and allows individuals to specialise in their area of interest.

How to Find Your Niche in Horticulture

Before diving into horticulture, take a step back and assess your skills, interests, and values. This will help you determine what niche in horticulture would be the best fit for you. Ask yourself simple questions like “Do I enjoy working outdoors?” and “What sort of lifestyle do I want?” to get started.

Once you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to start your research. Visit local nurseries, attend industry events, and talk to professionals in the field to gain a better understanding of what each niche entails and what opportunities are available.

Read other blog articles on the Hort People website, and listen to the Plants Grow Here podcast to learn about one topic per episode from experts, industry professionals and enthusiasts.

Finally, consider participating in an internship or apprenticeship program to gain hands-on experience in your chosen niche. These programs provide an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, develop your skills, and determine if a particular niche is a good fit for you. Whether you’re interested in landscaping, agriculture, parks and gardens, or media, there’s a niche in horticulture for everyone – it just takes a little bit of exploration and self-discovery to find your place.

Read about 26 niches in horticulture here.

Breaking into Horticulture

If you’re passionate about plants and the outdoors, horticulture may be the perfect career for you. While there’s no one set path to success in the industry, education and training can help give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. This can include obtaining a degree in horticulture, gaining a certificate in a specific area of the field, or gaining on-the-job experience through internships or apprenticeships.

Building a network of industry professionals and mentors can help you get a foothold in the horticulture field. This can include attending industry events, joining professional organisations like the Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH), and reaching out to individuals in the field who you admire and respect. Your network can provide you with valuable advice, guidance, and job leads, as well as a supportive community to help you grow and succeed.

Once you’ve got the education and training you need, and built a strong network, it’s time to start looking for a job in your chosen field of horticulture. You need to learn how to write a compelling resume and cover letter, networking with industry professionals, and make the most of job fairs and other opportunities.

Staff Shortage in Horticulture

The horticulture industry is currently facing a shortage of skilled and qualified staff, which is having a significant impact on many businesses. This shortage is due to a variety of factors, including knock-on effects from lockdowns, a lack of interest in horticulture careers among younger generations, and an increasing demand for horticulture products and services.

It presents a unique opportunity if you’re interested in breaking into the horticulture field, because most businesses are actively seeking qualified and/or unqualified candidates.

Professional amenity horticulturists at work

Horticulture is good for the soul. Image source

Browse Horticulture Jobs in Australia Now

Hort People is the Australian horticulture industry job board, where all jobs have an advertised salary to help you make an educated choice about the next step in your career.

There are over 60 categories for you to browse, which will help you find a good niche to specialise in. Click here


This article has discussed the importance of finding your niche in horticulture, and provided tips on how to break into the field. Whether you’re interested in growing plants, designing landscapes, or conducting research, there’s a niche for you in horticulture. With education and training, building a strong network, and getting your foot in the door, you can achieve your dreams and make a difference in the world.

Remember, breaking into horticulture takes time and effort, but with persistence and dedication, it is achievable. The industry offers a wealth of opportunities, and with the right approach, you can find the perfect niche for you.

If you’re passionate about horticulture and ready to break into the field, take action today. Research different niches, browse job salaries, and apply to a job that’s going to teach you the basic skills you need to thrive in the industry. With hard work and determination, you can achieve your dreams and make a difference in the world.

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