This article delves into pay statistics and provides an outlook on the future of horticulture salaries in Australia. Uncover the reasons behind the current state of horticulture wages and plan your career path accordingly.
What’s a Horticulturist?
Horticulturists are professionals working in all aspects of plant care in agriculture and amenity landscapes, from production to retail, design to construction, as well as the ongoing maintenance of plants.
Horticulturists with varying levels of experience and qualifications, such as a Cert 3 or a Masters Degree, can earn vastly different salaries in the field. For instance, a specialist in green walls is likely to earn a higher wage than a zero turn mower operator.
With that being said, let’s go over some broad statistics.
The average hourly wage for a horticulturist in Australia is $30.08 per hour according to , and the average annual salary for a horticulturist is $55,987 according to the same source . On the other hand, PayScale reported an average hourly pay of $25.25 for a horticulturist, with a range of $21 to $31 . The average annual salary for a horticulture manager is $74,339, according to .
The Australian award wage sets out minimum wage and work conditions for the horticulture industry. Learn more about award wages in Australia here.
Is That Low?
Based on the data, we can conclude that the average salary for horticulturists in Australia is relatively low compared to other careers, but the pay can vary significantly based on the industry they work in and their level of experience and education.
Supply and Demand: The Future of Horticulture Wages
As the staff shortage crisis continues, it’s clear that horticulture wages will need to increase drastically in order to prevent businesses from failing. This will be the only way to reliably source and retain top talent.
It’s simple economics – as demand for skilled horticulturists increases, so too will their wages.
Separating Horticulturist Wages and Gardener Wages
Horticulturists and landscapers often receive lower pay than other professionals, due to a public perception that gardening is unskilled work. Professional horticulturists who’ve gained formal qualifications should position themselves as “horticulturists” rather than simply “gardeners.”
The Impact of the Lockdowns
The recent lockdowns had a profound impact on the horticulture industry, causing many workers to leave for different industries or remaining on government benefits. Some workers returned part-time, which has also had a strain on the talent pool.
Some people realised that they could live happier lives with less money, leading them to work fewer hours or pursue different careers. Interestingly, some individuals cite life satisfaction as a reason to leave other industries and become full-time horticulturists. Despite taking a pay cut, as they find more joy in their daily work.
Passion Drives the Industry
Many horticulturists accept lower wages because they’re deeply passionate about their work. Some people may earn higher salaries in jobs they dislike, only to spend all their money on their own gardens. On the other hand, horticulturists have the opportunity to work in gardens every day as their job, and the joy they receive from their work outweighs the lower pay.
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.
Browse horticulture jobs near you – click here.
The horticulture industry in Australia is facing challenges, but also has a bright future. As the demand for skilled horticulturists continues to grow, salaries are likely to increase, providing a rewarding and financially fulfilling career option for those passionate about plants and gardens.
By positioning yourself as a professional horticulturist and obtaining formal qualifications, you can help to dispel the public perception of gardening as unskilled work and help raise the perception of our industry.