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