Horticultural Technician

Job Description: 

A Horticultural Technician is someone who has specialised in a specific area of horticulture, such as quality assurance, irrigation specialist, skilled spray operative, glasshouse specialist, soil specialist or part of a team working in laboratories.

Some of the things a Horticultural Technician could do:

  • Diagnose and deal authoritatively with verbal and written enquiries on plant disease
  • Check that produce meets required standards. This may be to meet legislation, customer requirements or a Quality Assurance scheme.
  • Manage irrigation systems
  • Manage environmental controls within a production environment.

Possible tasks:

  • Inspecting and testing produce
  • Identifying problems and finding solutions
  • Comparing with requirements
  • Checking measuring and testing equipment and plant quality
  • Making decisions on quality
  • Keeping records of results.
Working Conditions: 

Working hours will vary according to the exact nature of the job.

As you may have a role within an organisation but also classed as the specialist technician for a specific  area you may be called on at all hours to assist with problems with technical systems, so flexibility is key.

A driving licence is often required to travel between different places of work.

Salary & Other Benefits: 

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.

  • Starting salaries can be around £15,500 - £19,500
  • Senior positions around £20,000 - £35,500.

Salaries for people working in private industry will vary considerably.

Skills: 

The skills will vary according to the specialist area of work.

Personal Qualities: 
  • Knowledge of science and plants
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • A methodical approach
  • Patience, perseverance and good concentration
  • Work well in a team and on his or her own initiative
  • Flexibility.
Qualifications and training: 

There are a variety of qualifications and training opportunities that can help you:

  • Learn more about your chosen area
  • find employment
  • improve your current skills
  • gain promotion
  • enhance job satisfaction

This a link to the Register of Regulated Qualification held by Ofqual and has been set up to search for a range qualifications in Horticulture Qualifications.  As this search includes all qualifications at different levels and different kinds, you may need to seek further assistance with your tutor or a local college as to the best ones to suit your needs. The qualifications listed on this website are suited if you are resident in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For those of you living in Scotland you need to search for qualifications with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. You will need to choose the type of qualification you are looking for and then search for qualifications available in Horticulture

You may also wish to find out about apprenticeships available in Horticulture and further information can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for England.

If you are living in Wales follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information about apprenticeships http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/apprenticeships/?lang=en

If you are living in Northern Ireland this is the link to Department for Education and Learning for more information on apprenticeships http://www.delni.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsni

If you are living Scotland following this link for more information on modern apprenticeship available http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/modern-apprenticeships/

Getting In: 

For most Horticultural technicians you will have specialised in a certain area which interests you, for example quality assurance, irrigation, agronomy, seed science etc. 

So there are no formal routes into this particular career apart from specialising in a certain area

Getting On: 

Horticultural Technicians can progress to more senior positions within the organisation such as lead technician. 

Or you could take the specialism further and look at becoming an botanist, plant pathologist, agronomist etc.

Further Information: 

Horticultural Technicians can progress to more senior positions within the organisation such as lead technician. 

Or you could take the specialism further and look at becoming an botanist, plant pathologist, agronomist etc.