Occupation Information table
Overview: Horiculturists experiment with cross breeding plants to develop new varieties of fruits, nuts, and grains with higher yields, quality, and resistance to disease. They determine the best methods of spraying and harvesting. They may specialize in breeding, shipping, or research.
Duties: They perform laboratory experiments to determine how to acquire the optimum combination of plant characteristics by genetic mutations and cross-breeding of seeds.

They perform field studies by planting varieties of fruit, nut or grain plants to determine the impact of new fertilizers, insecticides, and irrigation methods, etc.

They compare crop quality and yields by measuring the size of crop fruit, conducting taste tests and evaluating their resistance to damage in shipping.

They educate agricultural groups and agencies about new seed types, how they should be planted and how their fruits should be harvested, stored, processed and shipped.

Degree(s): A.S. Biotechnology 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 5% to 8% percent from 2018 to 2028, which matches the average growth rate for all occupations.
Salary Range (National Average): $29,000 to $33,000
Green: Green Career
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: A bachelor's degree in the agricultural sciences is often adequate for the position of a horticulturist responsible for applied research. However, to perform basic research or teach at a college or university, a master's degree or Ph.D. degree is usually required.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Inspecting and testing products or services to assure they meet the desired specifications.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
Recommended Values:
  • Being able to decide on how to get something done without significant direction from someone else.
  • Having a level of income that will afford you with luxuries, and which will allow you to become financially independent.
  • Create new ideas, programs, things, or anything else not previously developed by another person.
  • Having a job where you can spend a significant amount of time outside.
  • Gaining the respect of others by the nature and/or level of responsibility of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.