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Green careers are the most sustainable

Horticulture is a hands-on career which offers the opportunity to grow, maintain and sell plants and plant growth products. Those who love the outdoors and appreciate nature and sustainability will find this a very rewarding career. 

This is a broad industry which includes:

  • plant production - the process of producing plants
  • retail
  • growing plants for recreation or ornamental purposes, as often seen in retail nurseries
  • plant maintenance
  • conservation of the natural environment. 

What is horticulture? 

Horticulture is a natural science. Horticulture workers understand the biology of plant species. They know how to reproduce plants, identify plants and nurture their growth, how to manage pests and diseases and contemporary sustainability practices. Plant production horticulturalists will produce plants in bulk and work within a wholesale environment. Retail horticulturalists operate as part of retail nurseries and liaise with customers, manage marketing, merchandising and the day to day operations of a retail outlet, in addition to being able to propagate plants for sale. Students with an interest in natural science or a flair for gardening are well suited to this career path.

What are the job outcomes? 

Some jobs include:

  • Horticulture Assistant
  • Horticulturalist
  • Horticulture Team Leader
  • Horticulture Manager
  • Horticulture Business Manager
  • Greenkeeper
  • Nursery Worker
  • Plant Propagator
  • Conservation Officer
  • Parks and Gardens employee

Visit for more details. 

What courses are available? 

South Metropolitan TAFE offers the following horticulture qualifications: 

AHC20416 Certificate II in Horticulture 

AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture 

AHC31116 Certificate III in Production Nursery (apprenticeship only)

AHC40416 Certificate IV in Horticulture 

AHC50416 Diploma of Horticulture 

Many graduates in horticulture enjoy a pathway to landscape design or landscaping, turf management, irrigation, conservation and land management, arboriculture or parks and gardens. In some cases, credit for past study and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is available to shorten the length of study. Visit our Horticulture and Conservation page to see the full list of courses.

For those with no background in industry, the Certificate II is a good starting point to get the basic skills employers require to operate in a horticultural workplace. Those with a solid understanding of plants by cultural practices may find starting at the Certificate III level appropriate. Many tradespeople or those already working in the horticulture industry find studying the Certificate IV or Diploma beneficial.

South Metropolitan TAFE also offers short courses for those in industry looking to upskill or to gain or retain compliance. Short courses are offered regularly throughout the year. If the link below doesn't show next dates, contact us to see when a course is next planned.

SMT0091 SMARTtrain Chemical Application Course - Level 3

SMT0092 SMARTtrain Chemical Risk Management - Level 4

SMT0130 SMARTtrain Chemical Application Re-accreditation

SMT0090 Waterwise School Gardener Training

Where will I study? 

Murdoch Campus 

Murdoch campus is where most of our horticulture qualifications are delivered as it features contemporary facilities seen in industry and practical spaces to allow students to get real-world experiences before they begin their career. Some of the custom built facilities include:

  • Fully operational retail nursery
  • Extensive greenhouses for horticultural production
  • Extensive campus garden spaces where students design and create landscape features each semester
  • Landscaping construction pits
  • Golf course, bowling green
  • Conservation and land management area

Mandurah campus

Our southern-most campus delivers the Certificate II in Horticulture in facilities that include:

  • Production nursery

What will I study?

First, check the course page links above for details of units available for your study plan.

Then, see what students do in Horticulture on the SM TAFE Horticulture Facebook page, where lecturers post stories of student activities in class and on industry excursions. While you are there, follow the page to receive invites to our student plant sales, held twice a year at Murdoch Campus.  

Page last updated December 28, 2018