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Nursery Manager: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a nursery manager. Read on to explore the requirements as well as details about training, job duties, and career and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Nursery managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a nursery, including growing plants for sale, display, or research, and hiring and training of workers. The responsibilities of a nursery manager normally depend on the size of the nursery. Managers at large-scale nurseries might only be involved in business aspects, such as employee relations and financial considerations, while managers of smaller nurseries could deal with all facets of the nursery, including plant care and customer service. Education in horticulture, agriculture, or botany could aid in qualifying individuals for management positions in nurseries and greenhouses.

Required Education On-the-job training; No formal education required, but degree programs in horticulture, agriculture, or botany are available
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* -3%
Median Salary (2013)* $70,110

Source: *O*Net OnLine

Nursery Manager Job Duties

Nursery managers determine optimal growing conditions for each plant. They take into account the sun each area receives, slopes in the landscape, soil type, drainage, and other factors that affect plant growth. They decide which plants to grow and how many of each plant are necessary for business operations. Managers make calculations based on projected sales or current orders. They might create marketing plans, set budgets, order supplies, and ensure proper working conditions of equipment.

Decisions about when to plant, fertilize, harvest, and sell could be the responsibility of nursery managers. Because weather conditions greatly affect the success of plant growth, nursery managers carefully monitor weather patterns and take proper precautions to ensure the plants are not distressed by unfavorable weather conditions. They examine plants for diseases, insects, wildlife damage, and weeds to protect the health of the garden.

Nursery managers recruit, hire, train, oversee, and terminate employees of a nursery. They provide new employees with proper gardening equipment and teach correct techniques and procedures for plant care. The nursery manager delegates job duties and ensures that employees do their jobs properly. They may schedule work hours and handle payroll. They are also responsible for establishing a safe working environment by creating and implementing safety policies that adhere to legal standards.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information for a Nursery Manager

O*Net OnLine reported that nursery managers, a subcategory of agricultural management, would experience a 3% decline in employment opportunities from 2012-2022. According to 2013 reports on O*Net OnLine, nursery managers earned a median salary of $70,110.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Agriculture
      • Horticulture
        • Floriculture Management
        • Landscaping and Groundskeeping
        • Plant Nursery Operations
        • Turf Management
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics