Traditionally nursery workers were able to learn on the job and work their way up. Increasingly, however, greenhouses and farms are becoming large industrial-type operations and workers are expected to have much higher skill levels and education.

In the U.S. and Canada, there are a number of educational programs offered, ranging from a two-year horticulture diploma to a post-diploma bachelor of applied science in production horticulture. Courses in agriculture and plant genetics can also be helpful in this profession. Students wishing to enter these programs need strong marks in english, chemistry, biology, science and math.

Continuing education is important in this field, as mechanization of tree farming, research into improved growing methods and new horticulture technologies contribute to changes in how nurseries operate. A nursery worker needs to stay abreast of environmental issues and current trends towards organic methods of pest control. Many countries have trade associations that offer ongoing education and horticulture workshops.

Some of the personal characteristics that are helpful for nursery workers include:

  • self-motivation
  • manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination
  • strength and stamina
  • no allergies related to plants, pollen, or pesticides
  • patience and thoroughness
  • an eye for detail
  • good decision-making abilities
  • technical skills and ability to operate and maintain complex machinery

Customer service is part of the job, so workers should be comfortable dealing with the public courteously and efficiently. A thorough knowledge of the plants, trees, and shrubs under the worker's care is essential. Perhaps most importantly, a nursery worker must love greenery and growing things.

What are Nursery Workers like?


Based on our pool of users, nursery workers tend to be predominately artistic people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Nursery Workers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 340 Sokanu users

Are Nursery Workers happy?


Nursery workers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 40th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Nursery Worker Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Nursery Workers

The most common degree held by nursery workers is Early Childhood Education. 2% of nursery workers had a degree in early childhood education before becoming nursery workers. That is over 5 times the average across all careers. Liberal Arts graduates are the second most common among nursery workers, representing 2% of nursery workers in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.9 times the average.

Nursery Worker Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Nursery Worker, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of nursery workers % of population Multiple
Early Childhood Education 2.4% 0.5% 4.6×
Liberal Arts 1.8% 1.9% 0.9×
Psychology 1.8% 6.8% 0.3×
English Literature 1.5% 4.9% 0.3×
Social Work 1.5% 0.5% 3.1×
Biology 1.2% 3.5% 0.3×

Nursery Worker Education Levels

55% of nursery workers have a high school diploma. 37% of nursery workers have a no education.

No education 37%
High school diploma 55%
Associate's degree 3%
Bachelor's degree 1%
Master's degree 4%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Nursery Worker

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

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