How does someone become an expert on Gardening, get certified and make it a career?

I am interested in turning my small time hobby of gardening into a bit of a career. Are there classes, certifications, training that I can take in order to become an expert on plants, trees, etc? I’d like to have a deep knowledge of the various kinds of trees, shrubs, flowers that work in different climates, how to best plant and maintain them, to design landscapes with a variety of well-coordinated plants, etc. Should I try to become a certified arborist? Where do I start exploring this potential new career direction? Thanks.

One thought on “How does someone become an expert on Gardening, get certified and make it a career?”

  1. If you are serious about doing this I would advise taking a college course – either a bachelors degree or an associates degree in horticulture. As a professional horticulturist I have to admit that my co-workers and I tend to see Master Gardener programs & such as more for amateurs – whether this is valid of not is very debatable, however, if you are loooking to for a career in horticulture then it is something to consider.

    One way to see what you really like & to get to talk to more professionals is to do something like volunteering at a botanical garden or some other gardening type of institution.
    One word of warning: having changed careers myself from an office job career to horticulture, horticulture or gardening is pretty hard work – working outside in all condtions etc. It also tends to be pretty low paid and can often just be seasonal, depending on where you live, It sounds like an ideal, fun, relaxing career, but, much as I love my job, I sometimes wonder if it would not have been best to leave it as a hobby.

    I am not trying to discourage you in any way, I just would like to give you a balanced view of the career.

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