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There are four steps required to become a greenhouse manager: complete post-secondary education, obtain related work experience, learn management skills and secure a position as a greenhouse manager. The primary responsibilities of a greenhouse manager include cultivation of plants and maintenance of the correct environment. The roof and walls of a greenhouse are either plastic or glass and are designed to absorb solar radiation from the sun. The heat is trapped inside the building, creating an ideal environment for plants, regardless of the climate outside.
Someone who wants to become a greenhouse manager has a great deal of skill growing and maintaining a variety of plant life. Commonly known as having a “green thumb,” he or she is knowledgeable about the basic requirements of different types of plants and has the knack for keeping them alive and thriving. Greenhouses are commonly found in North America and Europe, where the colder climate interrupts the natural growing season for plants. A greenhouse can be a small, backyard shed for personal use or an expansive production facility used to grow produce or plants to be sold.
The first step required to become a greenhouse manager is to complete a training program in horticulture from a recognized college or university. These programs are available at a limited number of schools and typically are located in rural areas, where the opportunities for this type of job are greater. Related education includes a degree in botany or general science.
Horticulture is a practical skill that has a large theoretical component. Look for a program that includes a cooperative or job placement option. Gaining relevant work experience is very important for anyone who wants to become a greenhouse manager. Take the time to learn about the different options before selecting a program. Some schools offer courses specifically in greenhouse management and address some of the unique challenges of this industry.
Managing a greenhouse is a mid-level career position, and a minimum of five years of experience as a greenhouse worker usually is required. Anyone who wants to become a greenhouse manager should seek employment in a large greenhouse operation. There is a significant amount of on-the-job training that is necessary to learn how to manage greenhouses. For example, the pesticides, fertilizers and insects used in each greenhouse are based on the plants being grown and balancing the entire environment.
There are two types of related work experience: horticultural and managerial. Experience working on a produce farm or tree farm or in a greenhouse are all great ways to gain related experience. Other options include working in a botanical garden or plant store. Places that can provide horticultural work experience include zoos, amusement parks, park management companies and landscaping companies.
Managerial experience can be obtained through temporary assignments as a floor supervisor or team lead. Take the initiative and volunteer for these positions if they become available, so you can gain valuable work experience. Other ways to gain managerial experience include volunteering to build a community garden, providing courses in plant management and working as a supervisor for a landscape garden company.
The best way to learn good management techniques is to complete a program in business management. There are a variety of short courses, seminars and degree programs dedicated to business management. Select the option that will meet your immediate needs and all you to implement the skills you have learned.