There are currently an estimated 503,700 nursery workers in the United States. The nursery worker job market is expected to grow by 1.1% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are nursery workers?

CareerExplorer rates nursery workers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 16,900 nursery workers. That number is based on 5,500 additional nursery workers, and the retirement of 11,400 existing nursery workers.

Are nursery workers in demand?

A stagnant job outlook is predicted for nursery workers. Consolidation of nurseries; increased automation and mechanization; and growing competition from international suppliers are reducing manpower demand in the field. Rising energy prices and the wide availability of greenhouse-grown plants have led to decreased profit margins for growers and exerted further negative pressure on the industry. However, while improved technology means that fewer unskilled workers will be needed to perform manual labor tasks, skilled laborers will be required to operate equipment. The high turnover that is typical in this seasonal and physically demanding occupation will also result in some openings. An expected greater demand for landscaping plants may present additional opportunities. As part-time employment is not uncommon for these workers, some of them work for more than one nursery. Increased use of pest management practices will raise demand for workers knowledgeable and certified in this area of nursery operations. Job seekers who complete horticulture related courses and training programs will enhance their employability, especially in supervisory or management roles.

What’s the supply of nursery workers?

The nursery worker industry is concentrated in California, Florida, Arizona

Nursery Worker job market by state

State Name Employed Nursery Workers
California 189,930
Florida 13,250
Arizona 10,700
Washington 9,710
Texas 5,520
Oregon 5,160
Georgia 3,420
Colorado 3,260
New Jersey 3,160
North Carolina 2,570
Pennsylvania 2,510
Michigan 2,470
Idaho 2,140
Ohio 2,110
Illinois 1,620
Indiana 1,550
Wisconsin 1,470
New Mexico 1,430
Louisiana 1,150
South Carolina 1,120
Puerto Rico 1,090
Arkansas 1,020
Maryland 920
Connecticut 920
Iowa 850
Massachusetts 840
Tennessee 840
Minnesota 780
Nebraska 770
Kentucky 700
Missouri 690
Utah 660
Kansas 650
Vermont 560
Mississippi 530
Oklahoma 500
Alabama 420
Montana 410
Hawaii 300
Maine 270
North Dakota 270
West Virginia 220
Nevada 220
New Hampshire 180
Delaware 160
South Dakota 70
District of Columbia 60
Wyoming 50