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Career and Education Opportunities for Greenhouse Assistants in Aurora, Illinois

Greenhouse assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Aurora, Illinois area. There are currently 9,840 working greenhouse assistants in Illinois; this should shrink by 1% to 9,740 working greenhouse assistants in the state by 2016. Greenhouse assistants generally work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.

Greenhouse assistants earn approximately $10 per hour or $22,280 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $8 per hour or $17,960 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Farming, people working as greenhouse assistants in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Farming nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Aurora where you can study to be a greenhouse assistant, among 175 schools of higher education total in the Aurora area. The most common level of education for greenhouse assistants is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a greenhouse assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Greenhouse Assistant

Greenhouse Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, greenhouse assistants work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.

Greenhouse assistants plant and water plants, shrubs, and trees, using hand tools and gardening tools. They also inspect plants and bud ties to gauge quality. Finally, greenhouse assistants clean work areas, and maintain grounds and landscaping.

Every day, greenhouse assistants are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to use lower back and abdominal strength. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for greenhouse assistants to dip cut flowers into disinfectant, count them into bunches, and place them in boxes to ready them for storage and shipping. They are often called upon to move containerized shrubs and trees, using wheelbarrows or tractors. They also harvest plants, and transplant or pot and label them. They are sometimes expected to haul and spread topsoil, fertilizer and other materials to condition soil, using wheelbarrows or carts and shovels. Somewhat less frequently, greenhouse assistants are also expected to fill growing tanks with water.

Greenhouse assistants sometimes are asked to tie and bunch flowers, plants and trees; wrap their roots; and pack them into boxes to fill orders. They also have to be able to trap and destroy pests such as moles and mice, using pesticides And finally, they sometimes have to regulate greenhouse conditions, and indoor and outdoor irrigation systems.

Like many other jobs, greenhouse assistants must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Aurora include:

  • Agricultural Equipment Operator. Drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. May perform tasks, such as crop baling or hay bucking. May operate stationary equipment to perform post-harvest tasks, such as husking, shelling, and ginning.
  • Farm Labor Contractor. Recruit, hire, and supervise seasonal or temporary agricultural laborers for a fee. May transport, house, and provide meals for workers.
  • Livestock Farmer. Attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, and bees. Attend to animals produced for animal products, such as meat, fur, and honey. Duties may include feeding, watering, herding, grazing, castrating, branding, de-beaking, weighing, and loading animals. May maintain records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; assist in birth deliveries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides as appropriate. May clean and maintain animal housing areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Greenhouse Assistant Training

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural Production Operations which graduated twelve students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.

For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Aurora, Illinois

Aurora, Illinois
Aurora, Illinois photo by File Upload Bot

Aurora is situated in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 171,782, which has grown by 20.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Aurora, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Aurora are valued at $143,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-seven new homes were constructed in Aurora, down from three hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Aurora are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 29.9% of Aurora residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Aurora is 10.9%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Aurora residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church and Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church are all churches located in Aurora. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Aurora is home to the Watkins Hall and the Landmark Industrial Park as well as North River Street Park and O'Donnell Park. Shopping centers in the area include Yorkshire Shopping Center, Village Mart Shopping Center and Fox Valley Mall. Visitors to Aurora can choose from Comfort Suites Aurora, Galena Hotel and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.