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Career and Education Opportunities for Crop and Horticultural Workers in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for crop and horticultural workers in the Chicago, Illinois area. In general, crop and horticultural workers directly supervise and coordinate activities of agricultural crop or horticultural workers.

Income for crop and horticultural workers is about $19 hourly or $40,350 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $19 hourly or $39,750 per year. Incomes for crop and horticultural workers are the same as in the overall category of Farm and Forestry Management in Illinois, and the same as the overall Farm and Forestry Management category nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a crop and horticultural worker. Crop and horticultural workers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a crop and horticultural worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Crop and Horticultural Worker

In general, crop and horticultural workers directly supervise and coordinate activities of agricultural crop or horticultural workers.

Every day, crop and horticultural workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for crop and horticultural workers to inspect crops and plant stock to establish conditions and need for cultivating or harvesting. They are often called upon to inspect employees' work to review quality and quantity. They also train staff in techniques such as planting and insect identification, and in the use of safety measures. They are sometimes expected to perform the same horticultural or agricultural duties as subordinates. Somewhat less frequently, crop and horticultural workers are also expected to calculate and monitor budgets for maintenance and development of collections and infrastructure.

Crop and horticultural workers sometimes are asked to observe staff to uncover inefficient and unsafe work procedures or to pinpoint problems, initiating corrective action as needed. They also have to be able to drive and operate farm machinery such as trucks or self-propelled harvesters so as to transport staff and supplies, or to cultivate and harvest fields and issue machinery such as farm implements or containers to staff, and collect machinery when work is complete. And finally, they sometimes have to inspect employees' work to review quality and quantity.

Like many other jobs, crop and horticultural workers must be able to work independently and make decisions on their own and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Crop and Horticultural Worker 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.


Laboratory Animal Technician: The technician certification designations of ALAT, LAT, and LATG are well known and widely used throughout the varied fields of laboratory animal care.

For more information, see the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science website.

Certified Manager of Animal Resources: The Certified Manager Animal Resources (CMAR) certification program is designed to raise competency and professionalism in the field of Animal Resources Management.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

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.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.