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Career and Education Opportunities for Garden Center Managers in Elgin, Illinois

Garden center managers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Elgin, Illinois area. The national trend for garden center managers sees this job pool growing by about 5.9% over the next eight years. Garden center managers generally plan, organize, direct, and coordinate activities of workers engaged in propagating, cultivating, and harvesting horticultural specialties, such as trees, shrubs, and other plants.

Income for garden center managers is about $14 per hour or $30,380 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $27 per hour or $56,230 annually. Garden center managers earn less than people working in the category of Specialized Management generally in Illinois and less than people in the Specialized Management category nationally. Jobs in this field include: horticultural farm manager, bonsai culturist, and arboriculturist.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a garden center manager, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. The most common level of education for garden center managers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a garden center manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Garden Center Manager

Garden Center Manager video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, garden center managers plan, organize, direct, and coordinate activities of workers engaged in propagating, cultivating, and harvesting horticultural specialties, such as trees, shrubs, and other plants.

Garden center managers tour work areas to monitor work being done, to inspect crops, and to review plant and soil conditions. They also inspect facilities and equipment for signs of disrepair, and perform needed maintenance work. Equally important, garden center managers have to explain and enforce safety regulations and policies. They are often called upon to identify plants as well as problems such as diseases and insect pests. They are expected to direct clerical and marketing efforts. Finally, garden center managers decide on types and quantities of horticultural plants to be grown, on the basis of budgets, projected sales volumes, and/or executive directives.

Every day, garden center managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for garden center managers to decide on and purchase seeds, plant nutrients, disease control chemicals, and garden and lawn care equipment. They are often called upon to furnish data to customers on the care of trees and lawns. They also position and regulate plant irrigation systems, and program environmental and irrigation control computers. They are sometimes expected to cut and prune trees, shrubs and plants. Somewhat less frequently, garden center managers are also expected to talk with horticultural personnel so as to plan facility renovations or additions.

Garden center managers sometimes are asked to decide on plant growing conditions, such as greenhouses or natural settings, and set planting and care schedules. And finally, they sometimes have to hire employees, and train them in gardening techniques.

Like many other jobs, garden center managers must be reliable and be able to take change and lead.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Construction Foreman. Plan, direct, or budget, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, and implementation.
  • Legislator. Develop laws and statutes at the Federal, State, or local level.
  • Natural Resources Specialist. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, and research and development in these fields.
  • Property Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate selling, buying, or governance activities of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate properties.
  • Purchasing Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.
  • Social Service Coordinator. Plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits. Work may involve directing social workers, counselors, or probation officers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Garden Center Manager Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Garden Center Manager. They are:

  • Ornamental Horticulture, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Plant Nursery Operations and Management, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has 2 areas of study related to Garden Center Manager. They are:

  • Ornamental Horticulture, associate's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Greenhouse Operations and Management, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Greenhouse Operations and Management which graduated two students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Plant Nursery Operations and Management which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Ornamental Horticulture which graduated three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Accredited Farm Manager: Farm Managers offer professional management services to farmland owners to help them optimize the returns from their asset.

For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

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

Certified Ornamental Lanscape Professional: Earn the Certified Ornamental Landscape Professional (COLP) designation by completing the "Principles of Landscape Tree & Shrub Maintenance" self-study course.

For more information, see the Professional Landcare Network website.

Certified Associate in Project Management: As project management grows in scope, importance and recognition, so do the related career and credential options available to you.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.