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

Garden center managers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Rockford, 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 hourly or $30,380 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $27 per hour or $56,230 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Management, people working as garden center managers in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Management nationally. Jobs in this field include: nursery worker, flower gardener, and horticultural farmer.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including two within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career as a garden center manager. Given that the most common education level for garden center managers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn 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 Rockford include:

  • Aquaculture Director. Direct and coordinate, through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities of workers engaged in fish hatchery production for corporations, cooperatives, or other owners.
  • 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.
  • Natural Resources Specialist. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, and research and development in these fields.
  • 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

Highland Community College - Freeport, IL

Highland Community College, 2998 W Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL 61032-9341. Highland Community College is a small college located in Freeport, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,876 students. Highland Community College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural Business and Management which graduated three 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.

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: Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.