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Summary Report for:
45-2092.01 - Nursery Workers

Work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, harvesting, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.

Sample of reported job titles: Gardener, Greenhouse Staff, Greenhouse Worker, Grower, Harvester, Nursery Worker, Packer, Plant Production Worker, Propagation Worker, Transplant Worker

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information


  • Plant, spray, weed, fertilize, and water plants, shrubs, and trees, using hand tools and gardening tools.
  • Harvest plants, and transplant or pot and label them.
  • Clean work areas, and maintain grounds and landscaping.
  • Sell and deliver plants and flowers to customers.
  • Sow grass seed, or plant plugs of grass.
  • Regulate greenhouse conditions, and indoor and outdoor irrigation systems.
  • Cut, roll, and stack sod.
  • Feel plants' leaves and note their coloring to detect the presence of insects or disease.
  • Provide information and advice to the public regarding the selection, purchase, and care of products.
  • Maintain and repair irrigation and climate control systems.
  • Dig, cut, and transplant seedlings, cuttings, trees, and shrubs.
  • Fill growing tanks with water.
  • Record information about plants and plant growth.
  • Maintain inventory, ordering materials as required.
  • Dig, rake, and screen soil, filling cold frames and hot beds in preparation for planting.
  • Inspect plants and bud ties to assess quality.
  • Trap and destroy pests, such as moles, gophers, and mice, using pesticides.
  • Move containerized shrubs, plants, and trees, using wheelbarrows or tractors.
  • Tie and bunch flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees, wrap their roots, and pack them into boxes to fill orders.
  • Haul and spread topsoil, fertilizer, peat moss, and other materials to condition soil, using wheelbarrows or carts and shovels.
  • Operate tractors and other machinery and equipment to fertilize, cultivate, harvest, and spray fields and plants.

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Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Agricultural rollers — Bed formers; Bed rollers; Drum rollers
  • Agricultural tractors — Tractors
  • Air compressors
  • Air dryers — Seed dryers
  • Axes — Pick axes
  • Battery chargers — Battery booster cables; Portable battery chargers
  • Battery testers — Battery power testers
  • Broadcast spreaders — Garden hand seeders; Mulch spreaders; Rotary spreaders; Sand spreaders
  • Calipers — Digital calipers; Tree calipers
  • Cargo trucks
  • Cleaning machines for seed or grain or dried leguminous vegetables — Seed tumblers
  • Coiled tubing injector heads — Siphon proportioners
  • Compasses — Drafting compasses
  • Counters — Hand tallies
  • Cultivators — Garden cultivators; Rotary tillers
  • Desktop computers
  • Digging bars — Bulb planters; Tree feeding augers; Tree planting bars
  • Disks — Disk tillage equipment
  • Dusters — Garden dusters
  • Fertilizer spreaders or distributors — Drop spreaders; Fertilizer injectors
  • Forestry increment borers — Increment borers
  • Forklifts — Field forklifts
  • Gas generators — Portable generators
  • Gas masks — Canister gas masks
  • Goggles — Safety goggles
  • Grease guns
  • Greenhouse irrigation equipment — Greenhouse irrigation systems
  • Greenhouse ventilation equipment — Carbon dioxide systems; Greenhouse ventilation systems; Humidifiers; Humidity systems
  • Grinding machines — Chain saw sharpeners
  • Grinding wheels — Knife sharpeners
  • Hacksaw — Hacksaws
  • Hammers — Nail hammers
  • Hand sprayers — Hand held sprayers; Hose-end sprayers; Tree marking guns
  • Hand trucks or accessories — Handtrucks
  • Handheld thermometer — Soil thermometers
  • Hatchets
  • Hedge clippers — Hedge shears; Power hedge trimmers
  • High branch shears — Pole pruners
  • Hoes — Garden hoes
  • Industrial funnels — Funnels
  • Integrated tool carriers — Pipe trailers
  • Irrigation trickles — Drip emitters
  • Label making tapes — Tie tape machines
  • Lawnmowers — Reel mowers; Rotary mowers; Vertical mowers
  • Levels — Digital levels
  • Locking pliers — Mole grips
  • Masks or accessories — Dust masks
  • Measuring rods — Tree scale sticks
  • Measuring wheels for distance — Measuring wheels
  • Moisture meters — Soil moisture meters
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Open end wrenches
  • pH meters — Soil pH meters
  • Picks — Mattocks
  • Pipe or tube cutter — Tube cutters
  • Planters — Planting augers
  • Ploughs — Plows
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
  • Post hole digger — Post hole diggers; Stake drivers
  • Power blowers
  • Power drills — Hand drills; Portable electric drills
  • Power saws — Chain saws
  • Power trimmers — String trimmers
  • Pressure or steam cleaners — Pressure washers
  • Protective coveralls — Spray suits
  • Pry bars — Wrecking bars
  • Pull spring balances — Hanging spring scales
  • Rakes — Garden bow rakes; Leaf rakes
  • Respirators
  • Rubber mallet — Rubber mallets
  • Rulers — Measuring rules
  • Saws — Arborist saws; Bow saws; Compass saws; Pruning saws
  • Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Slotted screwdrivers
  • Secateurs or pruning shears — Grass shears; Loppers; Root pruning scissors; Thorn strippers (see all 13 examples)
  • Seed drills
  • Seeder attachment — Hydromulchers
  • Sharpening stones or tools or kits — Sharpening stones
  • Shovels — Round point shovels; Square point shovels
  • Sledge hammer — Sledgehammers
  • Soil core sampling apparatus — Soil augers; Soil sampling tubes
  • Spades — Garden spades; Garden spading forks
  • Sprayers — Compressed air sprayers
  • Staple guns
  • Stationary separation equipment or parts or screens — Screen separators
  • Surface thermometers — Indoor/outdoor thermometers
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes; Tree diameter tapes
  • Transplanters
  • Trowels — Transplanting trowels
  • Utility knives — Bench grafting knives; Budding knives; Pruning knives; Rose budding knives (see all 6 examples)
  • Water sprinklers — Impulse sprinklers; Oscillating sprinklers
  • Wheelbarrows

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No knowledge met the minimum score.

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No skills met the minimum score.

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  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

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Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Plant crops, trees, or other plants.
  • Apply chemical solutions to plants to protect against disease or insects or to enhance growth.
  • Transport animals, crops, or equipment.
  • Sell agricultural products.
  • Harvest agricultural products.
  • Mark agricultural or forestry products for identification.
  • Operate irrigation systems.
  • Package agricultural products for shipment or further processing.
  • Evaluate quality of plants or crops.
  • Advise others on farming or forestry operations, regulations, or equipment.
  • Build agricultural structures.
  • Cut trees or logs.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Maintain operational records.
  • Prepare land for agricultural use.
  • Capture or kill animals.
  • Clean equipment or facilities.
  • Operate farming equipment.

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work Schedules — 57% responded “Seasonal (only during certain times of the year).”
  • Contact With Others — 30% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 12% responded “Less than 40 hours.”
  • Time Pressure — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 58% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 32% responded “Very little freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 21% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 20% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 22% responded “No responsibility.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 22% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Important.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 35% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
Not available High school diploma or equivalent Help
Not available Less than high school diploma
Not available Professional degree Help

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Interest code: R   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse.
Employment data collected from Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse.
Industry data collected from Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse.

Median wages (2017) $11.24 hourly, $23,380 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
Employment (2016) 504,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Little or no change (-1% to 1%) Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 76,800
State trends Employment Trends
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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