What is involved in different careers in the flower and foliage industry?

  • Breeding and propagation

    Plant breeders and propagators develop new flower or foliage plants or varieties; multiply young plants in preparation for further growth to produce a harvestable crop.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Tissue culturist, Plant genetic engineer, Laboratory technician, Seedling (plug) specialist, Nursery manager.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Use conventional breeding, tissue culture or micropropagation techniques to introduce new or desirable characteristics to flower or foliage plants, such as colour, fragrance, vase life, quality or pest or disease resistance

    • Test potential new plants or varieties

    • Grow young plants in bulk from seeds, cuttings or tissue culture

    • Monitor, maintain, package and dispatch seedlings.

    Meet a plant propagator...

  • Growing flowers and foliage

    Flower and foliage growers grow and maintain plant crops for eventual harvest to produce cut flower or foliage products.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Floriculture assistant, Floriculture worker, Greenhouse worker, Farm manager, Farm hand, Business manager, Business owner.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Prepare soil or growing media for planting seeds, bulbs or seedlings

    • Irrigate, fertilise, spray, weed, prune and monitor the crop

    • Operate and maintain farming equipment, hydroponic systems or greenhouse facilities

    • Harvest the crop, usually manually

    • Sort, bunch, package and dispatch the product

    • Develop irrigation scheduling, nutritional plans, pest management and other crop management programs

    • Set prices and negotiate with buyers of the product.

    Meet a flower grower (field)...

    Meet a flower grower (under cover)...

  • Horticultural advisors and specialists

    Horticultural advisors and specialists advise on aspects of crop production and maintenance and apply practical treatments and techniques to solve problems or improve crop health.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Consultants, Advisors and Technicians with specialist knowledge in Pest and disease control, Weed control, Integrated pest management, Irrigation, Soil sampling and testing, Water sampling and testing, Tissue sampling and testing.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Monitor, record and assess crop performance, nutritional levels, pest activity and other aspects of crop growth

    • Visit farms and advise growers on actions to take to address problems

    • Apply treatments to address crop issues

    • Keep abreast of the latest research and development information for specific crops to provide the best possible advice on crop management.

    Meet a pest management specialist...

  • Wholesalers and flower agents

    Wholesalers and flower agents buy and trade in cut flower and foliage products and coordinate the supply of product between the producer and the customer.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Warehouse worker, Warehouse coordinator, Forklift driver, Business manager, Auctioneer, Flower broker, Trader, Buyer.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Interact with suppliers and organise deliveries

    • Liaise with retailers to determine demand and set prices

    • Monitor and maintain cut product quality

    • Stock and display products in suitable ways for sale and dispatch

    • Locate products via wholesalers or growers and negotiate prices on behalf of florists or the final consumer.

    Meet a flower wholesaler and auctioneer...

  • Exporters and importers

    Importers and exporters trade internationally in cut flower and foliage products.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Marketing specialist, International trade specialist, Business manager.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Organise orders and oversee the distribution of product

    • Monitor supply and demand of product within the industry

    • Develop international and national relationships

    • Follow the market and trends and identify new product opportunities.

    Meet an exporter and importer...

  • Florists and floral designers

    Florists and floral designers prepare, display and sell bunches or arrangements of flowers and foliages for retail customers or events.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Floristry assistant, Senior florist, Event florist, Retail florist, Business manager, Business owner.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Source flowers, foliages and floristry materials

    • Handle customer service, enquiries, sales, stock management and delivery management

    • Prepare arrangements and store displays

    • Design and prepare floral products for events such as weddings, funerals or corporate functions

    • Manage marketing and promotional activities.

    Meet an event florist...

    Meet a retail florist...

  • Industry liaison and communication

    Industry liaison and communication involves identifying and addressing industry issues, delivering industry information and supporting the ongoing growth and improvement of the industry.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Industry development officer, Extension officer, Marketing officer, Information/communications officer, Industry association staff member.

    Likely duties relate to the job area

    • Provide extension support and advice and visit with members of the industry

    • Coordinate and deliver training packages, seminars and workshops

    • Prepare written materials such as factsheets and newsletters

    • Develop and manage research projects to investigate and solve industry issues

    • Develop strategic documents and future plans.

    Meet an industry development officer...

  • Education and training

    Educators participate in an educational role for the Australian flower industry.

    Related jobs and specialisations 

    Floriculture teacher, Floristry teacher, Horticulture trainer, Private education provider, University lecturer, TAFE teacher.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Develop industry teaching materials for delivery at grower or floristry workshops and other events

    • Provide on-site training services in a specialist area

    • Contribute to the development of new or updated training packages for registered courses

    • Teach course content in a university, TAFE or other educational institution.

    Meet a floristry teacher...

  • Research and development

    Researchers develop and conduct research projects on topics that solve issues or lead to the improvement of the Australian flower industry.

    Related jobs and specialisations

    Scientist, Researcher, Research assistant, Laboratory assistant, Field researcher, Project leader.

    Likely duties related to the job area

    • Write applications for research funding

    • Design experiments and develop research protocols

    • Carry out research as appropriate to a project, such as laboratory work, field work, market research or industry surveying

    • Communicate the results of research and development projects via reports, industry materials, conferences and scientific papers.

    Meet a floriculture researcher...

Careers in flowers and foliage