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Growing Income: 5 Career or Business Options for People With Green Thumbs

If you have a green thumb, most people assume that gardening is your favorite pastime. While that is true in many cases, a plant enthusiast’s interests can go beyond raising plants. They can be interested in tree care and botany, too.

Your love of plants shouldn’t be expressed only during your pastime. A green thumb is a skill that you can maximize for profitability. Below are the top career options and business ideas for plant lovers like you.

1. Gardener

If gardening is and will always be your true love, earn from it by offering your services to other people or opening a gardening shop. The former, however, isn’t always enjoyable. And it’s not because your hands get dirty all the time. It’s because customer service has plenty of ups and downs. As an on-call gardener, you’ll meet clients from all walks of life. You’ll get paid by the hour. It is fair enough, but sometimes, you’ll encounter demanding clients who’ll nitpick every detail of your work. If they find something they don’t like, they might insist on paying you lower than the rate you have initially agreed on.

It is the disadvantage of a service business, but don’t fret. Once you make a name for yourself, you can target a more specific market to avoid exacting customers. Also, your services will be trusted.

2. Landscape Specialist

landscape specialist

Landscaping isn’t the same as gardening because landscape specialists deal with design more than plant care. But of course, having a green thumb is always a bonus. A reliable landscape specialist, after all, knows which plants thrive in a specific region.

You can start your landscaping career either by working at an established landscaping company or starting your own business. Working at a company may give you a better headstart, though. It will allow you to get valuable experience before venturing out on your own. But if you already have the capital, and you fare better as your own boss, you may be ready for your own business.

Your initial investment will be hefty, though. Whether you’re serving homeowners or other businesses, you need a commercial-grade lawnmower and other equipment. If your budget is limited, you can lease equipment instead. Just ensure to sign a service agreement with your lessor to avoid extensive costs when a piece of equipment breaks down.

The best thing is that landscaping is crisis-proof. Whatever the state of the economy is, there will always be people who need a landscape specialist. But you might have off-seasons. Landscape specialists typically face a lower demand in fall and winter, and sales peak in spring and summer. If you are just starting out, you might have to sacrifice summer vacations. Nevertheless, landscaping will always be a profitable and rewarding business.

3. Arborist

Arborists are certified professionals. They act as “tree doctors” because they check trees for signs of disease and provide recommendations for treatment. If you want to work in forests, being an arborist might be your calling. Homeowners can also enlist your services for the ailing trees in their backyards.

Aside from performing health checks on trees, your job description also includes pruning, soil aeration, tree planting, and tree removal. Don’t worry about the last one; you’ll only be tasked to take down dead or dying trees.

4. Tree Surgeon

A tree surgeon and an arborist are often confused as the same profession. But the two deal with trees differently. Arborists examine trees and assess their condition while tree surgeons treat diseases. As such, if an arborist diagnoses a tree with a certain disease, they can refer their client to a tree surgeon.

You can also prune and remove trees (including the stump) as a tree surgeon. The overall nature of your job, however, can be riskier than that of an arborist. Dealing with sick or dead trees is a safety hazard. The weak branches break easily, so you shouldn’t approach one unless you’re trained in handling them. In other words, complete your tree surgeon training before attempting to treat an ailing tree.

5. Botanist

If your green thumb is coupled with your love for science, being a botanist may suit you. Botany is the scientific study of plants, and you will specialize in a particular area, which will determine which occupation you’ll be qualified for. For example, you can be a mycologist (fungi specialist) or a wetland conservationist who specializes in preserving swamps, marshes, and bogs. You can also be an agronomist who conducts tests to determine the best practices for soil management. If you have expert knowledge about forest ecosystems, you can be a forest ecologist.

Apart from these five options, there are more business ventures and careers that you can explore. If you’re ready to take your love of plants to the next level, now might be the time to ditch your nine-to-five job.

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