Nursery Workers

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This occupation has now been updated to Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse

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Also known as:
Cane Cutter, Carrot Harvester, Citrus Picker, Corn Picker, Cotton Picker, Crop Picker, Flower Picker, Greenhouse Transplanter, Harvest Worker, Harvester

ABOUT NURSERY WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

People love plants - but whether the plants are bought at a home or garden center, a grocery store, or someplace else, they all come from plant nurseries. These are businesses that literally "nurse" seedlings in greenhouses until they can service in the outside world.

Nursery workers make this possible. They cut and trim, fertilize and spray for insects and disease. Some may load trees, plants, and mulch onto trucks, drive to a homeowner's site, and under the direction of a landscape contractor or designer, assist in making a beautiful landscape. Others may use forklifts and front-ed loaders to load, unload, and arrange plant stock, or they may create seasonal displays of plant merchandise.

If you are interested in this type of work, you must be a "people person," since you will be interacting with customers, helping them find specific plants and flora, educating them on proper care techniques, and making suggestions on similar plants you think they may find interesting.

Much of the work is done outdoors - and in northern states it is quite seasonal. But few things are more satisfying than thrusting your hands into the earth and making things grow.

SNAPSHOT
Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts, horticultural specialties, and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; or cleaning, grading, sorting, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Maintain and repair irrigation and climate control systems.

Clean work areas, and maintain grounds and landscaping.

Operate tractors and other machinery and equipment to fertilize, cultivate, harvest, and spray fields and plants.

Haul and spread topsoil, fertilizer, peat moss, and other materials to condition soil, using wheelbarrows or carts and shovels.

Plant, spray, weed, fertilize, and water plants, shrubs, and trees, using hand tools and gardening tools.

Feel plants' leaves and note their coloring to detect the presence of insects or disease.

Inspect plants and bud ties to assess quality.

Move containerized shrubs, plants, and trees, using wheelbarrows or tractors.

Harvest plants, and transplant or pot and label them.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
KEY ABILITIES
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.
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.
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.