Training programs in landscaping and horticulture
Foreign education and certification
As landscaping and horticulture are not regulated industries in Ontario, the value of foreign specialized education and certification is at the discretion of the employer. A newcomer who has any such experience or training should have his or her foreign certification and diplomas, as well as the requirements for their completion, translated into English, for submission with a job application.
There are currently no formal “bridge” programs in the landscaping and horticultural sectors in Ontario.
Bridge programs “help skilled newcomers get their license or certificate in their profession or trade, so that they find employment commensurate with their skills and experience in Ontario. The Government of Ontario funds employers, colleges and universities, occupational regulatory bodies and community organizations to deliver bridge training programs, with support from the Government of Canada.” These skilled newcomers must have a post-seconday degree and international work experience. For other fields in which bridge programs are offered, see: Ontario Bridge Training.
Post-secondary training: College and university programs
If a newcomer has sufficient English proficiency (likely at least Canadian Language Benchmark 7) and the financial resources to pursue full-time studies in this sector, the following post-secondary education courses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) might be of interest, as outlined on the website of Green Careers Canada:
Humber College – North Campus
205 Humber College Blvd., Toronto, ON
- Horticulture Technician Apprenticeship– 2 semesters in-class
- Horticulture Science Certificate
- Arborist Apprenticeship
- Horticulture Science Certificate
- Organic Horticulture Specialist
- Landscape Technician Diploma
Ryerson University, Chang School of Continuing Education
Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator,
firstname.lastname@example.org – The Chang School
Seneca College – King Campus
13990 Dufferin St., King City, ON
Unlike in the construction trades, for example, there are only two formal apprenticeship programs in Ontario in the landscaping and horticultural sectors: Horticultural Technician and Arborist.
As outlined on the Humber College website, the following steps need to be followed to enter an apprenticeship program:
- Get a job with an employer who is willing to sponsor you as an apprentice.
- Register as an apprentice. Contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to arrange for a training consultant to meet with an applicant and his or her employer, in order to register an apprenticeship. An apprentice must normally have worked for an employer for approximately a year before commencing classes.
- Register for class. Once an Offer of Classroom Training has been issued by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, an apprentice must register into one of an authorized Apprenticeship class.
A Horticultural Technician works with plants and has knowledge and skills in ornamental horticulture and plant health care. Using tools and machinery, this person installs, grows, and maintains indoor and outdoor plants; builds urban and rural landscapes; maintains outdoor properties; cares for turf-grass and golf courses; and installs and maintains irrigation systems. See Humber College program description.
- to become a “Journey-person in the Trade”, apprentices must:
- complete 5,400 hours of on-the-job training, usually over three to four years;
- attend two – twelve week semesters at the training provider of their choice. These semesters are offered every year.
- 12 weeks / 3 Months(beginner)
- 12 weeks / 3 Months(advanced); and
- pass a Certificate of Qualification Exam (C of Q)
- Each twelve week semester will cost the apprentice approximately $650 in tuition plus the cost of a study manual. This amount reflects an 85% subsidy by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities towards tuition. Apprentices attending in-class training are eligible for some potential additional financial assistance.
An arborist is a professional with knowledge of tree biology and physiology, and experience in arboriculture – the cultivation, management and study of individual trees. See Humber College program description.
- a 12 week basic session and a 12 week advanced session, focusing on the planting, maintenance and removal of trees in urban settings. Lectures and labs are balanced with a major practical fieldwork component.
For further information regarding apprenticeships in Ontario, see:
- See: Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Apprenticeship: A resource for Employment Ontario Service Providers (October 2016)
- See also: Start an Apprenticeship.