Supporting a family these days can be hard, but it is do-able. After students graduate from BYU-Idaho the next step is to find a job doing something they love. Salaries can be a big factor in these decisions. The University of Georgia has done a study in our industry in the United States to find out what the average salary is. Across the three different degrees we offer - Floral Design, Design/Build, and Production - the average salary range in the United States is $40,000-$75,000. This is a very promising number to our industry, but it’s not the only good news to offer. According to the Economic Research Institute, Fort Worth, TX has the highest average salary at $91,977. Not only does Fort Worth, TX have the highest average salary but the Fort Worth area is also a very affordable place to live. The cost of living ratio is only 2.9 compared to Salinas, CA, where quite a few major nurseries are located, and which has a ratio higher than 5.1 according to Forbes. The key to finding a great job that also pays well is not being tied to a geographical location. Look at a map and just say “I’ll go where I need to go.”
Dan Quackenbush recently got back from his internship at Pacific Landscape Management, an ever-growing company located in the Portland area that prides themselves on sustainable designs. Pacific Landscape Management has three locations in the greater Portland area to help better serve their clients. They focus on landscape management, but they also service landscape renovation, irrigation, snow and ice removal, and aquatic management. Dan and his wife stayed in a cozy apartment in Hillsboro where they did some very exciting things like touring the Tillamook cheese factory and camping out on the beach. An average day for Dan started at 9am and ended at 5pm and included things like; meeting with area managers, designing commercial enhancements, and designing sustainable turf conversions. Dan feels that he most improved his customer service skills and design skills, and he was also very excited about understanding and seeing the behind-the-scenes of how a design firm works together. Some advice he gives to students going on their internship is to “Be prepared to use the knowledge you have received from [BYU-I], and go above and beyond what people ask of you.” One of the highlights of Dan’s internship was attending Pacific Landscape Management’s Sustainability Fair. He was able to rub shoulders with lots of clients including Rain Bird and Simplot representatives. If you have any questions about Pacific Landscape Management or the surrounding area ask Dan when you see him around the Benson Building.
These are a few designs Dan worked on while at Pacific Landscape Management:
California spring trials, California Floral, PLANET Student Career Days, and Fall/Spring Industry Exploration are three major field trips that the program of Horticulture provides to students. Genevie Roylance said about California Spring Trials “It was really cool to see all of the new things coming out and to see how companies can get into advertising and trends.” These trips are not just about the industry; to truly understand a business you have to understand the culture that surrounds the business. The people that have built and maintained these companies live in this culture. James Oberhansley Said “PLANET is a great opportunity to network with the many companies there. It is also good to see the different programs from all the universities.” The main premise of these trips is to network with these people. If you don’t know anything about the community, events, attractions, food, etc., how can you make an informed decision on where to go after graduation? Success is only equal to the happiness that you can achieve with what is given to you. Students, while on these trips, are immersed in the culture of every city they stop in. They explore many different gardens, parks, landmarks, and LDS temples to show students what life is like outside of the Intermountain West. One of our recent alumni, Bre Fitzgerald, received a direct benefit from the industry trips, “Our professors do a fantastic job at showing us the industry as well as cultural stuff about the location of the trip!! I got my first job from pack trials and wouldn't change that for the world!!!.” Our students get to rub shoulders with head research developers, marketing directors, growers, and even owners, Jillian Foss, a senior studying Design/Build/Maintain, was excited to be able to tour Proven Winners and Euroamerica facilities. Our students get a rare opportunity that many universities don’t offer. Our program has been accredited by top organizations in the nation. The reason why we are one of the top schools to receive a degree in Horticulture from is because of the above and beyond things that our professors do for us to advance our knowledge and understanding of the world we are preparing to enter.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.