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Q: Good jobs in northwestern USA working with plants ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Good jobs in northwestern USA working with plants
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: muilenta-ga
List Price: $60.00
Posted: 12 Oct 2006 18:51 PDT
Expires: 11 Nov 2006 17:51 PST
Question ID: 773067
What types of jobs are available in northwestern USA that are similar
to the atmosphere of working at a plant nursary, but pay a higher
salary.  I am looking for jobs that typically require a bachelors
degree, and pay $40,000 or more on average because the employee has a
bachelors degree.

I have a friend that wants to study at a university in order to get a
higher paying job, but is afraid to leave his current job for fear of
losing his $25,000 per year position.  He enjoys his work, but is
approaching 30 years old and wants to be making more money.  This is
in part because he is married, has two kids, and his wife cannot
easily work because she is raising the kids. He will likely continue
to work at the plant nursary for four years while he studies at a
local college or university, then hopes to get a job that he enjoys as
much as his current job, that pays more money to people with degrees.

Desired aspects of job:
1. Pays more than $40,000 per year on average
2. Has opportunities to interact with people
3. Opportunities for hands on work
4. Working with plants or trees, or both
5. Does not require more than 45 hours to be worked per week
6. Does not require that he is away from his family for more than a
day or two per month.

Please provide average pay rates for jobs, typical degrees required
for these jobs, and descriptions of the jobs.  I am -not- looking for
jobs currently available :)


Request for Question Clarification by nenna-ga on 17 Oct 2006 12:08 PDT
Hello muilenta-ga,

What does your friend do now at the plant nursery? Could you tell me
more about his job?


Clarification of Question by muilenta-ga on 19 Oct 2006 00:05 PDT
Sure thing Nenna-GA,
    My friend stocks and sells plants, seeds, trees, and bushes.  He
has a vast understanding of plants because he likes working with them
so much.  People appreciate his knowlege of plants, and he enjoys
their appreciation.  He also works in landscaping on the side, and has
mentioned being interested in management, although management at his
local plant nursary does not pay much more than he is currently
making.  Certainly not enough to be able to afford to buy a house, and
retire in about 25 - 35 years.

Tony Muilenburg

Request for Question Clarification by nenna-ga on 19 Oct 2006 11:08 PDT
Hi Tony,

Does your friend have a degree related to his current line of work?
Any degree? How much experence does he have? I ask so that I can
attempt to find the matches that may best suit him.


Clarification of Question by muilenta-ga on 20 Oct 2006 18:00 PDT
He does not currently have a degree.  That is part of the struggle. 
Getting a degree would cost him roughly $80,000 if counting the money
he would loose due to the fact that he would only be able to work part
time while going to school.  So before he studies, he wants to know
that there is going to be a job that he is interested in that will pay
him much more than the $13 an hour that he is currenlty making, so
that he can get back the $80,000 for studying, and then some more for

He is most worried about graduating, and not being able to find a job
in this area that he enjoys (plants and working with people).

Thanks for asking the question,
Tony Muilenburg
Subject: Re: Good jobs in northwestern USA working with plants
Answered By: nenna-ga on 23 Oct 2006 12:57 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Tony,

I have found a number of jobs in the plant/nursery field that may help
your friend to decide what path he wants to take. First of all, I?d
like to discuss with you earnings from and cost of getting a couple
different types of degrees. We?ll break down costs on average of
college and discuss future earnings potential. This should help him
make the decision to go to college. After that, we?ll talk jobs.

Getting a college degree really ups your hiring potential no matter
what. According to 2003 Census Bureau Statistics, a worker with a
Associates degree makes $8,000.00 a year more on average than someone
with a HS Diploma. If that same person gets a Bachelor?s degree, they
make on average $23,300.00 a year more on than their counterpart with
a HS Diploma. You mention right now your friend makes $13.00 an hour,
which works out to $27,040.00 a year. You said also he makes
$25,000.00 a year. We?ll average those 2 figures out to $26,020.00 a
year for math purposes. After getting a Bachelor?s Degree he would be
making on average $49,320.00 a year.

For a 2 year Associates degree, you would add on $8,000.00 a year
which would bring his annual pay up to $34,020.00 a year. I would
STRONGLY recommend that your friend start with a 2 year degree. It?s
MUCH cheaper, transfers into 4 year programs most times, and will
increase his earning potential 2 years sooner to help him afford those
last 2 years of college for a Bachelor?s Degree. They offer more
flexible classes to work around ?non-traditional? student?s work and
family obligations. He could work during the day, take 2 or 3 classes
during nights/weekends, and still have a few nights and weekend
day(s)/nights(s) home with the family.

Let me quote you a paragraph from the Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Winter 2002-03. ?Starting college in an associate degree program has
several advantages, including the one most often cited: saving money.
For example, in the 2000-01 academic year, average annual in-state
tuition and fees were $1,359 at public 2-year community colleges,
compared with $3,506 at public 4-year colleges?a savings of more than
$2,000. Because many associate degree programs are offered at
community colleges, students live nearby?thus avoiding the added
expenses of room and board often needed for relocating to a 4-year
college or university. And the cost of an associate degree is rising
more slowly than that of a bachelor?s. Taking grants into account, the
cost of an associate degree has not risen in the last decade.?

You stated that he?s looking at $80,000.00 for college costs. Doing 2
years at a Community College and another 2 at a State School 4-year.
The cost should be on average $9,730.00 plus books. (OOH 2002-03 ? See
link above)  This is a lot less than $80,000.00 for a 4 year degree
like you stated. After 2 years at a Community College at the cost of 
$2,718.00, he?ll have on average an $8,000.00 increase in salary which
will pay for the cost of his Associates degree in the 1st year he uses
it. After 4 years at school with a Bachelor?s Degree his salary will
be on average $49,320.00, which is $23,300.00 higher then he was
making prior to getting his Bachelor?s. This all at a cost of
$9,730.00 plus books. The investment is well worth the return. Even if
he spends $25,000.00 on a 4 year degree and books at a State School,
skipping the Community College idea, his earning potential afterwards
justifies the expense. Also, consider grants and financial aid as
well. As a Non-traditional student working full time with a family, he
should be able to get some financial assistance for school.

Please check out this link for additional information. The Motley Fool - COLLEGE
SAVINGS CENTER How Much Will It Cost?

Anyway, I hope that helps him to make a financial decision for him and
his family. Now, onto the job ideas.

Landscape Architect

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) for Landscape
Architects (Which is what a 4 year degree is in ? typically)
?Employment of landscape architects is expected to increase faster
than the average for all occupations through the year 2014.? That?s an increase of 18 to 26% in
that job market.

As far as earnings potential from the OOH. 

?In May 2004, median annual earnings for landscape architects were
$53,120. The middle 50 percent earned between $40,930 and $70,400. The
lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,390 and the highest 10 percent
earned over $90,850. Architectural, engineering, and related services
employed more landscape architects than any other group of industries,
and there the median annual earnings were $51,670 in May 2004.
In 2005, the average annual salary for all landscape architects in the
Federal Government in nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial
positions was $74,508.
Because many landscape architects work for small firms or are
self-employed, benefits tend to be less generous than those provided
to workers in large organizations.?

This more then meets the requirements for his earnings. With the
average salary being $51,670.00, even with a $25,000.00 College
investment in a 4 year degree, his salary would jump from $26,020.00 a
year now, which is a $25,650.00 jump. He?ll recoup the cost of 4 tears
of college in 1 year of pay with a Bachelor?s degree in Landscape
Architecture. (Architects Online)

2002 Low/High/Average Salary Survey for Architects in the NW.

Alaska 67614 88200 77907 
Arizona 54870 71400 63135 
California  59590 77600 68595 
Idaho 51920 67500 59710 
Montana  52510 68200 60355 
Nevada  55814 72600 64207 
Oregon  51212 70600 60906 
Utah  54280 70700 62490 37720 46000 
Washington 57466 75500 66483 (American Society of Landscape Architects)
Agricultural and Food Scientists

?Plant science. Agronomy, crop science, entomology, and plant breeding
are included in plant science. Scientists in these disciplines study
plants and their growth in soils, helping producers of food, feed, and
fiber crops to continue to feed a growing population while conserving
natural resources and maintaining the environment. Agronomists and
crop scientists not only help increase productivity, but also study
ways to improve the nutritional value of crops and the quality of
seed, often through biotechnology. Some crop scientists study the
breeding, physiology, and management of crops and use genetic
engineering to develop crops resistant to pests and drought.
Entomologists conduct research to develop new technologies to control
or eliminate pests in infested areas and to prevent the spread of
harmful pests to new areas, as well as technologies that are
compatible with the environment. They also conduct research or engage
in oversight activities aimed at halting the spread of insect-borne

This job is growing as "fast as average" in the job market which is an
increase 9 to 17%.

?A bachelor?s degree in agricultural science is useful for managerial
jobs in businesses that deal with ranchers and farmers, such as feed,
fertilizer, seed, and farm equipment manufacturers; retailers or
wholesalers; and farm credit institutions. In some cases, persons with
a 4-year degree can provide consulting services or work in sales and
marketing?promoting high-demand products such as organic foods.?

This would be a good degree for a Nursery/Plant manager to have as
well as Landscape Architect. The average annual earnings for this job
is $50,840.00. ?According to the National Association of Colleges and
Employers, beginning salary offers in 2005 for graduates with a
bachelor?s degree in animal sciences averaged $30,614 a year; plant
sciences, $31,649 a year; and in other agricultural sciences, $36,189
a year.?

So, there?s an idea of how going to college to get a degree related to
working with plants will benefit your friend. There are also a few job
titles and ideas to get him started in the job field.

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher

Google Searches Used:

jobs bachelor's in landscape

plant degrees

average cost of an associate's degree

high school diploma vs bachelors

nursery jobs

landscape jobs
muilenta-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
The research provided for this question demonstrated a high level of
quality.  The researcher asked me the right kind of questions to
clarify what I was looking for, and did an excellent job of responding
with relevant answers.

Tony Muilenburg

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