Jobs in cannabis are booming, and professional cannabis growers are in demand. Keep reading to learn about what a professional cannabis grower does, what they need to know, their salary and job outlook, and how to get a job growing cannabis.
What Is a Professional Cannabis Grower?
Professional cannabis growers work in cultivation facilities to grow plants from seed to harvest. There are numerous career paths within the cannabis cultivation industry. Positions range from entry-level trimmers to agronomists, plant breeders, lighting and ventilation consultants, integrated pest management experts, and cultivation directors.
What Skills and Knowledge Does a Professional Cannabis Grower Need?
Professional cannabis cultivators know about much more than just growing the plant. From science to cultivation to the details of a business operation, there is no limit to growth in a cannabis cultivation career. Following are some skills and knowledge you need to get a job growing cannabis.
- Cannabis plant science and agronomy
- The entire life cycle of the plant, from propagation to harvest
- Anatomy and physiology of the plant, plant nutrition, and the factors which can limit photosynthesis
- Concepts of soil science and microbiology
- Organic and sustainable growing techniques
- Commercial cultivation methodologies and their advantages and disadvantages
- General strategies for optimizing conditions in the growing environment and increasing yield
- Indoor and outdoor growing differences, pros and cons
- Indoor growing: lighting science and controls, ventilation and CO2 supplementation, and electrical systems
- Greenhouse cultivation: maximizing the benefits of full-sun cultivation while maintaining greater control over environmental conditions
- Pests, pathogens, and nutrient deficiencies
- Cultivation facility design
- Large-scale cannabis farming practices, infrastructure, and equipment.
- Regulatory compliance requirements
- Consumer market trends
- Financial considerations of launching and managing a commercial cannabis cultivation operation
How Much Money Does a Professional Cannabis Grower Make?
Salaries for jobs growing cannabis can range from entry-level if you are starting in the field, all the way to highly paid positions for experts. Here are median salaries for cannabis-growing jobs from the 2022 Cannabis Salary Guide released by CannabizTeam Worldwide.
Visit our guide to learn more about cannabis cultivation salaries: Cannabis Salaries: Cultivation – Oaksterdam University
What Is the Job Outlook for a Professional Cannabis Grower?
The job outlook for professional cannabis growers is robust, and opportunities are expanding. Whether you are new to the field or you have experience in horticulture, there is a need for hands-on professional cannabis growers to cultivate the plant that supports the 428,059 American jobs in the cannabis industry, according to the 2022 Leafly Jobs Report. In 2021, the cannabis industry saw a 33% increase in jobs in a single year, marking the fifth consecutive year of annual jobs growth greater than 27%. Comparatively, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that all jobs will grow by only 0.7% annually between 2020 and 2030.
What About DIY Home Grow?
Are you considering home-growing your cannabis? If so, you are not alone. One of the most significant benefits of home-growing cannabis is saving money versus buying from a dispensary.
However, the benefits go far beyond cost. Home cannabis growers find a deep sense of satisfaction from cultivating their plants, helping family and friends, and being able to share with others generously.
You can read more about the joys of home-growing cannabis by reading our blog about The Freedom of Growing at Home.
In 2022, we proudly announced the launch of our new Home Grow Course at Oaksterdam University, a self-paced virtual class specifically designed for DIY home cannabis cultivators.
Do I Need Previous Horticulture Experience To Become a Professional Cannabis Grower?
Previous horticulture experience is not a requirement for a job as a cannabis grower, as long as you desire to learn. If you have previous experience in horticulture, your skills are in demand in the cannabis industry. For cannabis growers at all stages of their careers, specialized training can expand opportunities.
If you are new to growing cannabis, you will learn everything you need to know to get started in this blossoming field. If you already work in cannabis cultivation, you will deepen your knowledge and skills with the industry-wide recognition of Oaksterdam University certification. Seasoned horticulture professionals will learn to use their expertise in the fast-growing cannabis industry.
Oaksterdam University’s Horticulture Certification course offers everything you need to know to become a professional cannabis grower. Earn your Oaksterdam credentials with our Live (Fast-Track) or Self-Paced Horticulture courses. Learn more or speak to an advisor now.