Production Horticulturist Apprenticeship

Production is currently not accepting new apprentice registrations. 

KPU will run the last scheduled Level 3 Production class October 22, 2018 –December 16, 2018 

What is a Nursery & Greenhouse worker?

  • Grow an assortment of plants from Acanthus to Zelkova

Typical Duties

  • Identify plants
  • Propagate plants
  • Control and prevent weeds and disease using Integrated Pest Management methods
  • Operate equipment (soil mixers, potting machines, and tree spades)


Apprenticeship Info

What is an apprenticeship in Production Horticulture?

  • Production Horticulturist program
  • Process can take up to 3 years to complete
  • Two options for schooling
    1. Complete Level 1 to 3 (block release); six weeks of school for Level 1 & 2, eight weeks of school for Level 3, over 3 years or
    2. Complete a Foundation Program (equivalent to Level 1 and 2) at an ITA approved college; then transfer to designated training institution to complete Level 3. Go to our Training Options page for a list of training institutions the foundation and block release levels.
  • Level 1 and 2 cover basic core horticulture knowledge and skills
  • Level 3 you focus on Production knowledge and skills
  • Require 4,860 workplace hours with confirmation of hours by your employer
  • Upon completion of all schooling and hours, you are awarded a Certificate of Qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship as a Production Horticulturist
  • Foundation Programs
    • Foundation programs provide students with the core knowledge and skills required in horticulture
    • The courses will be conducted in a classroom and may include some fieldwork on or off campus
    • Foundation students do not require a sponsor to participate
    • These programs vary in length from 9-10 months depending upon the training provider
    • Upon successful completion of the program, a student will receive;
      • Horticulture Certificate from the training institution
      • Letter of Completion from the ITA (Industry Training Authority)
      • Credit for 500 work based hours
      • Credit for Level 1 and 2 of the Horticulture apprenticeship program. This allows the student to enter level 3 of the Production Apprenticeship program
    • Click here for a list of Training Institutions that offer a foundation program
    • Click here for a link to ITA’s website with more information.
      • Please refer to the Program Profile and Program Outline links below for the current version.

    Steps to become a Production Horticulturist Apprentice

    • You must have a Sponsor who is either a Certified Tradesperson or has Sign-Off Authority and has registered with the ITA. Click here for Sponsor information. can be your sponsor for the school duration if you do not have employment in the field.
    • Complete the Apprenticeship and Sponsor Registration Form with your sponsor and mail or fax to ITA (contact info is on the form).
    • Register with your chosen training institution
    • Track your hours along with your employer by filling out the Work-Based Training Report
    • Read the Apprentice/Trainee Guide and the 6 Steps to Success guide provided by ITA
    • Remember that you may be eligible for tax credits starting at $1000 per completed level. Foundation programs are not eligible for tax credits.
    • After completing Level 3 your ‘Recommend for Certification’ form must be signed by your sponsor. This form is provided by ITA upon completing of all training and work based hours.
    • Contact ITA Customer Service for any assistance

    What does it cost?

    These costs are based on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University program and are subject to change. For other training institution costs, see training options for contact information

    • A $10 non-refundable Apprentice Evaluation fee will be charged for each registration
    • Tuition Fees – Fall 2012 fees are $820 per 6 week session (not including additional student fees)
    • Required Texts – Approximately $300 per level
      • For a list of textbooks view the Program Outline, and go to page 54
    • Additional Costs – Field trips, CSA safety footwear, rain gear, accommodations, basic school supplies and study materials.
    • Employment Insurance Eligibility – You may be eligible to collect Employment Insurance benefits during you school session, and additional benefits such as travel or lodging allowance. Contact your local Human Resources and Skills Development Center at

Sponsor Info

  • Click here to find out how to become a Sponsor
  • For information to apply for Sign-Off Authority, click here
  • For information to challenge the Production Horticulture exam, click here

Job Titles

  • Lead Field Hand
  • Field worker
  • Plant propagator
  • Field Production Manager
  • Integrated Pest Management Manager
  • Container Production Manager
  • Assistant Grower
  • Shipper/Receiver


Related Links

What can I make?

  • Entry Level Labour – $10 – $13/hr
  • Skilled Labour- $14 – $18/hr
  • Management – $20 – $24/hr +