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Nursery Worker

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No standard requirement

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What They Do

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse Career Video

About This Career

Manually plants, cultivates, and harvests vegetables, fruits, nuts, horticultural specialties, and field crops. Uses hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; or cleaning, grading, sorting, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Plant Systems pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Records information about crops, such as pesticide use, yields, or costs.
  • Directs and monitors the work of casual and seasonal help during planting and harvesting.
  • Participates in the inspection, grading, sorting, storage, and post-harvest treatment of crops.
  • Harvest plants, and transplants or pots and labels them.
  • Repairs and maintains farm vehicles, implements, and mechanical equipment.
  • Harvests fruits and vegetables by hand.
  • Sets up and operates irrigation equipment.
  • Informs farmers or farm managers of crop progress.
  • Identifies plants, pests, and weeds to determine the selection and application of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Operates tractors, tractor-drawn machinery, and self-propelled machinery to plow, harrow and fertilize soil, or to plant, cultivate, spray and harvest crops.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Short periods of running, jumping, or throwing
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Seasonal work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Farmer
  • Gardener
  • Greenhouse Worker
  • Grower
  • Harvester
  • Field Irrigation Worker
  • Farm Laborer
  • Orchard Worker
  • Picker — Selects warehouse merchandise to replace items sold by retail stores the day before.


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733