Plant Production.

Work with plants and grow your career. Whether you are interested in plants, processes, or people, the plant production industry has a career for you.

Rows of small plants growing in pots

Opportunities in plant production

New Zealand's thriving plant production industry underpins the success of our horticulture, viticulture, and forestry industries. The sector also produces plants for landscape, revegetation projects, and home gardening to improve our natural and urban environments. It's one of New Zealand's fastest-growing primary industries.

IMG 4130 crop

From a business standpoint, there are plenty of exciting opportunities for the sector over the next decade.

Rico Mannall, Business Development and Marketing Manager

Types of jobs in plant production

  • Nursery worker

    Nursery workers tend to a wide range of plants and contribute to the many different industries that all help to improve our natural and urban environments.

    They are involved in a range of tasks including growing plants, identifying and detecting pests and diseases, answering customer queries, crop care, potting, and dispatch of plants.

    * New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI)

    Man carrying a pile of seed containers
  • Plant propagator

    Plant propagation is an important role within the industry. It varies depending on the plants you are working with and the production environment.

    Tasks include seed and budwood collecting, indoor propagation, field propagation, grafting, budding, taking cuttings, and seed propagation.

    * New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI)

    Close up of hands placing seeds into a seed tray.
  • Tissue culture lab technician

    Salary: $55,000 – $60,000 per year*

    A lab technician's role covers collecting, processing, and analysing plants under laboratory conditions. There is a level of technical competency required, as tissue culture requirements are precise.

    Other responsibilities can include operating and controlling laboratory equipment, preparing agar media, pathogen testing, processing plant specimens, applying quality control standards, and recording all relevant data.

    * New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI)

    Laboratory worker looking at small plants growing in plastic containers  on shelves.
  • Production supervisor/manager

    Salary: $55,000 – $100,000 per year*

    Production supervisor/managers are responsible for overseeing and organising the equipment, staff, and processes within the nursey. Responsibilities also include managing diverse and talented production teams, organising employees, and ensuring good workflow is achieved throughout the day.

    * New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI)

    Two people pointing at trays of seedlings.
  • Research and development manager

    Salary: $90,000 – $95,000 per year*

    A research and development manager is responsible for providing technical leadership to drive innovation processes, research, and development activities.


    * New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI)

    Man tending to growing plants.

Training and learning opportunities

From formal training to learning on the job, there are a wide range of options to learn about plant production. Courses cover different sectors within the industry such as indoor plants, fruit and vine, natives, and forestry.

Keen to learn more?

Find out about a range of food and fibre jobs, what skills are needed and training available.


Connecting you to support.

View the support options available to you on your work, education or training journey.

Rows of small plants growing in pots