Smithsonian Gardens


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Job Qualifications

-Responsible for the design, care, maintenance and interpretation of the gardens located on Smithsonian grounds.

-Designs garden spaces and landscapes that utilize unique, underused, or new plant material to engage and educate visitors.

-Operates and maintains a variety of equipment to complete assignments.

-Provides educational programs, presents lectures and leads tours for wide ranging audiences.

Education and Experience

Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position specialized experience is defined as working in a public garden, estate garden, botanical garden, zoological park, commercial landscape or landscape nursery setting performing horticulturist duties such as landscape design, landscape maintenance, and specialized powered equipment operations in display gardens; and preparing oral informational documents, providing tours, and giving presentations on plant and gardens to diverse audiences.

All qualified applicants must be able to obtain and maintain District of Columbia (and Maryland depending on duty station) certification to apply pesticides to landscape plants and turf.

Or Education: Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or equivalent graduate degree in horticulture; or related discipline of basic plant science may be substituted to meet the specialized experience requirements.

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications; For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

You must also meet the basic requirements below as well as the specialized experience referenced above.

Basic Requirements:

Degree: horticulture; or a related discipline of basic plant science that included at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, of which at least 16 semester hours were in horticultural subjects such as those dealing with the breeding, care, management, production, and post harvest handling of horticultural crops.

Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in horticulture or a related discipline of basic plant science that included course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
Evaluation of Education: Courses in botany, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, genetics, agronomy, horticulture, and similar courses may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in basic plant sciences.

The 16-semester-hour requirement in horticulture includes course work in basic horticulture and course work related to any of the recognized subject-matter fields of horticulture, i.e., fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, nursery work, seed production, or course work in related areas of science, such as micro-biology, entomology, plant pathology, plant physiology, or genetics that is directly related to horticultural work.

You must also submit your unofficial transcripts.

If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the “Required Documents” section of the job announcement at

Position Application

Please go to to apply. Search term: “Horticulturist”

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