Person looks at plants indoors as part of an experiment.

Associate Diploma in Horticulture Co-op Student Information

About The Program

The horticulture industry is an exciting sector with many employment opportunities for people who enjoy working outside, are interested in plants and care about the environment. The Associate Diploma in Horticulture (DHRT) Co-op program offers students the chance to experience working in the industry while accomplishing their studies. The program ensures students develop relevant skills through practical labs and hands-on experiences. Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in greenhouses, landscaping, nurseries, and agribusiness. This program gives you the chance to broaden your knowledge by taking specialized courses including arboriculture, cannabis production, greenhouse management, viticulture and horticultural pest management. Students will learn to function in a professional environment, work in teams, solve problems, and be knowledgeable about a wide variety of plants and their growing requirements.

Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will gain relevant work experience, build professional networks, and develop essential interpersonal skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided throughout the co-op experience. Students will complete a comprehensive course preparing them for the co-op employment process, and will receive guidance from a knowledgeable team of staff dedicated to their development and success.

Course Sequencing








Acquired Knowledge & Skills


Skills-oriented approach to agricultural production systems.


Practical experience in agricultural production. Business management and computer skills. Abilities required for self-employed managers of production systems. Technical sales skills for agri-business firms, commodity boards, and other agencies related to the agri-food system.

Sample Jobs

Grain Operations Intern

The student will provide support to Elevator facilities through the completion of various duties in the areas of crop inputs, grain operations, or a combination thereof. Day-to-day activities will include assisting the facility as needed to support the grain business; unloading inbound trucks and shipments of grain; performing routine grain sampling and grading (i.e. dockage testing, moisture testing); assisting with data entry and paperwork as required; assisting in maintaining a strong Sanitation Program; other duties as directed by Management and working collaboratively with facility employees to ensure the smooth operation of the facility.

Field Research Assistant

Students will assist with summer applied research and demonstration projects focused on production practices such as soil health, weed control, pest management, and fertility. Field work could include field scouting, crop identification, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases, soil and plant sampling, and other data collection. Students are responsible for recording agronomic and pest data and other pertinent information from research plots, survey sites and trap locations; developing and maintaining databases for plot and pest information; assisting staff to gather existing literature and conduct new literature reviews and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives.

Artificial Insemination Technician

Students will provide artificial insemination service (A.I.) and sell farm and agri-products; promote current/ new products and services to established and potential clients; offer consulting service to breeders answering questions related to reproduction, and participate in staff development opportunities, and staff/client meetings.

Sample Employers*

  • Arbutus Grove Nursery
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • City of Guelph
  • Fenwick Berry Farm
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Valley Harvest Farms
  • Zomer's Greenhouses Inc.

*This shows a sample of recent co-op employers and will vary depending on employer recruitment needs. During a job search, students are encouraged to be actively engaged and are supported in establishing and maintaining their own personal contacts.

Salary Information

Students receive compensation from their employer for co-op work terms. The rate of pay will vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, the student’s program of study, and work term level. For your reference, a Co-operative Education Salary Guide is available on our website, which provides hourly rates (averages and ranges) for each degree program.