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There’s never been a better time to pursue an amazing professional marijuana grower career. As long as you have a passion for growing cannabis, you can get your career started in a number of cannabis cultivation jobs.
Our cannabis cultivation career guide will show you how to become a marijuana farmer and eventually earn the title as a master weed grower. Let’s get started!
What Is a Professional Marijuana Grower?
Commercial cannabis cultivation facilities need a skilled team of growers to manage the day-to-day operations of an indoor, outdoor, or greenhouse facility. From planting cannabis seeds in the spring to harvesting their flower buds in the fall, commercial cannabis growers must carefully tend to a crop of plants throughout the growing season.
Professional cannabis growers must be knowledgeable about every aspect of the cannabis cultivation process and state and local regulations to remain compliant. Licensed producers hire weed growers in a range of entry-level and advanced positions.
Entry-level positions include cannabis trimmers and grower’s assistants. Advanced positions include head growers, supervisors, and growing specialists.
- Trimmer: Trimmers are in charge of removing the excess foliage from harvested cannabis flower to ensure the end product meets brand standards.
- Master Grower: A master grower is the head of the cultivation program. Also known as a head grower, they must train new staff, delegate tasks, and schedule operations to keep the facility running smoothly.
- Cultivation Technician: Plant technicians handle the day-to-day maintenance and cleaning tasks of a large facility. This entry-level position is responsible for handling a majority of the labor involved in growing commercial cannabis.
- System Control Specialist: System control specialists are responsible for the technical management of a certain part of the facility. Think of HVAC systems, irrigation management, pest control, inventory control, and more. They are responsible for setting up and troubleshooting cultivation equipment.
- Section Grower: Above a cultivation technician but below a master grower, a section grower is responsible for one area of the facility. These supervisors keep master growers informed about any issues and are responsible for keeping their specific section in line.
Turning a Hobby Into a Career
If you're already growing cannabis for personal use, you have a good idea of what it takes to make it in the cultivation space. Cannabis home growers have developed the skills needed to take care of a plant from start to finish. Whether you're growing medical marijuana or cannabis for recreational use, there are many commercial grow op jobs out there for you. Our cultivation guide helps you be on your way to growing and selling weed legally.
Professional Cannabis Grower Requirements
Cannabis grower requirements vary by state, position, and grow facility. For entry-level positions, you need at least one year, preferably two, of experience growing on a professional level. Sometimes, growers with no experience but plenty of drive can make excellent job candidates.
For more advanced positions, you'll need at least three to five years of experience working in a similar job.
Here are some of the most common requirements/qualifications needed for becoming a professional cannabis grower:
- High school or equivalent
- Must pass required background checks with no disqualifying offenses
- Must meet minimum age requirements (usually need to be 21 years of age or older)
- Must obtain an industry employee permit (if required by the state)
- Must be able to lift, carry, and balance up to 75 pounds
- Must be able to walk and stand for extended periods of time
As a job applicant, you'll have to choose from a range of grow operation jobs. You will need to know what it takes to grow medical and adult-use cannabis in a greenhouse, indoor, or outdoor setting. Over time, you can build your skills and move up the career ladder in your facility to become a master grower.
Keep in mind, master grower requirements are more rigorous than requirements for entry-level professional growers such as trimmers, cultivation technicians, and section growers.
How Much Do Professional Marijuana Growers Make?
Professional marijuana growers salaries vary based on the position, experience, and facility. On the low end, a professional cannabis grower salary can start at about $15 an hour for full-time work. On the highest end, master growers can easily reach $75,000 per year (or more). Generally, a mid-level marijuana grower can make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.
How to Become a Professional Cannabis Grower
Becoming a professional cannabis grower takes commitment, patience, and skill. As the world's fastest growing industry, the competition to land marijuana grower jobs is heating up. If you want to learn how to become a legal pot farmer, there are few considerations to keep in mind. If you're interested in stepping into the cultivation space, here are a few steps to becoming a master grower:
- Research: It all starts with a bit of research. First, look up if your state allows for legal cannabis sales. If it's not legal in your state yet, consider moving to a state that has already legalized cannabis. In addition, check the state laws for any employee requirements to work in the industry. Are there any training requirements? Are there any disqualifying offenses that prevent you from working in the industry?
- Start growing: If you don't have any experience growing plants, Why not start your own mini garden in your backyard, patio, balcony, or window sill? Basically, start taking care of any indoor or outdoor plants to refine your green thumb.
- Enroll in industry training: As a relatively new industry, it can benefit any industry employee to enroll in a renowned industry training program. Go beyond learning about the cultivation space and gain a wider understanding of every aspect of the industry including extraction, cooking, medicine, laws and regulations, and more. Plus, gaining certification from a program adds weight to your resume.
- Check job boards: Once you have the right education and experience, you can start applying at marijuana farms hiring for weed cultivation jobs. Check major job boards.Often, jobs can receive hundreds of applications in a matter of hours. It's up to you to be there at the right place at the right time.
- Start small: Growing your cannabis career takes time. Start by becoming a marijuana grower apprentice to learn the nuances of working in a large facility. Search job boards for entry-level positions to build your skills and work your way up in a company.
Master Grower Certification
Interested in learning how to become a legal grower? Growing and selling marijuana is a new and exciting industry that's looking for top-tier talent. To jumpstart your cultivation career, enroll in the best marijuana grower certification online: Cannabis Training University.
Our commercial cannabis production course was created by the best cannabis growers in the world. Learn the tricks of the trade from growers with decades of experience. Sign up today!
Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.