Horticulture Internships 2022

Horticulture interns work in one or more of the Arboretum’s gardens or collections. A required internship project is presented to staff, volunteers, and stakeholders at the end of the internship. Interns also participate in professional development opportunities and educational field trips.

Interns working in a greenhouse


Interns are supervised by the Arboretum’s curators and horticulturists. Internships are 3–6 months long and will begin in April or May 2022. All internships are paid by either an hourly wage or stipend, depending on the position. Students are encouraged to arrange for college credit.

Intern driving work vehicle


Applicants must have either completed course work or have acquired practical experience in horticulture or a related field. Basic gardening skills, interest in plants, and the ability to work independently are essential.

Duties & Working Conditions

Interns will assist staff in the development and maintenance of plant germplasm collections. Duties include general gardening tasks, including watering, mowing, mulching, and weeding. Interns also will assist with updating plant records and labels. Horticulture internships involve heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, and exposure to heat and humidity.

Interns will be assigned to one or more of the following areas:

  • Asian Collections features plants collected from the rich floras of China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Azalea Collection features cultivated azaleas in a wooded setting.
  • Boxwood Collection is one of the most complete collections of boxwood in the world.
  • Conifer Collection highlights hundreds of varieties of conifers.
  • Dogwood Collection features more than 100 varieties and species of Cornus in a naturalistic setting.
  • Fern Valley Native Plant Collection features plants native to the eastern USA in woodland and meadow settings.
  • Friendship Garden is an innovative landscape that includes woody plants, perennials, ornamental grasses, and bulbs designed for year-round interest.
  • Introduction Garden displays new plants to the gardening public, including new National Arboretum introductions.
  • National Bonsai & Penjing Museum displays the most notable collection of bonsai and penjing in North America.
  • National Herb Garden is the largest designed herb garden in the nation that includes annual, perennial, and woody herbal plants.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter indicating availability and interest areas, a resume, a list of references, and transcripts, if applicable, (unofficial are acceptable) via email to USNA.Internships@usda.gov.

Questions? Contact the internship office at (202) 245-4563 or USNA.Internships@usda.gov.