Careers in Botany

You can make an impact on this world by using your Botany degree in a variety of careers including soil science, forestry, range management, biotechnology, plant breeding, marine biology, environmental science and teaching.

Science graduates are in demand

Every year, the demand for science graduates continues to grow. Dozens of industries are experiencing rapid growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related jobs. These jobs are being created much faster than they can be filled. From the president’s State of the Union address to the latest article from industry blogs, everyone is trying to figure out how to fill the need for these highly skilled jobs.

Botanists work in a variety of industries

Agronomists: Make practical use of plant and soil sciences to increase the yield of field crops.

Biotechnologists: Use biological organisms to produce useful products. Most people today have a narrower view of biotechnology as the genetic modification of living organisms to produce useful products. Plant biotechnology involves inserting desirable genes into plants and having those genes expressed.

Plant Geneticists: Work with plant genes to develop better types of plants. Breeding involves selecting and crossing plants with desirable traits (such as disease resistance).

Economic Botanists: Work with plants that are used by people.  Economic botany includes the study of plants and plant products used commercially as well as culturally.

Food and Science Technicians: Develop new food from various plant products.

Forestry Botanists: Work in forest management for the production of timber, and conservation.

Horticulturists: Work on the production of ornamental plants,fruit and vegetable crops. Landscape design is also an important subdiscipline in horticulture.

Plant Pathologists: Study diseases in plants. Plant pathologists are concerned with both the biological aspects of disease and disease management.

Pharmaceutical Scientists: Discover and test compounds for medicinal activity, including compounds obtained from plants.  Botanical knowledge is important for understanding which plants and plant parts are the most likely sources for potential medicines.

Botanist Salaries



The median annual wage of agricultural and food scientists was $58,450 in 2010. That works out to be $28.10 per hour. Check out the occupational handbook for more information on the job outlook for botanists.