Botanist Studies Potato Plant in Greenhouse

Botanists study all different aspects of plant life, from cellular structure to reproduction, to how plants are distributed, to how rainfall or other conditions affect them, and more. Botany is an integral part of modern science and industry, with diverse applications in agriculture, agronomy (soil and crop science), conservation, manufacturing, forestry, horticulture, and other areas. Botanists work for the government, in research and teaching institutions, and for private industry. The primary task of botanists is research and applied research. Nonresearch jobs in testing and inspection, or as lab technicians/technical assistants, also are available. Botany is an extremely diverse field with many specialties. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are approximately 14,610 plant and soil scientists, including botanists, employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Ethnobotanists, Forensic Botanists, Forest Ecologists, Mycologists
Duties Study different aspects of plant life such as cell structure, heredity, reproduction, and anatomy
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country with Iowa, California, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Texas having the most employment opportunities for botanists.
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
Experience Internship, volunteering, or a part-time job
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • College Professor, or Supervisor, or Head of Research Project
  • Botanist
  • Technical Assistant or Lab Technician