BOTANISTS study plants and their environment, the biochemistry of plant processes, and the causes and cures of plant diseases. Some study all aspects of plant life, while others specialize in certain areas, such as identification and classification of plants, or the causes and cures of plant disease. Some study the interactions of plants with other organisms and the environment. Others search for new species. Botanists may work in the field, concentrating on the whole plant, or use microscopes to study the most detailed fine structure of the individual cells. Some botanists are specialists in the geological record of plants.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $61,500 average per year ($29.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (12,100 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.5% per year)
A Ph.D. is usually required for BOTANISTS in independent research, and for advancement to administrative positions. A master's degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research or product development and for jobs in management, inspection, sales, and service. The bachelor's degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. To prepare for a career in botany, you should take a college preparatory curriculum including English, foreign language, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology. Courses in social studies and humanities are also valuable since botanists often get involved in public affairs at community and national levels. No special licensing or certification is required for botanists.