PLANT SCIENTISTS study plants and their growth in soils. Agronomy, plant breeding, and crop science are included in plant science. They help producers of food, feed, and fiber crops to continue feeding a growing population while conserving natural resources and the environment. Plant scientists play an important part in maintaining and increasing agricultural productivity. Plant scientists look for ways to improve crop yield and quality with less labor, control pests and weeds more safely and effectively, and conserve soil and water. Many plant scientists work in basic research and development. Some plant scientists are consultants to business firms, private clients, or to the government.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $59,000 average per year ($28.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (12,100 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.5% per year)
Training requirements for PLANT SCIENTISTS depend on the type of work they perform. A bachelor's degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research or assisting in basic research, but a master's or doctoral degree is required for basic research. A Ph.D. is needed for college teaching and for advancement to administrative research positions. Persons preparing as plant scientists take courses in plant pathology, soil chemistry, entomology, plant physiology, and biochemistry, among others.