Botanists work within many specialties, both in the field and in the laboratory. They typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree and some positions require a doctoral degree. Although job prospects in the biological sciences are good, botanists may see limited opportunities. Read on to learn more about the field of botany.
People who love the outdoors and can spend hours meticulously identifying plants may be well-suited to botany field research positions. Students who prefer to conduct tests and experiments on plants might prefer a laboratory position. A career in botany may involve work in the areas of agronomy, biochemistry, food science technology, forestry or horticulture. Most botanists find employment in federal and state agencies, scientific research institutions or pharmaceutical companies.
There are many areas of specialization within the field of botany, such as conservation, systematics, structural botany, taxonomy, ecology and mycology. Students need a strong foundation in the physical and life sciences, as well as computer science, statistics and mathematics, to succeed.
Employment in the biological sciences, including botany, was anticipated to increase by 21% for the period 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). However, due to the small size of the field, opportunities for botanists were limited. Payscale.com found that most botanists made between $29,633 to $91,608 as of July 2010.
Learn More About Botany
Depending on their size, some colleges and universities offer botany as a subfield within biology departments, while other schools house separate botany departments. Most students choose a specialty within the field, especially at the graduate level. While a bachelor's or master's degree is required for jobs as research technicians, product developers or teachers, a doctorate is necessary for professorships and independent research positions.
Botanists generally need at least a bachelor's degree in botany or biology. Degrees are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The type of position and industry you wish to work in will determine the level of education needed.
- Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs in Botany
- Botany Schools and Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Ethnobotany
- Master's Degree in Biology
The list below provides information on the various career paths botanists may take. Visit Education-Portal.com to find other career tracks available to qualified botanists.
Distance Learning Options
The best online options for aspiring botanists include courses and degree programs in biology. Both for-credit and not-for-credit courses are available. Biology degree programs can be completed partly or fully online and are most common at the master's level. Online botany programs, as well as online undergraduate and doctorate programs in biology, are not as common.
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