What You Can Do with a Botany Degree
There are many careers you can purse with a major in botany. The range of careers in botany could have you performing tasks anywhere from researching plant genes to lobbying government for more stringent pollution controls.
A Bachelor’s degree in Botany is the minimum requirement for most careers in this field. With it, you can pursue positions such as Environmental Technician and Conservation Officer. But you’re not just limited to careers in the field either. Because of the transferable skills you’ll gain, such as excellent observational and analytical skills, you’ll make a competent employee in almost any industry!
Job Board for Botany Students & Grads
With a graduate degree in botany, even more career options open up, such as Cell Biologist and University Professor. Most college and university research and teaching positions in botany require a doctoral degree.
Fortunately, a bachelor’s degree in Botany is a great pre-requisite for graduate school in botany, as well as a wide variety of other fields, such as biology, medicine, law, business administration, pharmacy and dentistry. This makes botany an excellent option if you’re considering a career in any of these areas.
This botany careers guide was written to show you that with a degree in botany, there are virtual no limits on the type of career you can pursue!
Why Botany is Important
The research conducted by academics and professionals in this field has contributed greatly to our understanding of various plants, their processes, the ecosystems they exist within, and their relationship with humans and animals.
Careers in botany are important in the application of what we learn from studying botany. Professionals ranging from conservation officers to plant engineers apply their knowledge of botany for purposes such as:
• Preserving our natural resources
• Producing antibiotics for animals and humans from plants
• Utilizing plants as a fuel source
• Increasing our air and water quality
• Furthering knowledge relating to the balancing of ecosystems
• Increasing our knowledge of the impact of climate change
Career Guides You Can Pursue with a Botany Degree
A degree in botany serves as an excellent foundation for careers both in and out of science. It can however, be of particular benefit to you if you’re interested in pursuing any of the following careers:
Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.
Possible Employers for Botany Majors
There are many employers, representing many different sectors of industry that are interested in the skills and knowledge of botany majors. Below is an example of the types of employers with which you can find jobs that are directly related to your degree:
• Agricultural research agencies/firms
• Biological photography companies
• Biological supply companies
• Biotechnology firms
• Botanical gardens and arboretums
• Colleges, universities, and plant research centers
• Ecological consulting companies
• Environmental and biotechnical regulatory agencies
• Environmental impact research and assessment organizations
• Federal biological/botanical agencies
• Federal department of agriculture
• Fruit Growers
• Landscape management and design companies
• Marine/freshwater biological organizations
• Museums and conservatories
• National, state/provincial parks
• Petrochemical, chemical, and lumber and paper companies
• Pharmaceutical firms
• Schools (teacher)
• Science journals
Job Postings Related to Your Botany Degree!
Whether you're a student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.
Perks of Careers in Botany
Like many career fields, a career in botany has its own unique set of perks and selling points. These are the kind of points that can be the difference between dreading your alarm clock and hating your working life, to truly enjoying what you do and looking forward to work:
• Working in botany careers may take you to foreign lands, and perhaps even lands few people have explored.
• Botany careers may allow you to work, and possibly even live, outdoors.
• Many people with a true passion for plants and horticulture find a career in botany immensely enjoyable.
• It can be quite fulfilling to work in a career that is enjoyable and does good for society.
• Many professionals in this field get to work with some of the most advanced technology available.
• There are a number of different specialties and career opportunities from which you can choose, based on your interests and skills.
Transferrable Skills You Can Gain from Botany
As a botany graduate, your career options aren’t just limited to scientific professions. Because of the transferable skills you’ll gain, you’ll make a competent employee in almost any industry, and in virtually any profession. For example, you could end up working as anything from a realtor to a marketing manager or even an accountant.
The transferable skills you can gain by studying botany include:
• Analytical skills
• Numeracy and math
• Preparing reports
• Presentation skills
• Time management
• Problem solving and logical thinking
• Skills with various computer applications and technology
• Planning skills
• Strong observational skills
So, if you’re considering a job outside of science, a botany degree may not ‘get you a job’ per se, but it does provide you with a skill set that makes you a valuable asset for any organization.
Success Tip: Be aware that in a cover letter or an interview, you should be prepared to explain that, by outlining how your skills are a great fit for the organization.
What Level of Education Should I pursue?
If you’re interested in working in a career that’s directly related to your botany degree, you need to have an awareness of what level of education you will need to pursue certain types of careers. Below is an overview of what type of positions undergraduate and graduate degrees can qualify you for:
• Bachelor's Degree: Qualifies you for laboratory or technical assistant positions in education, industry, government, museums, parks, and botanical gardens.
• Master's Degree: Qualifies you for many research, consulting, teaching and administrative positions.
• Ph.D.: Is required for advanced research, consulting, administrative and teaching positions.
Salary You Could Earn as a Botany Graduate
The salary you could earn as a botany graduate is very difficult to determine, and can vary drastically based on a number of factors, including (not an inclusive list):
• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
• The industry in which you find work
• The type of job you have
• The size and type of your employer
• The region in which you work
• Other work experience you may have accrued
• Other skills you may have
Botany Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $42,181 CAD* is the average salary earned by graduates in the “Agricultural and Biological Sciences” category, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.
*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in “Agricultural and Biological Sciences”, not specifically for botany graduates. Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.
High School Preparation for Careers in Botany
If you’re a high school student who’s interested in a career in botany, it is highly recommended that you take certain courses, and become involved with certain activities in order to get a head start on developing a well-rounded foundation for your university education and future career.
Coursework: Pursuing coursework such as chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology and English can give you a great head start to developing an academic foundation for university level botany courses. It is also valuable for future botany careers to take course in social sciences, as many professionals working in the field of botany are involved in public affairs, both at the community and national level.
Part Time Jobs and Internships: Getting a part time job or landing an internship position related to botany or biology can also be great experience for botany careers. Working in plant nurseries, laboratories, farms, orchards and greenhouses can give you an introduction of what it’s like to work in career fields related to botany.
Research Universities: Consider contacting schools you may be interested in attending that offer botany degree programs. Ask the Office of Admissions for information that describes entrance requirements, facilities, tuition costs, courses and benefits of attending their school. Also perform research on potential botany and general scholarships and other forms of financial aid you can apply for.
Meet Botanists and Other Botany Professionals: Contact the schools you are interested in attending and ask to meet with some of their faculty botanists. This will give you a chance to discuss your career ambitions, and they may be able to advise you on how best to realize them. The Botanical Society of America may also be able to put you in touch with botanists.
If you’re a botany student looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our Botany Scholarships page has scholarships that are specific to this field of study, as well as those that are open to any field of study.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.
Professional Associations for Career Fields in Botany
To find out more about careers directly related to your botany degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for professional coursework, student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.