Careers with a Botany Degree


There are many careers you can purse with a major in botany; when you enter the workforce, you could be performing tasks that range from researching plant genes, to lobbying government for more stringent pollution controls.


A Bachelor’s degree in Botany is the minimum requirement for many relevant 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!



Pursuing a Graduate Degree

With a graduate degree in botany, even more career options open up, such as becoming a Cell Biologist or a 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 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! So, read on below to find out more about what your options are, and what you'll need to pursue them!





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.


For example, the application of what we learn from studying botany can be applied 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



Careers Relevant to 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:


Agricultural Chemist

Agricultural Consultant





Botanical Field Technician


Cell Biologist

Conservation Officer


Environmental Analyst

Environmental Education Assistant

Environmental Education Officer

Environmental Impact Assessment Specialist

Environmental Lawyer

Environmental Policy Officer

Environmental Technician


Forest Manager

Forest Technician

Forestry Consultant

Global Warming Advocate

Greenhouse Operator


International Aid Worker

Laboratory Manager

Land Manager

Market Gardener

Museum Curator


Natural Resources Manager

Natural Resources Planner


Nursery Operator

Plant Geneticist

Range Manager

Research Assistant

Soil Conservationist

Soil Scientist

University Professor

Wildlife Manager


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.



Types of Employers in the Field

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

• Greenhouses

• 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



Perks of Careers in Botany

Like many fields, a career related to the field of 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:


• A career in this field 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 as a Student

As a botany graduate, your career options aren’t just limited to scientific professions. Because of the transferable skills you can 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 as a student of 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.



Average Salary Level of Graduates

The average salary you could earn with a botany degree varies based on a wide variety of factors, such as:


• The type, size, and budget of your employer

• The discretion of your employer

• Your level of education and experience

• Your level of certification (if applicable)

• The region in which you work 

• How much overtime you are able to work (if applicable)

• The amount of responsibility inherent in your position

• Your level of experience (people with several years worth of experience can often earn substantially in their profession more than what’s listed below)


The salary you could earn is also highly dependent on the career field you enter into. Below is an overview of the average earnings of people in a few career fields that are relevant to a degree in botany. 


Please Note: The salary information listed below is meant only to serve as a guideline. In many cases, workers in these fields can earn a much lower, or much higher, salary than is stated below. 



Agricultural Chemist

Canada: $52,195 (indeed - “Chemists”)

United States: $62,652 (indeed “Agricultural Chemists)



Canada: $65,334 (PayScale)

United States: $62,910 (BLS)



Canada: $63,381 (indeed)

United States: $69,960 (BLS)



Canada: $69,308 (PayScale)

United States: $89,472 (indeed)


Botanical Field Technician

Canada: $59,480 (indeed)

United States: $43,800 (BLS)



(See “Biologist”)


Cell Biologist

Canada: N/A

United States: $69,960 (BLS)


Conservation Officer

Canada: $51,049 (PayScale)

United States: $58,570 (BLS)


Environmental Analyst

Canada: $60,000 (PayScale)

United States: $50,909 (PayScale)


Environmental Education Assistant

Canada: $40,100 (PayScale)

United States: $25,040 (indeed)


Environmental Impact Assessment Specialist

Canada: $58,910 (PayScale)

United States: $56,399 (indeed)


Environmental Lawyer

Canada: N/A

United States: $122,531 (indeed)


Environmental Policy Officer

Canada: $57,033 (PayScale)

United States: $61,700 (BLS)


Environmental Technician

Canada: $40,620 (indeed)

United States: $41,097 (indeed)



Canada: $30,160 (PayScale)

United States: $26,350 (BLS)


Forest Manager

Canada: $80,000 (PayScale)

United States: $60,120 (BLS)


Forest Technician

Canada: $42,000 (PayScale)

United States: $50,000 (PayScale)



Canada: $33,734 (Glassdoor)

United States: $38,480 (Glassdoor)


Laboratory Manager

Canada: $63,590 (PayScale)

United States: $60,174 (indeed)


Land Manager

Canada: N/A

United States: $84,469 (indeed)


Museum Curator

Canada: $72,973 (Glassdoor)

United States: $56,659 (Glassdoor)



Canada: $80,695 (indeed)

United States: $69,960 (BLS)


Natural Resources Manager

Canada: $65,875 (indeed)

United States: $79,500 (PayScale)



Canada: $63,381 (indeed)

United States: $69,960 (BLS)


Nursery Operator

Canada: N/A

United States: $45,530 (PayScale)


Plant Geneticist

Canada:$63,000 (PayScale)

United States: $49,397 (PayScale)


Research Assistant

Canada: $32,796 (Glassdoor)

United Sates: $26,560 (BLS)


Soil Conservationist

Canada: $75,000 (PayScale)

United States: $69,170 (BLS)


University Professor

Canada: $157,610 (indeed)

United Sates: $76,000 (BLS)


Wildlife Manager

Canada: N/A

United States: $60,272 (PayScale)


The name in brackets next to the salary data for each region is the sources from which the data was obtained. Please note, the salary data that is sourced from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) represents median salary figures, rather than average salary figures.



Salary Data Reference Information

PayScale: Private organization owned by PayScale Incorporated ( For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

BLS: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (, sponsored by the federal government of the United States of America. For details regarding their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

Glassdoor: indeed is a private organization owned by Glassdoor incorporated ( For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.






What Level of Education Should I Pursue?

If you’re interested in working in a career that’s directly related to this 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.



High School Preparation for Careers in This Field

If you’re a high school student who’s interested in a career in botany, it's 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.



Botany Scholarships

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

To find out more about careers directly related to your 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.



Canadian Association for Conservation

Canadian Botanical Association

Canadian Horticulture Council

Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance

Ontario Institute of Agrologists


United States

American Horticultural Society

American Society for Horticultural Science

Botanical Society of America

Natural Resources Defence Council



Top Banner Image: 
Top Banner Image Title: