What Can You Do With a Plant Biology Degree?

Success after UGA is extremely important to us. Many of our majors have gone on to continue their education at top graduate and medical schools, such as Emory University. They have also pursued careers as plant breeding research professionals, medical research technicians, and more. A degree in Plant Biology opens doors to diverse career opportunities, such as doing research at universities, government laboratories, and at biotech companies; teaching at the high school, college, or university level; management and interpretation as staff biologists with state and federal agencies; and administration and sales with plant and plant product related industries. As science and technology evolve, new opportunities are created.

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Here are just a few of the many career options for plant biology degree holders, either directly or in combination with another degree:
  • Ecological Consulting. Regulatory Agencies. Landscape Management. …
  • Academic Research. Medical Professions. Science Policy. …
  • Patent Attorney. Laboratory Tech. Technical Representative.

What You Can Do with a Plant Science Degree

What degrees can you get in plant biology?

Depending on your career goals, you may pursue varying levels of plant biology degrees. Consider your ideal role and the education or degree you may need. You can consult with an advisor to learn more about how educational programs can prepare you for plant biology professions. These are some levels of education you can pursue in plant biology:

Associates degree

An associates degree in plant science or plant biology can prepare you for an entry-level position in a plant-related position, and completing one usually takes between one and two years. During this degree program, you learn about crop production, plant anatomy and plant ecosystems. With an associates degree in plant science, you may pursue careers in irrigation, farm management and pesticide development and sales.

Bachelors degree

Bachelors degrees in plant biology can help you pursue botanical science positions and restoration, and they often take four years to complete. In a program for this degree, you may take courses that focus on environmental impacts, molecular biology and plant physiology. With this degree, consider pursuing careers in restoration, wildlife maintenance and land management.

Masters degree

A masters degree in plant biology is the first level of graduate degree you can earn in the subject, and it usually takes between two and three years to complete, depending on where you attend school. During a masters degree program for plant biology, you likely learn about advanced plant science and leadership. Some careers you can pursue with this degree include ecologist, environmentalist and molecular biologist.

Doctorate degree

A doctorate degree in plant biology is the terminal degree for the subject, which means its the highest educational credential you can earn. How long it takes to complete a Ph.D. in plant biology can vary depending on the school and the student, but it usually takes about five years to complete. While completing a doctorate degree, you usually complete research, engage in teaching and guide your own study in the field. To earn your doctorate, you must create and defend a dissertation.

What is plant biology?

Plant biology is a field of life science that focuses on the study of plants. Plant biologists study information about plant structure, environmental health, ecology and plant classifications. While biology is the study of all life, plant biology focuses on organisms like trees, shrubs and flowers. Another name for plant biology is botany, and both provide insight into plant science, horticulture and agriculture.

What can you do with a degree in plant biology?

Depending on your education and experience levels, you can pursue unique positions in the plant biology field. These are some careers you can pursue with a degree in plant biology. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below::

Primary duties: Naturalists are scientific professionals who monitor plant life to gather information and learn more about how ecosystems affect organism well-being. A naturalist can work with the government, for ecological nonprofit organizations and with national parks. Some naturalists are also educators who travel and provide information about nature, wildlife and methods for reducing harm to plants and animals. They research plant anatomy and history, observe ecosystems, collaborate with other scientists and prepare talks and speeches about plant life and conservation.

Primary duties: A laboratory technician is a professional who helps laboratory scientists and researchers. They help to sanitize the lab, gather animals for testing, prepare experiments, monitor the progress of experiments and prepare test samples. The technician can also help to mix compounds and write reports about the findings from experiments. Those with plant biology degrees often focus on labs that do plant and wildlife research.

Primary duties: A researcher is someone who gathers information and performs experiments to learn more about their subjects. Researchers can explore areas and gather information in the field, and many researchers who focus on plant biology travel to learn about new plants and monitor their ecosystems. Many researchers use the information they gather to suggest methods for fixing issues like climate change and deforestation.

Primary duties: Regulatory specialists often work with the government to monitor processes for drug and food creation, develop policies regarding them and write reports about regulations. A regulatory specialist may work with research facilities, pharmaceutical companies and biomechanical organizations to help them ensure they meet regulations and avoid violations. Regulatory specialists can use their degrees in plant biology to better understand the products companies create and market to their customers, and the specialist can use their knowledge to determine if products are safe.

Primary duties: An ecologist is a scientist who works with organisms and studies how they interact with the environment. Ecologists can focus on plants specifically and work as educators and researchers. Many ecologists work with the government to reduce pollution and avoid extinction for plant species. Ecologists can also work with companies to help them reduce their effect on plants and the environment and create more environmentally friendly products.

Primary duties: A biotech consultant is a biological expert who helps supervisors and managers at biotech companies advance their operations and improve their services and product. A biotech consultant often has substantial experience in the field and can offer advice and counsel on how to create better products. Biotechnology companies use advances in computers and scientific research in the biology field to develop products that treat conditions and cure illnesses.

Primary duties: A patent attorney is a legal professional who specializes in laws that decide and govern ownership of property and ideas. To become a patent attorney with a plant biology degree, you also pursue education in the legal system and become licensed as an attorney. Attorneys who focus on plant biology understand the science that comprises discoveries and new methods, so they can better defend these ideas in court and while gaining patents.

Important skills for plant biologists

Depending on the specific role you have and the company you work for, the skills you need can vary. These are some common important skills for plant biologists:

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to assess a situation, determine the cause for issues and suggest viable solutions. This is a very important skill for scientists, as it often allows them to develop their hypotheses and determine which problems to direct their attention to. Critical thinking also allows them to overcome obstacles in research and in work.

Research skills

Plant biologists use research skills to learn more about the plants they work with. Research skills can include understanding which content is trustworthy, knowing how to take effective notes and compile information. Biologists with excellent research skills can create and conduct experiments, form hypotheses and perform investigations.


Communication is the ability to understand and articulate information when conversing with another person. These skills are useful for biologists who work with others to complete experiments and studies. Written communication is also important for creating grants and proposals for funding.


Persistence is the ability to keep contributing energy and time to projects when motivation wanes. Its an important skill for biologists because it helps them to pursue the education they need. Persistence is also important for completing experiments and continuing with lines of research when its difficult.


Are plant biologists in demand?

Demand for plant biologists is expected to grow 9% in the period between 2020 and 2030. * Some areas may see more growth than others. Industry may make up the bulk of job openings and universities may see a slight decline as their budget is limited to Federal government funding.

Should I major in plant biology?

A degree in Plant Biology opens doors to diverse career opportunities, such as doing research at universities, government laboratories, and at biotech companies; teaching at the high school, college, or university level; management and interpretation as staff biologists with state and federal agencies; and …

Is plant science a good career?

A degree in Plant Sciences opens many job opportunities for graduates. You may choose to work in research labs, farms, processing plants, or for food distributors. As a food scientist you also have the option to work for governments or research for universities and colleges.

Do botanists make a lot of money?

How much does a Botanist make? The average Botanist salary is $52,859 per year, or $25.41 per hour, in the United States. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $34,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $81,000. As most things go, location can be critical.

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