5 Great Careers in Botany

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Five Rewarding Botany Jobs

  • Agronomist
  • Horticulturist
  • Forestry Botanist
  • Biophysicist
  • Botanical Biotechnologist

Botany involves the study of plants which includes a range of organisms including fungi, bacteria, flowers, trees, and crops, and given this diversity, there are many distinct careers in botany. Since plant life is essential for the survival of humanity, it is important that scientists learn as much as they can about plant biology. Investigating the cellular structure and genetics of plant cells can provide clues about processes in animals. This field consists of more than academic study and observation. There are botanists working on practical solutions as well, like engineering plants to thrive in certain conditions. Some great botany jobs include the following.

1. Agronomist

These professionals are primarily interested in crops, specifically methods to increase yield and shorten the time to maturity. This includes studying seed types, checking soil composition, and analyzing past data on a particular plot of land to help determine the best course of action for future seasons. Some agronomists work directly on farms while others are employed by financial institutions and other companies. These professionals also can find work as salespeople selling seeds and other farm supplies.

2. Horticulturist

Botanists specializing in horticulture are experts on growing plants and are involved in breeding and propagating plants with specific traits. With a solid foundation in plant science, they can diagnose and treat plant illnesses, either involving a single plant or an entire field. These professionals work in plant nurseries, landscaping, old mining grounds, and schools. Many horticulturists also do research and experimentation, either for a university or private corporation.

3. Forestry Botanist

Forests help collect carbon dioxide, emitting oxygen, and are an important part of the water cycle on earth, but they are also threatened by human activity. This is a great career in botany for professionals interested in conservation, ecology, and plant biology who also enjoy spending time in the wilderness. Air quality, minerals, watershed, and new growth are some of the top concerns for foresters.

4. Biophysicist

This field combines complex mathematics and physics with botany, and plant biophysicists work to uncover how natural processes like photosynthesis and seed growth work. Not only can this help researchers better understand the plant world, an understanding of these natural phenomena can lead to advances in other fields like renewable fuels or human genetics.

5. Botanical Biotechnologist

Utilizing engineering principles, this is one of the great careers in botany that combines ideas from many different scientific fields in order to solve problems. As Forbes reports, the study of botanical biotechnology can answer major social problems, especially those involving world hunger and food shortages. Using scientific techniques to modify seeds can produce plants that are more resilient in harsher climates. These plants could also naturally repel certain insects, requiring fewer harmful pesticides. Plus, crops can be engineered to be healthier for humans with more essential vitamins.

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While all botanists focus on plant life, they work in a variety of different environments and use many different skills ranging from mathematics to communications. Whether working in a lab, on a field, or even in a corporate office, there are many great careers in botany.