Botanist (Plant Biologist)
Do you think green?
A botanist (plant biologist) studies microorganisms and giant trees — all plant life. Botanists who like to be outdoors may be plant explorers. They may study the effects of pollution (such as acid rain) on plants and work toward environmental protection, or they may identify new plant species and evaluate their parts and uses. Some botanists produce entire plants from single cells with a technique called tissue culture. Others use biotechnology to develop new or improved plants.
Educational institutions hire botanists as teachers and researchers. Some botanists work in botanical gardens, arboretums, herbariums, zoos, and medical plant or germplasm resources laboratories. Others work in plantrelated industries such as biological supply houses, biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies, nursery or greenhouse businesses, and petrochemical companies. Some work in publication, sales, or animal or plant health inspection.
To be a botanist, get a bachelor's degree in botany. Be sure to take English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, arts and humanities, social sciences, and biological sciences. Computer and communications courses also help. Summer jobs or internships with educational institutions, governmental agencies, or private companies are also valuable.
In high school, take college preparatory courses in English, mathematics, biology, history, geography, and foreign languages. Get involved in science clubs or fairs and in hobbies such as camping and photography.
Download an 8.5-inch x 11-inch, printable poster for Botanist.
(downloadable pdf format)
The second page of the download includes the career description above.