Botanists are biological scientists who study plants. Most botanists specialize in one type or group of plants. Some are plant taxonomists that identify and classify plants whereas others are plant physiologists who study how plants grow and reproduce. Yet others are economic botanists who search for plants to serve a useful purpose for food and fibers. Regardless of their specialty most botanists devote at least some portion of their time conducting scientific research. To achieve their research goals botanists employ processes such as staining and viewing plants with microscopes.
Some botanists work alone whereas others work on teams. Botany research is important because the worlds population depends on plants for food and other resources needed to sustain life including the treatment of diseases. There are a limited number of jobs such as technical writing or biological technician for botanists with bachelors degrees. Some teaching and applied research jobs require only a masters degree in botany. However the majority of job opportunities require a doctoral degree in a botany specialty.
Botanists with doctoral degrees usually work in colleges and universities both teaching and doing research. However some work for government agencies private industry museums or botanical gardens. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics botanists employed by colleges and universities have an average annual salary of approximately $55000.
Those employed by the federal government earn an average annual salary of approximately $73000 and those employed in industrial settings earn an average salary of approximately $79500.