Botanist

Alternative titles for this job include Plant biologist, plant ecologist

Botanists study all forms of plant life.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

How to become a botanist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll usually need a degree in a subject like:

  • botany
  • ecology
  • environmental science
  • plant biology
  • plant science

You'll also need a postgraduate qualification, like a master's degree or PhD, for teaching or research posts.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

Volunteering

It may be helpful if you volunteer with a relevant organisation, like the the Royal Horticultural Society and the Field Studies Council, before you apply for your first job.

You can also find volunteering opportunities at the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.

More Information

Career tips

Take a look at environmentjob to browse current vacancies in ecology and plant ecology.

Further information

You can find out more about plant biology through the Royal Society of Biology and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could specialise in:

  • the study of specific plant groups
  • molecular biology
  • genetics
  • ecology
  • marine botany
  • taxonomy - the identification and classification of plants

Your work will vary depending on your role, but you could:

  • identify, classify, record and monitor plant species and biodiversity
  • conduct fieldwork to collect, test and record findings
  • take part in ecological consultancy work, including environmental impact assessments
  • manage a botanical collection
  • work in conservation projects
  • search for new species
  • present research results in journals, books and at academic conferences
  • train and supervise junior staff and volunteers
  • teach at a university

Working environment

You could work at a university, at a research facility or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

With experience in industry, you could move into a more senior position. In field research and conservation, you'll usually need to take on organisational, management or advisory responsibilities in order to progress.

You could move into plant science, investigating biodiversity, crop production and plant diseases.

You could also become a freelance consultant.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a botanist right now.

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Courses In England

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