Science, Technology & Environment

Botanist

Botanists study the properties and processes of all forms of plant life, including how plants grow, reproduce and manufacture food.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Botanist do?

Botanists study the properties and processes of all forms of plant life, including how plants grow, reproduce and manufacture food. Botanists are sometimes also known as plant biologists.

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Work activities

As a botanist, you might:

  • identify, classify, record and monitor plant species
  • study how plants grow, reproduce and make food
  • undertake surveys and environmental impact assessments
  • manage a botanical collection
  • study the effects of temperature, light, pollution, and other environment conditions on plant life
  • determine research methods and objectives
  • undertake research using laboratory methods or specialised equipment
  • present research results or publish research papers
  • teach at a university.

Botanists often specialise in the study of one type or group of plants as their career progresses.

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Key skills and interests

To become a botanist, you would need:

  • an interest in nature and the environment
  • a thorough knowledge of science, particularly biology and chemistry
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • a methodical approach
  • research skills
  • the ability to analyse, interpret and report on data.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Your working hours would vary according to your place of work or the projects you are working on. Some research processes involve continuous monitoring, which could mean working at evenings and weekends.

Conditions

Many botanists work in colleges and universities where they teach and conduct research. Some botanists work for government agencies, in private industry or in museums and botanical gardens.

Fieldwork can involve travel, so you might have to spend periods of time away from home. You may need a current drivers' licence.

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How to become an Botanist?

Entry Level Education

To become a botanist you usually have to complete a degree in science with a major in botany, environmental science or a related area such as ecology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, maths, biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of scientists of all types is expected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Employment opportunities often rely on government funded research, which is variable.

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