How to Become a Botanist: 4 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Become a Botanist: 4 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Become a Botanist: 4 Steps (with Pictures)
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Botanists are biological scientists responsible for the study of species of algae, mosses, conifers, fungi and plants in their different environments. As a botanist, you will need to conduct research on diseases that affect plants, how they grow and reproduce. You will also be able to research ways to use plant species to create products such as medicines, fuels and food. Read this article to find out how to become a botanist.

Steps

Become a Botanist Step 1

Step 1. Take an undergraduate degree in biological sciences, agronomy or forest engineering

These courses can last approximately 4 to 5 years.

  • Choose the college where you want to study for your degree. When selecting your college, consider the specializations each one has. For example, major universities may offer a degree in botany along with specializations such as plant pathology, agronomy or horticulture. However, a smaller college may only have a degree in general botany.
  • Take the main prerequisite subjects such as physics, biology, chemistry, plant pathology, horticulture and agronomy.
  • Also take extra subjects like math, English and Spanish.
  • Do an internship in botany. The internship can help you gain the experience you need to become a botanist.
Become a Botanist Step 2

Step 2. Prepare for graduate school

  • Select a postgraduate course that interests you.
  • Take the entrance exam.
  • Ask your teachers to make you a letter of recommendation.
  • Send all the material required for admission, such as a motivational letter and resume.
Become a Botanist Step 3

Step 3. Finish your graduate course

  • A master's degree in biological science takes two years to complete. You will have to take courses in botany, participate in field work and complete a thesis.
  • A doctorate in biological sciences, when pursued full-time, takes about 4 years to complete. A doctoral degree combines fieldwork and classroom instruction with extensive laboratory research and the completion of a dissertation.
Become a Botanist Step 4

Step 4. Work like a botanist

  • Look for jobs through college, online job sites and/or classified job ads.
  • Career advancement opportunities for botanists include becoming a chief researcher in botany, botanical consultant and managerial botanist. As a chief botanical researcher you will be expected to direct other botanists and botanical technicians on research projects. A botanical consultant helps government agencies and companies with issues related to botany. A managerial botanist handles administrative tasks such as obtaining funding for research projects.

Tips

You can gain practical experience and additional employment opportunities through temporary postdoctoral positions at a local university. Temporary postdoctoral jobs offer a way to publish the results of your research and gain a permanent faculty or researcher position

Notices

  • You should attend seminars, workshops and courses to keep up to date with the advancement of plant science.
  • A bachelor's or master's degree is satisfactory for some entry-level jobs, whether inspection, research, applied management, research technician or a school botany teacher. However, it is more recommended that you have a doctorate in botany or biology.

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