Today the range of job opportunities and potential earnings for plant biologists is wider than ever before. The American Institute for Biological Science 2003 salary survey “Compensation of Life Scientists in the United States of America”; indicates the 2003 median income (salary plus cash compensation, such as bonus, profit sharing, or both) for people with less than one year of experience was estimated at $33,000 and for those with 30 years or more $108,000. The median for all positions without supervisory responsibilities was $48,000 and for those supervising 10 or more professional and sub professional employees, the median income was $126,500.
A few of the position/salary examples are: Intermediate research technicians $33,000, Postdoctoral researchers (12 month appointment) $36,366, Secondary school teachers $44,200, Assistant professors (9 to 10 month appointment) $49,713, Intermediate researchers $50,250, Laboratory managers $53,000, Professors (9 to 10 month appointment) $85,000, Research unit supervisors $85,000, Laboratory directors $90,000, Government section heads $98,000, Research section heads $108,387, Professors (12 month appointment) $118,000, “Distinguished” researchers$126,000, College department heads $129,000, Research managers $139,000, Research vice presidents/directors $142,000.
The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from doing interesting and worthwhile work is one of the rewards of a career in plant science. In addition, many positions in botany provide other benefits such as individual freedom, varied work, pleasant surroundings, stimulating associates, and the opportunity to travel. Besides depending on experience and education, the geographical location of the employer also makes a difference. In general, salaries vary with the cost of living in a particular region.
Job availability is generally good. Employment opportunities vary over time depending partly on the status of state and national economies. Some fields are more competitive than others. Challenging positions are usually available for well-trained plant scientists.
View one member's perspective of a "career in botany" at: http://www.botany.org/Profiles/David_Spooner.php.
View current botanical/plant science employment opportunities at: http://www.botany.org/newsite/employment/.