Botanists study all forms of plant life and have many different job roles in lots of areas.

What does a botanist do?

As a botanist you could specialise in a variety of areas, such as plant anatomy and physiology, genetics, ecology or marine botany. Depending on the particular job, your work could include:

  • identifying, classifying, recording and monitoring plant species and biodiversity
  • ecological consultancy work, including surveys and environmental impact assessments
  • managing a botanical collection
  • searching for new species
  • studying the effects of pollution, or developments such as new buildings, on plant life
  • identifying and purifying chemicals produced by plants for use in products such as drugs, food, fabrics, solvents and building materials
  • presenting research results in journals, books and at academic conferences
  • training and supervising junior staff and volunteers
  • teaching at a university

What do I need to do to become a botanist?

You need to be accurate and pay attention to detail, and have strong communication skills. You’ll also need to have patience and good concentration.

For most botanist jobs you need a degree in a relevant subject, such as:

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

Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Patience
  • Problem solving

Academic route

  • Degree in a relevant subject

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Fieldwork can involve a lot of travel, often overseas, so you may have to spend long periods of time away from home. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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