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Plant Sciences Major

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Plant Sciences

2,078 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
663 Master's Degrees Annually
#129 in Popularity
$70,630 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Plant Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many plant sciences graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,078
Master’s Degree 663
Doctor’s Degree 285
Associate’s Degree 137
Basic Certificate 76
Undergraduate Certificate 49
Graduate Certificate 39

What Plant Sciences Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to plant sciences were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Plant Sciences Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in plant sciences should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Plant Sciences Majors

A major in plant sciences prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Plant Sciences Majors

As you progress with your plant sciences degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Plant Sciences Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with plant sciences:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors 7.9% $84,640
Animal Scientists 4.9% $58,380
First-Line Supervisors of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers 2.1% $46,960
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors 4.5% $86,900
Range Managers 6.3% $61,310
Soil and Plant Scientists 9.0% $63,950
Soil and Water Conservationists 6.3% $61,310

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Plant Sciences?

2,078 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
38% Percent Women
17% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,078 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in plant sciences in 2018, making it rank #129 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 62% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of plant sciences majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Plant Sciences Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 42
Black or African American 31
Hispanic or Latino 209
White 1,584
International Students 59
Other Races/Ethnicities 153

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Plant Sciences, too. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Brazil
  • Colombia

How Much Do Plant Sciences Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that plant sciences students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $35,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $30,450 (25th percentile) and $40,850 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in plant sciences, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $65,320 to $90,890 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to plant sciences. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Plant Sciences Major  ( 65320 to 90890 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with plant sciences require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for plant sciences careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.4%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 8.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 6.4%
Some College Courses 6.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 25.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.5%
Master’s Degree 9.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 27.5%
Post-Doctoral Training 10.4%

Online Plant Sciences Programs

In 2017-2018, 130 schools offered a plant sciences program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 16 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 11 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 43 1
Bachelor’s Degree 4 3
Post-Baccalaureate 16 2
Master’s Degree 98 11
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 75 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Plant Sciences Worth It?

The median salary for a plant sciences grad is $70,630 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 77% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $614,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to plant sciences.

Major Number of Grads
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,521
Animal Science 7,549
Horticulture 4,175
General Agriculture 3,457
Agricultural Production 3,279
Food Science Technology 2,262
Agricultural Mechanization 1,449
Animal Services 1,166
Agricultural Public Services 725
Other Agriculture 530
Soil Sciences 434
Food Processing 226
International Agriculture 131

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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