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Plant Sciences Major

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Plant Sciences

2,008 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
637 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,008
Master’s Degree 637
Doctor’s Degree 289
Associate’s Degree 130
Basic Certificate 106
Undergraduate Certificate 62
Graduate Certificate 46

What Plant Sciences Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to plant sciences and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Plant Sciences Majors

Plant Sciences majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to plant sciences:

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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 a plant sciences major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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?

2,008 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
39% Percent Women
16% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,008 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in plant sciences in 2019, making it rank #129 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 61% of the graduates in this field are male.

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 46
Black or African American 24
Hispanic or Latino 195
White 1,571
International Students 56
Other Races/Ethnicities 116

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

The median early-career salary of plant sciences students with a bachelor’s degree is $35,300 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. 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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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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 133 schools offered some type of plant sciences program. 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) 15 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 13 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 47 1
Bachelor’s Degree 6 4
Post-Baccalaureate 15 2
Master’s Degree 97 10
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 76 1
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 8,910
Animal Science 7,814
Horticulture 4,451
General Agriculture 3,551
Agricultural Production 3,536
Food Science Technology 2,222
Agricultural Mechanization 1,537
Animal Services 1,070
Agricultural Public Services 774
Other Agriculture 551
Soil Sciences 434
Food Processing 244
International Agriculture 141

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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