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Plant Sciences Major

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Plant Sciences

637 Master's Degrees Annually
289 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#133 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
Master’s Degree 637
Doctor’s Degree 289
Graduate Certificate 46

What Plant Sciences Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, plant sciences majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Plant Sciences Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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

When studying plant sciences, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

A major in plant sciences will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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 Master’s Degree in Plant Sciences?

637 Master's Degrees Annually
45% Percent Women
8% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major tends to be male dominated. About 55% 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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 7
Black or African American 6
Hispanic or Latino 29
White 425
International Students 143
Other Races/Ethnicities 27

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Plant Sciences. About 22.4% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in plant sciences made a median starting salary of $65,100 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $65,100 (25th percentile) and $65,100 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to plant sciences so take that into consideration.

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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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 degrees associated with plant sciences may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

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 2018-2019, 133 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) 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
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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