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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

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

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a plant sciences student include the following:

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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 attracts more men than women. About 55% 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 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

Plant Sciences appeals to people across the globe. 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

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in plant sciences have a median salary of $65,100 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $65,100 (25th percentile) and $65,100 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to plant sciences.

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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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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250K
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. 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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to plant sciences have obtained the following education levels.

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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
Animal Science 719
Food Science Technology 704
Agricultural Economics & Business 650
General Agriculture 327
Soil Sciences 164
Agricultural Production 163
Agricultural Public Services 143
International Agriculture 62
Other Agriculture 56
Horticulture 14
Agricultural Mechanization 1
Food Processing 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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