Professor of Plant Science

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Professor of Plant Science is an expert in the field of botany, specializing in the study of plants, their biology, and ecology. Their main job is to teach students in universities or colleges about different aspects of plant life, including plant structure and growth, photosynthesis, plant physiology, plant pathology, among others. They may also be involved in research, conducting experiments and publishing papers on new findings and developing new courses to educate students. Additionally, they may supervise graduate students in their research projects or work with other researchers or companies to advance the field of plant science. Professors of Plant Science have extensive knowledge about plants, and they use this knowledge to educate and help students to become professionals in this field. This job requires a Ph.D. in Plant Science or a related field, and passion for teaching and research.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach classes on plant science topics such as plant physiology, genetics, and ecology.
  • Conduct research on plants and publish findings in academic journals.
  • Advise students on academic and career matters within the field of plant science.
  • Develop and revise course materials, assignments, and assessments.
  • Analyze and evaluate student performance and provide feedback for improvement.
  • Participate in departmental and institutional activities such as meetings and committees.
  • Seek out funding opportunities for research projects and initiatives.
  • Collaborate with other researchers and professionals within the field of plant science.
  • Stay current with developments and advancements in plant science through continuing education and professional development opportunities.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Professor of Plant Science in the education industry, you'll need a combination of education and experience. Typically, a doctoral degree in plant science or a related field is required. This involves several years of study beyond a bachelor's degree, including completing a dissertation or research project. Along with the degree, extensive experience in the field is necessary, such as conducting research, publishing scholarly articles, and presenting at conferences. Many professors also have teaching experience or have worked in industry, government, or nonprofit organizations related to plant science. Strong communication and leadership skills are also important, as professors are responsible for managing courses, advising students, and collaborating with colleagues.

Salary Range

A Professor of Plant Science is an academic in the education industry who specializes in teaching and researching plant biology. In the United States, the expected salary range for a Professor of Plant Science is between $50,000 to $150,000 per year, with an average salary of around $94,000 per year. However, the salary can vary based on the professor's experience, location, and type of institution (public vs. private).

In other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, the salary range is similar to that of the United States. In Canada, a Professor of Plant Science can earn between CAD 70,000 to CAD 150,000 per year, while in the United Kingdom, the salary can range from £35,000 to £90,000 per year.


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  1. "Professors - University Salaries in Canada"., Accessed 20 July 2021,

  1. "Plant Science Professor Salaries in the UK"., Accessed 20 July 2021,

Career Outlook

If you're interested in becoming a professor of Plant Science, the career outlook seems positive in the education industry over the next five years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 7% growth in employment for post-secondary teachers overall, which includes plant scientists. 

As the demand for sustainably produced crops increases, professors of Plant Science will be sought after to help address this challenge. They can teach courses on topics like plant biology, genetics, and sustainable agriculture. Additionally, they can research new ways to improve plant growth, which will be essential for feeding the world's growing population.

If you're considering this career, it's important to obtain a PhD in Plant Science or a related field. Additionally, gaining teaching experience and publishing research can help you stand out in a highly competitive job market. 

Overall, the career outlook for professors of Plant Science is positive, and opportunities are expected to grow in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What exactly does a Professor of Plant Science do?

A: A Professor of Plant Science teaches courses on the biology, ecology, and management of plants, conducts research in plant science, and advises and mentors students.

Q: What are the typical qualifications needed to become a Professor of Plant Science?

A: To become a Professor of Plant Science, you need a Ph.D. in plant science or a related field, research experience, a strong record of publication, and teaching experience.

Q: What are the main skills required for this job?

A: The main skills required for a Professor of Plant Science are teaching, research, communication, leadership, and mentorship skills.

Q: What is the job outlook for Professors of Plant Science?

A: The job outlook for Professors of Plant Science is good, with steady demand for plant science education and research in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and environmental science.

Q: What are some examples of career paths for Professors of Plant Science?

A: Some career paths for Professors of Plant Science include continuing in academia as a full-time researcher and educator, moving into industry as a consultant or researcher, or transitioning to government work in agriculture or environmental management.

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