Plants are one of the most important parts of natural ecology. Life on earth is possible only due to plants. They are a source of food and energy and have many other uses too like housing, furniture, materials, medicine, decoration, etc. If you are interested in picking a career related to plants, there are many options like Agriculturists, Horticulturists, Botanists, or Plant Scientists. If you are particularly interested in the evolution, classification and distribution of plants irrespective of their kind, then you can become a botanist.
Botanist is a specialist who studies plants of all kinds. As a botanist, you would work to understand their structure, evolution, classification, natural habitat, breeding and growth, etc. You will also work to improve the productivity of plants, help them breed, and save them from insects and pests to improve overall economic productivity. You will work to understand the relationship of plants with their natural habitat, animals and humans.
Why Become a Botany Vocational?
Botanists are the scientists who study and research on plant life. Botanists study the evolution, physiology, genetics, anatomy, morphology, ecology, etc. of plants. Botanists also study herbal plants, medicinal plants, food crops, fruits and flowering plants, etc. They play an important role in human life as they work to find different varieties of edible plants and work on the growth of these plants. Human nutrition depends on plants to a large extent and thus Botanists are important to human life. As a Botanist, you will do research in several fields including plant structure, growth, reproduction, biochemistry, metabolism, development, diseases, evolution and taxonomy. This research helps in providing food, timber, oil, rubber, fiber, horticulture, agriculture, plant propagation, forestry, etc.
Botanist also works on forest conservation and management. As a botanist, you will also work towards the conservation of water and soil.
Popular Specialization in Botany Vocational Profession
Plant Biotechnologists specialize in using scientific tools and techniques like genetic engineering, molecular markers, molecular diagnostics, vaccines, and tissue culture, in modifying living organisms: plants, animals, and microorganisms.
What Does a Botany Vocational do?
As a botanist, depending on your field of specialization, you would have the following roles and responsibilities:
- You will prepare research and technical reports like environmental impact reports and communicate the same to the government, environmental bodies, industries, the public,
- You will collect and analyze biological data to understand more about plants and their behavior in ecology. You will also interpret the result of these data.
- You will examine different kinds of plant and tree species.
- As a botanist, you will work to find and explore new species of plants and describe the features and specifications of these species. Based on these features, you will also categorize these species in different plant systems.
- As a botanist, you will work to improve the health of plant species so that they can thrive and survive.
- As a botanist, you will work in laboratories to study the physical structure and components of plants.
- As a botanist, you will conduct research to find all human applications of plants.
- As a botanist, you will be working at different locations around the globe and collecting plant samples for laboratory research and analysis. These locations can be remote places like Antarctica or the sea bed.
How to Become a Botany Vocational – Eligibility Criteria
You can do an undergraduate science degree in Horticulture / Agriculture / Floriculture / Forestry / Botany / Plant Science/ similar field (Honours or specialization is an advantage) followed by a master’s degree in Science stream in Horticulture / Agriculture / Floriculture / Forestry / Botany / Plant Science/ similar field. After a Master’s Degree, you can take a Ph.D. in Botany similar field. You can study your Master’s and Ph.D. in any of the following fields:
- Other Plant Sciences
- Plant Biochemistry
- Plant Biology
- Plant Biotechnology
- Plant Breeding & Genetics
- Plant Genetic Resources
- Plant Microbiology
- Plant Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
- Plant Pathology
- Plant Physiology
- Plant Sciences
- Most of universities and colleges will hire you as a professor at the position of Assistant Professor.
- If you are into research, then you will be hired at the position of research associate. Ph.D. research fellows will be hired as Junior Research Fellows.
- As a Project Fellow or Project Assistant with the Botanical Survey of India.
- Research laboratories and Research Institutes will hire you as a scientist/scientist officer with the lowest grade (Grade C).
- Plant Scientists at private organizations into agrarian solutions, agriculture products, MNCs using the plant as raw material, and herbal product companies.
You can find job opportunities at the following facilities:
- Botanical Survey of India
- Agricultural Research Organizations and Institutes.
- National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
- Agriculture, Plant Science, and related colleges and universities.
- Research centers and laboratories like the National Institute of Plant Research Genome, Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, etc.
- Fertiliser Plants
- Herbal Products companies like toothpaste manufacturers, Patanjali, Dabur, etc.
As a botanist, you will be mostly involved in research work. Most of your research will be in the field, especially research farms. You will have a regular 8-9 hours job that will require a peer to peer work. While working in the field, you are expected to work beyond official hours as sometimes you will be traveling intensively in the middle of jungles, underneath the sea, a remote desert, Rocky Mountains, etc. where keeping a work schedule is not possible. These areas will provide an intense work environment in terms of climate, facilities and external threats.
Salary of a Botany Vocational
- At the entry level, you can join as a research associate with a basic salary of Rs. 25,000 to 30,000. As a doctoral research fellow (junior research fellow) you would be earning around Rs. 35,000 to 38,000 per month. At the entry level, as a Scientist (grade C) you would be earning around Rs. 80,000 to 100,000 per month. As an assistant professor, you would be earning anything between Rs. 65,000 to 70,000 per month. As a scientist in a private company, you will earn anything between Rs. 25,000 to 1,00,000 per month.
- At the junior level with a work experience of 2-6 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 70,000 to 1,40,000 per month.
- At the middle level with an experience of 10-12 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,40,000 to 1,90,000 per month as a scientist and Rs. 1,20,000 INR to 1,60,000 as a professor.
- At the senior level of over 15 years of work experience, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,60,000 to 2,00,000 per month as a professor and Rs. 2,10,000 to 2,50,000 per month as a Scientist.
Career Progression in Botany Vocational Profession
- Research laboratories will hire you as a scientist/scientist officer with the lowest grade and the grade changes from low to high. In India, grades are “Scientist “C” as the joining level and then D, E, F, G, H, etc. A senior-level scientist can also get into administrative positions like Principal Scientist, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Director, etc.
- The career growth in university and college states from Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Professor and Professor Emeritus. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc.
- If you are hired as a research associate (JRF and SRF), then you will go on to become a Doctoral Research Fellow, then Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and then Scientist in Progressive Grades.
- If you join a private organization in the field of agriculture, fertilizers, etc. as a research scientist, then you will move to senior research scientist and principal scientist with work experience.
What does Industry Trends Say – Future Prospects
As a botanist, you will be working either in the food industry, agriculture industry or research with the government.
The Indian food industry is currently valued at USD 39.71 billion. It is growing with an average compound rate of 11%. This high rate of growth is attributed to the high rise in per capita income as well as food development programs of the Indian Government. With rising income and more efficient programs, the industry is set to grow further in the future. The growth will push more jobs for researchers in the industry.
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