Career Opportunities for Majors in Plant Science


The plant science program prepares students for careers or further study in areas related to food, fiber, turfgrass, ornamental plant production, pest management, plant breeding, plant pathology, or plant science education. The curriculum offers three options: horticulture and turf industry, for students intending to pursue business careers; research, for students intending to pursue careers in laboratories or graduate study; and professional preparation, for students intending to pursue careers in education or horticultural therapy. Agronomists and crop scientists help increase productivity and study ways to improve the nutritional value of crops and the quality of seed. Some crop scientists study the breeding, physiology and management of crops and use genetic engineering to develop crops resistant to pests and drought. In addition, the study of plants often has direct applications to the study of human cells and ultimately the understanding of the human body and its functions.

A bachelor's degree is sufficient for advanced technician jobs in the medical field, lab research assistant positions, or testing and inspection jobs. An advanced degree is required for most other positions in the scientific field. While most plant science graduates work in related occupations and eventually obtain advanced degrees, others choose different directions. Many careers do not require a specific major but rather a wide range of demonstrated skills and accomplishments. Regardless of your career choices, increase your marketability to employers through internships, responsible work experience, good grades, and involvement in college activities.

A Sample Of Related Occupations

Argonomist Forester Plant Geneticist
Botanist Horticulturalist Plant Quarantine Specialist
Community Agency Worker Irrigation Engineer Public Health Administrator
Consumer Advocate Journalist Quality Control Specialist
Cooperative Extension Agent Laboratory Technician Research Asst.
Crop Physiologist Landscape Architect Sales Representative
Ecologist Natural Resource Manager Scientific Librarian
Environmental Health Educator Naturalist Taxonomist
Field Contractor Patent Specialist Teacher/Professor
Food & Drug Inspector Pest Control Inspector Technical Writer
Food Scientist/Technologist Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. Wine Maker (Enologist)
Forest Engineer Physician

Types of Employers

Private & Nonprofit Organizations
Biological supply houses Fermentation Companies Petrochemical firms
Biotechnology Firms Floral organizations Pharmaceutical Companies
Botanical Gardens Food Manufacturers Private Schools
Chemical Manufacturers Forest Management Agencies Public Schools
Colleges/Universities Lumber/Paper Companies Research Firms
Conservation Organizations Museums Weed Control Companies
Consulting Firms Nature Conservancies Wholesale Distributers
Crop/Soil Management Firms Nurseries
Government Agencies
Agricultural Research Service Food and Drug Administration Smithsonian Institution
Consumer Affairs Office Municipal Government State Department
County Extension Services National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Teach For America
Department of Agriculture Peace Corps U.S. Forest Service
Department of Environmental Protection Public Health Service U.S. Public Health Service
Department of the Interior Shade Tree Commission

Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates - First Jobs of Recent Graduates - Plant Science

Organization Job Title
Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. Assistant Scientist
Roche Diagnostic Systems Assistant Scientist
Dale C. Davis Greenhouse Worker/Floral Designer
Baltusrol Golf Club Grounds Maintenance Intern
Manasquan River Golf Club Horticulturist
Somerset County Park Commission Park Ranger
Grass Roots Inc. Sales & Service Rep.
Regional High School District #1 Science Teacher
CT Agricultural Experiment Station Technician
New Road School Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
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Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates - Jobs of Experienced Alumni - Plant Science

Rutgers Univ. Coop. Ext. Agricultural Program Associate
Port Authority of NY & NJ Assistant Architect
Givudan-Roure Co. Chemist-Quality Control
Golfcourse Supts. Assn. of America Director of Education
Buchart Horn Environmental Engineer
East Gate Farms Farm Manager
New Jersey Tomato Council General Manager
EniChem Americas, Inc. Greenhouse Supervisor
Franklin Convalescent Center (MS Plant Sci.) Horticultural Therapist
Customer Service, MSO, Inc. Manager
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Graduate Schools Attended

Institution Degree Field
Cornell University Public Health Nutrition
New York University Biostatistics
Rutgers -The State University of NJ Entomology
Rutgers -The State University of NJ Biological Sciences Turfgrass Management
Rutgers University MBA Management
Texas A&M MS Agricultural Science

Additionally, you may:


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