Plant Science
a student inspects a head of lettuce in an aquaponics lab

Careers in Plant Science

Graduates from the plant science major can look forward to an extremely wide array of career opportunities in California’s growing horticultural, agronomic, and fruit industries. These careers also include many areas that provide support to these industries such as landscape irrigation, water management, soil science and conservation, agricultural biology, entomology, plant biotechnology, postharvest physiology, and environmental protection of water, farmlands, open space, and landscaped areas.

student inspects plantsWhat careers/jobs can students obtain with a degree in your program?

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from Cal Poly Pomona embark on diverse career journeys where opportunities abound, including but not limited to*:

Agricultural Inspector $53,761 ($44K - $67K): Inspect farms, livestock, crops, and food processing facilities to ensure the safety, quality, and compliance of agricultural products and practices. These inspectors work in the agricultural industry, government agencies, or regulatory bodies.
Agricultural Manager (Farm, Ranch) $75,760 ($37K - $140K): Plan, direct, or coordinate operation of farms and ranches. May hire, train, and supervise farm workers or contract for services to carry out the day-to-day activities of the operation. May engage in or supervise planting, cultivating, harvesting, and financial and marketing activities.
Agronomist $84,859 ($60K - $119K): Focus on optimizing profitable crop production and sustainable agricultural practices. Work closely with farmers, agricultural researchers, and policymakers to address challenges related to soil health, crop selection, irrigation, pest management, and overall land management.
Arborist $103,879 ($70K - $152K): Trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees. Arborists also provide services such as tree pruning and trimming, drought mitigation, fertilization, insect and disease control, and preventive care for trees prior to the arrival of the spring season, known as seasonal tree care.
Botanist $54,000 ($31K - $89K): Experts in plant biology, ecology, and taxonomy, botanists conduct research, identify, and classify new plant species, and develop plant conservation and management strategies. Botanists work in a variety of settings, including universities, botanical gardens, research institutions, government agencies, and private companies.
Certified Crop Advisor $59,260 ($37 - $133K)
Conservation Scientist $80,768 ($82K - $92K) … $67,300 ($47K - $118K)
Entomologist $67,430 ($44K - $105K) what does an entomologist do? $89,000 ($73K - $110K)
Environmental Consultant/Regulatory Scientist $76,480 ($46K - $131K)
Forester $74,490 ($47K - $120K)
Golf Course Assistant Superintendent $46,179 ($23K - $78K)
Golf Course Superintendent $86,000 ($59K - $120K)
Horticulturalist $82,226 ($57K – 100K)$84,820 ($39K - $154K)
Horticultural Therapist $79,298 ($70K - $88K)
Landscape Technician $66,400 ($46K - $95K)
Licensed Pest Control Advisor $41,740 ($27K - $62K)
Nursery/Greenhouse Manager $56,000 ($46K - $63K)
Plant Breeder $88,735 ($76K - $105K)
Plant Pathologist $60,934 ($43K - $97K)
Plant Scientist $65,730 ($38K – 123K)
Professor (Plant Sciences) $93,222 ($46K - $150K)
Soil Conservationist $74,311 ($36K - $152K)
Soil Scientist $65,730 ($38K – 123K)
Sports Turf Manager $65,158 ($32K - $131K)
Toxicologist (Environmental Scientists and Specialists) $76,480 ($46K - $130)

These careers can be found in various sectors, including academia, government agencies, private industry, and non-profit organizations, depending on the specific focus and interests of the plant scientist. Plant Science graduates also go on to M.S. and Ph.D. graduate studies to become plant science community college or university faculty, industry research and development, government scientists.

*Average and Median salaries (typical range) can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Expected salary upon graduation and beyond.

$50,000 - $83,000 upon graduation

$85,000 - $100,000+ 5 and 10 years beyond graduation for managerial, experience years, and graduate school advanced degree(s).