Plant Physiologist

Explore how the different parts of plants work.
picture of Plant Physiologist

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Plant Physiologists do?

Many people dream of ending world hunger. It’s a pretty lofty wish, but if you’re a Plant Physiologist, you just might get it.

A Plant Physiologist studies the different parts and systems of plants, and how they work. This information allows you, as a Plant Physiologist, to find uses for the plants, and improve both the quality and amount of crops. By studying plant systems, you identify their strengths and weaknesses. How does the plant respond to low light, high heat, or too much moisture? Does it produce higher yields if it is watered daily, weekly, or semi-monthly? How does it respond to fertilizer? You find answers to these questions, and these answers allow Farmers to increase crop production.

In this job, you’re also concerned with soil preference, crops that successfully accompany other crops, and pollination patterns. Additionally, you identify plant diseases and find ways to reduce them, again resulting in higher yields. In addition to increasing flower or crop production, you find ways to eliminate invasive strains. This might mean planting an overpowering species next to it in order to crowd it out, or using chemicals to kill it off.

Another area that you can focus on is studying what the plants can be used for—turning hemp into fabric and rope, for example. By understanding the characteristics of the plants, you find ways to use these natural resources to create products we use every day. This practice reduces the impact on the environment, both by using renewable resources and by limiting the amount of waste headed to the landfills.

Should I be a Plant Physiologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Dairy Bacteriologist, Physical Hydrologist

    How to become a Plant Physiologist

    Plant Physiologists often have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa1c9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2837%25%29|master%27s+%2820%25%29|doctorate+%2843%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,43
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