Weed Scientist

Weed Scientist

Weed scientists play an important role in managing vegetation. This may include identifying weeds and learning how to combat them or determining how herbicides interact with plants. They also conduct research to diagnose problems in the field or establish weed management systems for private crop management or consulting companies.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?: 
  • Conduct research to diagnose problems in the field or establish weed management systems
  • Identify weeds for farmers, golf courses and homeowners
  • Offer suggestions on weed control methods to landowners
  • Develop weed control products
  • Recommend or sell weed control products
  • Work to find chemical formulations that are effective in killing resistant weeds
  • Study environmental and human health impact of chemicals that could be used
  • Plant crop trials both in fields and greenhouses to use for research
  • Oversee lab staff and/or field laborers
  • Organize and analyze research data
  • Submit research to journals and scholarly papers
  • Present presentations on research findings and new techniques at conferences and to farmers 
  • Provide insight to government agencies for policy development 
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, computer skills, public speaking and a focus on sciences such as biology, chemistry and environmental science.
Education/Training Required: 
A master’s or doctorate in weed science, ecology, plant ecology, plant physiology, agronomy or soil science is needed.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Weed scientists can work for universities and extension offices as well as agricultural chemical companies, nonprofits, private research companies and as a consultant.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • Weed Science Society of America
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • International Weed Science Society
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$111,000
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.