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.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Conduct research to diagnose problems in the field or establish weed management systems for private crop management or consulting companies
- Identify weeds for farmers, golf courses, and homeowners
- Offer suggestions on weed control methods to landowners both through chemicals, cover crops and mechanical means
- Develops 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/ field laborers
- Organize and analyze research data
- Submit research to journals and scholarly papers
- Present presentations at conferences and to farmers on research findings and new techniques and formulations
- Provide insight to government agencies for policy development
What education and training is required?
A master’s or PhD in weed science, ecology, plant ecology, plant physiology, agronomy or soil science.
To pursue a career as a Weed Scientist:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, a focus on sciences such as biology, chemistry, environmental science, computer classes and public speaking.
Where can I work?
Weed scientist can work for universities and extension as well as agricultural chemical companies, nonprofits, private research companies and as a consultant.
Future Job Market/Outlook
The job outlook for weed scientist will be great over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- Weed Science Society of America
- American Society of Agronomy
- International Weed Science Society