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Plant Breeder Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a plant breeder. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.83 an hour? That's $78,676 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 7% and produce 2,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Plant Breeder Do

There are certain skills that many plant breeders have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, management skills and leadership skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a plant breeder, we found that a lot of resumes listed 37.2% of plant breeders included greenhouse, while 25.0% of resumes included data management, and 14.4% of resumes included dna. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the plant breeder job title. But what industry to start with? Most plant breeders actually find jobs in the manufacturing and retail industries.

How To Become a Plant Breeder

If you're interested in becoming a plant breeder, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 36.0% of plant breeders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 32.0% of plant breeders have master's degrees. Even though most plant breeders have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a plant breeder. When we researched the most common majors for a plant breeder, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on plant breeder resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a plant breeder. In fact, many plant breeder jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many plant breeders also have previous career experience in roles such as research assistant or breeder.

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Average Salary
$78,676
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
4,070
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Plant Breeder

Plant Breeders in America make an average salary of $78,676 per year or $38 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $102,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $60,000 per year.
Average Salary
$78,676

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Salinas, CA
Salary Range67k - 113k$88k$87,642
Ames, IA
Salary Range66k - 106k$84k$84,268
Winston-Salem, NC
Salary Range53k - 83k$67k$66,737
Salina, KS
Salary Range42k - 68k$54k$54,213
$42k
$113k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Plant Breeder
Plant Breeder
Dryland Genetics, LLC
Dryland Genetics, LLC
05/17/2019
05/17/2019
$69,51405/17/2019
$69,514
Plant Breeder I, Sweet Pepper
Plant Breeder I, Sweet Pepper
HM.Clause Inc.
HM.Clause Inc.
06/23/2017
06/23/2017
$60,20006/23/2017
$60,200
Plant Breeder
Plant Breeder
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
12/07/2016
12/07/2016
$34,38212/07/2016
$34,382
Assistant Plant Breeder
Assistant Plant Breeder
Warner Seeds, Inc.
Warner Seeds, Inc.
12/03/2016
12/03/2016
$55,00012/03/2016
$55,000
Plant Breeder I, Sweet Pepper
Plant Breeder I, Sweet Pepper
HM.Clause, Inc.
HM.Clause, Inc.
10/08/2016
10/08/2016
$71,00010/08/2016
$71,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Plant Breeder Demographics

Gender

male

72.5 %

female

22.5 %

unknown

5.0 %

Ethnicity

White

84.4 %

Asian

5.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

5.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Dakota

100.0 %
See More Demographics

Plant Breeder Education

Majors

Biology
10.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

58.3 %

Masters

19.4 %

Doctorate

8.3 %

Top Colleges for Plant Breeders

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

2. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,101
Enrollment
23,708

3. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

4. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

7. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

8. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

9. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,870
Enrollment
53,194

10. University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,467
Enrollment
33,509
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Best States For a Plant Breeder

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a plant breeder. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, Arizona, Rhode Island, and Iowa. Plant breeders make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $93,860. Whereas in Arizona and Rhode Island, they would average $85,557 and $85,251, respectively. While plant breeders would only make an average of $84,419 in Iowa, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Iowa

Total Plant Breeder Jobs:
117
Highest 10% Earn:
$131,000
Location Quotient:
2.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Arizona

Total Plant Breeder Jobs:
100
Highest 10% Earn:
$135,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. South Dakota

Total Plant Breeder Jobs:
35
Highest 10% Earn:
$121,000
Location Quotient:
2.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Plant Breeder Employers

1. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$64,671
Plant Breeders Hired: 
2+
2. Sakata Seed America
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$90,895
Plant Breeders Hired: 
2+
3. Dairyland Seed Co
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$48,815
Plant Breeders Hired: 
2+
4. Ferry-Morse Seed Company
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$25,793
Plant Breeders Hired: 
2+
5. Bailey Nurseries
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$70,607
Plant Breeders Hired: 
1+
6. Monsanto
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$85,059
Plant Breeders Hired: 
1+