I’d imagine that most work in academia as professors or research assistants. Some work for government agencies; a smaller fraction work for private consulting firms.
What are some things they would do for a private consulting firm?
Botanists can do a variety of things. Their knowledge of plants makes them versatile in many industries. Sometimes botanists choose to teach, at whichever academic level suits them. Often they choose to go into business opening their own greenhouses, or some such similar thing. Of course, as valuable scientists, they might be hired either by research universities or independent enterprises, making groundbreaking discoveries about plants or keeping tabs on a specific ecosystem (in, say, a National Park). Some, but not all, of these options might require a more advanced botany degree.
I used to work for a botanist who works at a herbarium of a research university. A herbarium is basically a museum of dead pressed plants. Most of the time, she is behind a microscope, identifying plants for people. The rest of the time, she manages the museum (sorting, filing, cleaning the collection), maintaining the database, planning educational programs and teaching.
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