Weed scientists conduct research and develop products in public and private laboratories, greenhouses, and field locations. Some regulate weeds, or biological or chemical weed control agents. In production agriculture, weed scientists act as crop consultants or managers. Others sell or market weed control products. Weed scientists can be classroom teachers, or they can offer adult education or professional training programs.
Weed scientists teach, perform research, and work in extension at universities. Some deal with weed laws and others with regulation of biological and chemical control agents. Weed scientists work for agricultural chemical firms in research, development, sales, marketing, and regulation. Some work in research, development or regulation for private research firms. Others diagnose problems in the field or established weed management systems for private crop management or consulting companies.
To work as a weed scientist in a greenhouse or in the field, you should be interested in weed science (including taxonomy and ecology), soil science, and agriculture. You will need a bachelor's degree in a field such as agronomy, horticulture, range science, or soil science. For a laboratory research career you will need an interest and degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or plant physiology. You may need a graduate degree. To work in business, you should have an interest in sales, marketing, or economics, and a bachelor's degree in business with emphasis on agribusiness or agricultural economics. You may need an M.B.A.
In high school, take chemistry, biology, math (algebra, trigonometry), speech, environmental studies (ecology), computer use, English grammar, technical writing, and typing. Summer experience in weed science will give you valuable background and insight into setting personal goals.
-- Research Committee, Weed Science Society of America