Ethnobotanists are scientists who study the relationships between plants and people. They are primarily interested in the way that people use plants for food, medicine and textiles. Ethnobotany is typically a specialty of botanists, although archaeologists may also become ethnobotanists. The salary of an ethnobotanist is generally similar to that of other biological scientists.
Ethnobotanists with bachelor's and master's degrees are typically limited to non-scientific positions such as publishing, marketing and sales. They may also become teaching assistants as college or high school biology teachers. Ethnobotanists with a doctoral degree usually teach, since openings in research projects are extremely rare. Grant proposals for ethnobotanists only receive approval in one of four cases.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides national estimates on biological scientists for 2010. The average annual wage for these scientists was $71,310. The bottom 10 percent of biological scientists made an average of $38,780 per year and the bottom fourth made $52,200 per year. The middle half of biological scientists made an average of $68,220 per year. The upper fourth of the scientists made an average of $83,430 per year and the top 10 percent made $102,300 per year.
The highest-paid biological scientists were in physician's offices, where they earned annual salaries averaging $102,190. Biological scientists in scientific research received an average salary of $77,050 per year and biological scientists in pharmaceutical manufacturing earned an average salary of $74,670 per year. Biological scientists in medical laboratories earned an average salary of $84,480 per year.
Maryland was the state that paid the highest annual salaries to biological scientists, with an average salary of $93,330 per year. The biological scientists in Maine had the next-highest salaries, with an average of $86,680 per year. Virginia paid its biological scientists an average of $84,450 per year. Biological scientists in New Jersey earned average annual salaries of $78,550. Connecticut paid its biological scientists $78,250 per year on average.