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kimk@lasc.edu

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Agricultural Plant Science

student in laboratory classroom

Learn the Science Behind Having a Green Thumb

At the moment, LASC does not offer a degree or certificate program in plant science, but it will soon be offering an associate degree for transfer in Agricultural Plant Science. Until it is approved, LASC offers several courses that will give you a foundational knowledge of plant science. Depending on where your interests lie, we recommend talking with an academic counselor on what program of study to major in so you might transfer to a four-year college or university with a plant science program.

Whether you are planning to transfer to a university, want to get a career in agriculture, or just want to learn more about plants, studying plant science can help you understand what makes a healthy plant, and what you can do to grow plants and food sustainably. Plant Science is a supportive subject to programs of study, such as biology and chemistry, depending on what you want to do as a profession. 

Careers using Agricultural Plant Science 

If you want to go into biomanufacturing, create new medications, develop more sustainable agriculture techniques that use less water and land, solve why certain trees are dying in specific areas or anything else that involves plant life, food safety, or how we farm our food, being a plant scientist is for you! 

Here are just a few careers and their salaries you could have with a background in plant science:

Career information below taken from bls.gov November 2019. Go to bls.gov for most current career information.

Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists.

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Associate Degree $70,960/year $19.65/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
Moderate-term on-the-job training 6% increase
(as fast as average)
29,200

Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy.

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Associates Degree $29,400/year $14.13/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
Short-term on-the-job training 9% increase
(faster than average)
1,314,200

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers operate establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. 

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
High School Diploma or Equivalent $67,950/year $32.67/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
5 years or more -1% decrease
(little or no change)
975,400

Courses offered in Plant Science at LASC 

Biology and chemistry are LASC’s best programs to incorporate plant science courses. Check back soon, as LASC will be offering an associate degree for transfer in the near future. In the meantime, we offer some incredible courses to take until we do! Go to LASC’s current Course Catalog for specific course information:

103 Introduction to Soil Science (4) 

Lecture: 2 hours; Lab: 2 hours 

This course involves the study of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. Students will learn about soil classification, and its derivation, use, and function. Management issues, including erosion, moisture retention, structure, cultivation, organic matter, and microbiology will also be covered. In the laboratory, students will participate in experiments involving soil type, classification, soil reaction, soil fertility and physical properties of soil. The laboratory portion is a requirement of this class. 

711 Introduction to Plant Science (3) 

Lecture: 2 hours; Lab: 2 hours 

Students explore plant science including structure and anatomy, growth processes, propagation, physiology, growth media, biological competitors, and post-harvest factors of food, fiber, and ornamental plants. Students gain appropriate plant science technology skills in the required laboratory. 

757 Plant Propagation and Production (3) 

Lecture: 2 hours; Lab: 3 hours 

Students explore plant propagation and production practices with emphasis on nursery operations including sexual and asexual reproduction, planting, transplanting, fertilizing, plant pest and disease control; structures and site layout; preparation and use of propagating and planting mediums; use and maintenance of common tools and equipment; regulations pertaining to plant production. Laboratory required. There is a materials fee of $100.00 for this course. 

800 Plant Science (3) 

Lecture: 2 hours; Lab: 2 hours 

Students examine growth habits, plant identification, culture and ornamental use of landscape and indoor plants adapted to climates of California. Plants emphasized will come from the current California Association of Nurseries & Garden Centers (CANGC) and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Certification Tests Plant lists. Students compare and contrast plants during the respective season. Plant materials from local regions will also be examined. Laboratory required.