It’s been predicted that the marijuana industry will employ up to 300-thousand people by 2020. Most of the jobs available will be entry-level and low-pay (think budtender and bud-trimmer), but not if you have the right degree.
The most competitive job pays six-figures, but requires a science and engineering degree. That’s great if you’re currently weighing your options for college concentrations, but a huge bummer for anyone who isn’t really feeling the classroom.
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CNN talked to James Yagielo, co-founder and owner of the Florida-based headhunter Hemp Staff. Yagielo says the biggest demand in the workforce is for master extractors, who process THC and CBD from marijuana and hemp to make products like oils, concentrates and edibles.
The master extractor at Acme Elixirs makes $250,000 a year, according to founder Peter Pietrangeli, who admits the high pay rate doesn’t guarantee a steady workforce, as employees will inevitably build their own labs. And to make matters even more challenging for employers, it’s rare to find someone who has a PhD in biochemistry and a background in engineering, which a master extractor requires.
Yagielo of Hemp Staff tells CNN that entry level pay for master growers is typically $40,000 a year for horticulturalists and $60,000 for botanists, but pay can grow to $120,000 within three years.
He adds that pharmacologists have the potential of earning $100,000 annually if they manage several dispensaries for a chain.
Is going back to school sounding a little more enticing right now?