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Soil and Plant Scientist

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What Do Soil and Plant Scientist Do?

Job Description & Duties Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

A Day in the Life of a Soil & Plant Scientist

  • Conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products.
  • Conduct research into the use of plant species as green fuels or in the production of green fuels.
  • Study soil characteristics to classify soils on the basis of factors such as geographic location, landscape position, or soil properties.
  • Develop environmentally safe methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests.
  • Develop improved measurement techniques, soil conservation methods, soil sampling devices, or related technology.
  • Conduct experiments regarding causes of bee diseases or factors affecting yields of nectar or pollen.

Soil & Plant Scientist Skills

These are the skills Soil and Plant Scientists say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Soil and Plant Scientist

  • Arboreal Scientist
  • Horticulturist
  • Floriculturist
  • Viticulturist
  • Scientist Propagator

Is There Job Demand for Soil and Plant Scientists?

In the United States, there were 19,900 jobs for Soil and Plant Scientist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,800 new jobs for Soil and Plant Scientist by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,200 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Soil and Plant Scientists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Soil & Plant Scientist are Nevada, Kansas, and North Carolina. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Wyoming, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Soil and Plant Scientists Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Soil & Plant Scientist ranges between $38,570 and $115,400.

Salary Ranges for Soil and Plant Scientists

Soil and Plant Scientists who work in Maryland, Massachusetts, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Soil and Plant Scientists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $63,130
Alaska $69,210
Arizona $74,420
Arkansas $75,440
California $80,710
Colorado $56,990
Connecticut $85,210
Delaware $56,870
District of Columbia $88,840
Florida $64,230
Georgia $65,820
Hawaii $68,550
Idaho $70,940
Illinois $58,950
Indiana $59,850
Iowa $79,650
Kansas $57,260
Kentucky $67,690
Louisiana $68,100
Maine $60,630
Maryland $98,880
Massachusetts $86,160
Michigan $54,800
Minnesota $74,130
Mississippi $90,700
Missouri $53,030
Montana $65,010
Nebraska $57,320
Nevada $71,490
New Jersey $71,730
New Mexico $57,840
New York $83,530
North Carolina $72,890
North Dakota $75,800
Ohio $56,220
Oklahoma $42,430
Oregon $69,210
Pennsylvania $66,440
South Dakota $59,200
Tennessee $56,980
Texas $68,150
Utah $59,590
Virginia $68,660
Washington $72,660
West Virginia $53,950
Wisconsin $59,560

What Tools & Technology do Soil and Plant Scientists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Soil and Plant Scientists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • SAS
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • R
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • STATISTICA
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • GAEA Technologies WinSieve
  • SoilVision Systems SVOFFICE

Becoming a Soil & Plant Scientist

What education or degrees do I need to become a Soil and Plant Scientist?

Soil & Plant Scientist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Soil & Plant Scientist?

Soil & Plant Scientist Work Experience

Where Soil and Plant Scientists Work

Soil & Plant Scientist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Soil and Plant Scientists employed by various industries.

Soil & Plant Scientist Industries

Career changers with experience as a Soil and Plant Scientist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: W.carter via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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