Soil Scientists


Overview

Soil Scientists

Introduction

Soil scientists study the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of soils to determine the most productive and effective planting strategies. Their research aids in producing larger, healthier crops and more environmentally sound farming procedures. There are approximately 17,800 soil and plant scientists employed in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$63,200

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree


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Experience

Internship


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Curious

Earnings

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, median earnings in May 2019 for soil and plant scientists were $63,200. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $38,410 and the highest paid 10 percent made more than $111,480. Mean salaries for soil scientists at federal agencies were higher; in May 2019, they made an average of $86,870 a year. Government earnings depend in large part on levels of...

Work Environment

Most soil scientists work 40 hours a week. Their job is varied, ranging from fieldwork collecting samples, to lab work analyzing their findings. Some jobs may involve travel, even to foreign countries. Other positions may include teaching or supervisory responsibilities for field training programs.

Outlook

Total employment for soil and plant scientists is expected to grow 7 percent, faster than the average for all careers, through 2029. Job growth will stem from the need to increase the quality and quantity of food produced for a growing population while developing methods to protect the environment. Opportunities in agronomy, including the career of soil scientist, should be especially good. "So...

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