What does a Soil Scientist do?

Learn all about Soil Scientist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Soil Scientist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A soil scientist is someone who studies and researches soil. They may work in a laboratory or in the field, and their work can involve anything from analyzing soil samples to conducting experiments on how different types of plants affect the soil. Soil scientists may also work with farmers and other land managers to help them understand and manage the soils on their land.

Soil Scientist job duties include:

  • Conducting fieldwork to collect samples of soil, water, and air
  • Supervising and participating in laboratory analysis of soil samples
  • Interpreting data from analysis to determine chemical and physical properties of soils
  • Preparing reports of findings and recommending management practices to optimize soil productivity
  • Consulting with clients on land-use planning, agricultural production, environmental protection, and other issues related to soil science
  • Teaching soil science courses at the college level
  • Conducting research on topics such as soil fertility, erosion control, and wetland restoration
  • Serving on committees or working groups that develop policies or guidelines related to soil science
  • Writing articles for publication in scientific journals

Soil Scientist Job Requirements

A Soil Scientist typically needs a bachelor's degree in soil science or a related field. Certification and experience may be required for some positions. A Soil Scientist typically works with other scientists and engineers to study and solve problems related to the environment, land use, and agricultural production.

Soil Scientist Skills

  • Soil classification
  • Soil survey
  • Soil sampling
  • Soil testing
  • Soil genesis
  • Soil morphology
  • Soil texture
  • Soil structure
  • Soil porosity
  • Soil density
  • Soil pH

Related: Top Soil Scientist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Soil Scientist

A soil scientist is someone who studies soil, its composition and properties. They use this knowledge to help farmers, gardeners and other land managers to make the most of their land.

Soil scientists usually have a degree in environmental science, earth science or agriculture. Many soil scientists also have a Masters or PhD.

If you want to become a soil scientist, you will need to be good at science and maths. You will also need to be able to use computers, as you will be using them a lot in your work.

Once you have your degree, you will need to find a job working for a government agency, farming organisation or research institute. You may also be able to work freelance.

As a soil scientist, your work will involve:

- Studying the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils

- Investigating how soils are formed and how they change over time

- Conducting experiments on soils in the laboratory and in the field

- Interpreting data and writing reports

- Giving advice on how to manage soils effectively

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