Soil Scientist

Overview and Key Facts

soil evaluation in a lab

Education
Bachelor's degree

Median Pay
$63,200

Job Growth
6.80%
(Above US Average)

Jobs in 2029
19,000

What Do They Do?

A soil scientist could...

Overview
Listen to this section

Not all dirt is created equal. In fact, different types of soil can make a big difference in some very important areas of our society. A building constructed on sandy soil might collapse during an earthquake, and crops planted in soil that doesn't drain properly might become waterlogged and rot after a rainstorm. It is the job of a soil scientist to evaluate soil conditions and help farmers, builders, and environmentalists decide how best to take advantage of local soils.
Soil Scientist
Watch this video for an overview of a day in the life of a soil scientist.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Soil Scientist?


  1. Reading Comprehension: ?
  2. Science: ?
  3. Complex Problem Solving: ?
  4. Speaking: ?
  5. Active Learning: ?

Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Soil Scientist might do:
  • Communicate research or project results to other professionals or the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
  • Conduct experiments to develop new or improved varieties of field crops, focusing on characteristics such as yield, quality, disease resistance, nutritional value, or adaptation to specific soils or climates.
  • Develop new or improved methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests.
  • Provide information or recommendations to farmers or other landowners regarding ways in which they can best use land, promote plant growth, or avoid or correct problems such as erosion.
  • Develop environmentally safe methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or pests.
  • Investigate soil problems or poor water quality to determine sources and effects.
  • Conduct experiments investigating how soil forms, changes, or interacts with land-based ecosystems or living organisms.
  • Conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products.
  • Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the effects of alternative practices on the environment.
  • Develop methods of conserving or managing soil that can be applied by farmers or forestry companies.
  • Study ways to improve agricultural sustainability, such as the use of new methods of composting.
  • Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the use capabilities of soils and the effects of alternative practices on soil productivity.
  • Identify degraded or contaminated soils and develop plans to improve their chemical, biological, or physical characteristics.
  • Develop ways of altering soils to suit different types of plants.

Salary & Job Openings

Steps to Get There: Becoming a Soil Scientist

Try it Out with an Activity or Project

On the Job

More Information

Please create a free account to view this career and access our full library of over 160 STEM careers.

Students    Teachers / Parents

With a free account you will have access to our full library of over 160 STEM careers. Each career profile includes detailed information to help you learn about a career and the requirements to get there. You can explore:

  • salary information by state
  • recommended high school coursework
  • fun projects and activities to test out a career
  • videos and interviews with professionals in the field
  • details on what a day on the job is like
Top
Free science fair projects.