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Science and Research | Soil / Plant Scientist

Soil / Plant Scientist

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

A Soil or Plant Scientist studies soil composition and nutrition, the impact of soil treatment practices on plant or crop growth, and soil conservation and management methods relevant to farming and forestry.

Job Outlook

There were 94 Soil / Plant Scientist job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 2348 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Soil / Plant Scientist industry, which includes the Soil / Plant Scientist career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2015:

Salary

Many new Soil / Plant Scientist jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $49,683.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $50,214.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Soil / Plant Scientist postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $37,123.

Education and Experience

Posted Soil / Plant Scientist jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree12.95%
Bachelor's Degree40.37%
Master's Degree16.57%
Doctoral Degree11.97%
Other17.8%

Posted Soil / Plant Scientist jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years55.89%
3 to 5 years40.05%
6 to 8 years2.42%
9+ years1.64%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Soil / Plant Scientist positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Management (37.27%)
  • Research (28.88%)
  • Communication (24.06%)
  • Detail Oriented (16.95%)
  • Operations (16.74%)
  • Writing (15.42%)
  • Planning (13.46%)
  • Problem Solving (12.18%)
  • Lifting Ability (11.97%)
  • Collections (10.82%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Biology (27.4%)
  • Horticulture (27.08%)
  • Landscaping (23.06%)
  • Soil Science (49.31%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Hand Tools (7.89%)
  • Soil Sampling (11.81%)
  • Agronomy (6.87%)
  • Power Tool Operation (6.18%)
  • Botany (29.52%)
  • Herbicides (8.07%)
  • Plant Identification (9.5%)
  • Plant Pathology (4.47%)
  • Geographic Information Systems (8.95%)
  • Fertilizers (7.15%)
  • Plant Science (14.48%)
  • Agriculture (16.24%)
  • Construction (6.5%)
  • Data Entry (8.21%)
  • Field Research (7.66%)
  • Data Collection (8.35%)
  • Gardening (9.96%)
  • Mowing (10.89%)
  • Mulch (11.02%)
  • Ecology (9.96%)
  • Landscape Maintenance (8.95%)
  • Pruning (19.46%)
  • Environmental Science (10.61%)
  • Project Management (7.06%)
  • Machinery (4.06%)
  • Pesticides (9.87%)
  • Physics (7.52%)
  • Irrigation (Landscaping And Agriculture) (26.8%)
  • Weed Control (14.25%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • Soil Chemistry (4.57%)
  • Dichotomous Key (3.41%)
  • Soil Genesis (3.6%)
  • Plant Taxonomy (4.06%)
  • Pedology (3.64%)
  • Atterberg Limits (3.32%)
  • Soil Fertility (4.34%)

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is listed.

  • Soil Chemistry (85.34%)
  • Soil Genesis (67.24%)
  • Soil Fertility (81.03%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Soil / Plant Scientist skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Horticulturist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Soils Technician
  • Botanist
  • Biological Science Technician
  • Plant Biological Science Technician
  • Horticultural Assistant
  • Plant Science Technician
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Oil Technician

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Soil / Plant Scientist jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • GPAC (132)
  • United States Forest Service (55)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (51)
  • National Park Service (47)
  • Vestis (47)
  • University of Tennessee (42)
  • Actalent (34)
  • North Carolina State University (34)
  • Marriott International (32)
  • Ecs (32)

North Carolina

  • North Carolina State University (32)
  • Duke University (5)
  • Ecs (5)
  • Vestis (5)
  • North Carolina State Of (3)
  • Syngenta Group (3)
  • University of North Carolina (2)
  • Ecs Southeast (2)
  • The Davey Tree Expert Company (2)
  • State of North Carolina (2)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!