Soil / Plant Scientist Career

Science and Research

 
Science and Research Careers | Soil / Plant Scientist

Soil / Plant Scientist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Biological Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Soil / Plant Scientist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $51,071

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $55,732

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

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.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

Growth
North Carolina76+18.3%
Nationwide2200+9%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Soil / Plant Scientist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Creativity: Mental characteristic that allows a person to think outside of the box, which results in innovative or different approaches to a particular task.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Agronomy: Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation.
  • Sales: Experience selling products or services to consumers.
  • Description and Demonstration of Products: Working experience of the Description and Demonstration of Products, which is a promotion where a product is demonstrated to potential customers. The goal of such a demonstration is to introduce customers to the product in hopes of getting them to purchase that item.
  • Sales Support: Sales operations is a set of business activities and processes that help a sales organization run effectively, efficiently and in support of business strategies and objectives.
  • Product Knowledge: An understanding of a good or service that might include having acquired information about its application, function, features, use and support requirements. A business sales representative is an example of an individual that is typically expected to acquire considerable product knowledge about the goods and services that they are responsible for selling to consumers.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Soil / Plant Scientist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Natural Resources: Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of humankind.
  • Botany: Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology.
  • Crop Management: Working experience of Crop Management, which refers to the group of agricultural practices used to improve the growth, development, and yield of agricultural crops.
  • Soil Sampling: Working experience of Soil Sampling. Soil testing has become an important tool for assessing soil fertility and arriving at proper fertilizer recommendations. It's also a valuable management aid for studying soil changes resulting from cropping practices and for diagnosing specific cropping problems. Soil testing provides an index for the nutrient availability in soil and is a critical step in nutrient management planning. Soil sampling technique, timing of sampling and type of analysis need to be considered for accurate results. The biggest problem in the effective use of soil testing is proper and representative sampling. Proper soil sampling will provide accurate soil test results and reliable nutrient recommendations.
  • Conservation Planning: The Conservation Plan is an important publication written by James Semple Kerr in 1982, and revised many times.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Fermentation: Working experience of Fermentation, which is a metabolic process that consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen.
  • Crop Management: Working experience of Crop Management, which refers to the group of agricultural practices used to improve the growth, development, and yield of agricultural crops.

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree38%
Master's Degree46%
Doctoral Degree16%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years57%
3 to 5 years25%
6 to 8 years14%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Buy - Sprint Expert
  • Agronomist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Botanist
  • Agriculturist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring similar occupations, you may want to research the following job titles:

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