CareerGPS

Soil and Plant Scientists
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Soil and Plant Scientists
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
218 224 6 2.91% 1 22 23 $34.55 $71,864 Bachelor's degree
Description: Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Communicate research and project results to other professionals and the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
  • Provide information and recommendations to farmers and other landowners regarding ways in which they can best use land, promote plant growth, and avoid or correct problems such as erosion.
  • Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the use capabilities of soils and the effects of alternative practices on soil productivity.
  • Develop methods of conserving and managing soil that can be applied by farmers and forestry companies.
  • 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.
  • Investigate soil problems and poor water quality to determine sources and effects.
  • Study soil characteristics to classify soils on the basis of factors such as geographic location, landscape position, and soil properties.
  • Develop improved measurement techniques, soil conservation methods, soil sampling devices, and related technology.
  • Conduct experiments investigating how soil forms, changes, and interacts with land-based ecosystems and living organisms.
  • Identify degraded or contaminated soils and develop plans to improve their chemical, biological, and physical characteristics.
  • Survey undisturbed and disturbed lands for classification, inventory, mapping, environmental impact assessments, environmental protection planning, and conservation and reclamation planning.
  • Plan and supervise land conservation and reclamation programs for industrial development projects, and waste management programs for composting and farming.
  • Perform chemical analyses of the microorganism content of soils to determine microbial reactions and chemical mineralogical relationships to plant growth.
  • Provide advice regarding the development of regulatory standards for land reclamation and soil conservation.
  • Develop new or improved methods and products for controlling and eliminating weeds, crop diseases, and insect pests.
  • Conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products.
  • Consult with engineers and other technical personnel working on construction projects about the effects of soil problems and possible solutions to these problems.
  • Develop ways of altering soils to suit different types of plants.

Knowledge

82%
Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
79%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
76%
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
75%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
65%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
63%
Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
57%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
57%
Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
56%
Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
50%
Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Skills

81%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
75%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
75%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
75%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
72%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
72%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
69%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
65%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
65%
Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
65%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
62%
Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
60%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
60%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
56%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
56%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
56%
Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
56%
Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
53%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
53%
Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
50%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
50%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
50%
Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

75%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
75%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
72%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
72%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
69%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
69%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
69%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
66%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
66%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
66%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
66%
Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
62%
Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
62%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
60%
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
60%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
60%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
60%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
56%
Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
53%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
50%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
50%
Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.

Work Activities

88%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
88%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
87%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
84%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
84%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
84%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
82%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
82%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
80%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
78%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
78%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
76%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
73%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
72%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
71%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
69%
Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
67%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
66%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
66%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
64%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
60%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
59%
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
59%
Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
59%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
56%
Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
55%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
53%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
53%
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
51%
Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Interests

Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.