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


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):


The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $45,698

*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.


The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $52,637

*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:

North Carolina48+18.3%


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:

  • Creativity: Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.
  • Research: Research comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Planning: Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
  • Writing: Writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotion with signs and symbols.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Sales: Sales is activity related to selling or the amount of goods or services sold in a given time period
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Consumer Electronics: Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic or digital equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes.
  • Sales Goals: Working experience of Sales Goals. Sales goals or targets are a specified amount of sales that a management sets for achieving or exceeding within a specified timeframe. Sales goals are apportioned among different sales units such as salespersons, franchisees, distributors, agents, etc.

Distinguishing Skills

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

  • 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.
  • Soil Science: Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.
  • Natural Resources: Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of humankind.

Salary Boosting Skills

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

  • 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.
  • Fermentation: Working experience of Fermentation, which is a metabolic process that consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen.
  • Land Management: Land management is the process of managing the use and development (in both urban and rural settings) of land resources.
  • Agricultural Research: Agricultural research has occurred continuously since humans began shifting food acquisition methods from hunter-gatherer to agrarian.


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 Degree67%
Master's Degree27%
Doctoral Degree0%


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 years71%
3 to 5 years23%
6 to 8 years2%

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
  • Buy - Google Expert
  • Agronomist
  • Botanist
  • Soil Scientist

Similar Occupations

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

Not sure where to start?

Get personalized program recommendations with Career Insight.

Go to Career Insight