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Soil and Plant Scientists

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Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, 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.

    Work Activities
    • Communicate research or project results to other professionals or the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
    • Develop new or improved methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Study ways to improve agricultural sustainability, such as the use of new methods of composting.
    • Develop methods of conserving or managing soil that can be applied by farmers or forestry companies.
    • Identify or classify species of insects or allied forms, such as mites or spiders.
    • Provide advice regarding the development of regulatory standards for land reclamation or soil conservation.
    • 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.
    • Study insect distribution or habitat and recommend methods to prevent importation or spread of injurious species.
    • Consult with engineers or 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.
    • Perform chemical analyses of the microorganism content of soils to determine microbial reactions or chemical mineralogical relationships to plant growth.
    • Conduct experiments regarding causes of bee diseases or factors affecting yields of nectar or pollen.
    • Study soil characteristics to classify soils on the basis of factors such as geographic location, landscape position, or soil properties.
    • Develop improved measurement techniques, soil conservation methods, soil sampling devices, or related technology.
    • Research technical requirements or environmental impacts of urban green spaces, such as green roof installations.
    • Survey undisturbed or disturbed lands for classification, inventory, mapping, environmental impact assessments, environmental protection planning, conservation planning, or reclamation planning.
    • Conduct research into the use of plant species as green fuels or in the production of green fuels.
    • Plan or supervise land conservation or reclamation programs for industrial development projects.
    • Plan or supervise waste management programs for composting or farming.
    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

    • Science

      Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

    • Active Learning

      Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy
    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Written Comprehension

      The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

    • Category Flexibility

      The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

    • Biology

      Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    Career Video
    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop
    • Ohio Annual Salary 55630/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 26.74/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 210
    • Yearly Projected Openings 20
    Typical Education
    Investigative: People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Integrity
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Achievement/Effort
    • Initiative
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters
    • Soil core sampling apparatus
    • Radarbased surveillance systems
    • Photometers
    • Gel documentation systems
    • Word processing software
    • Office suite software
    • Map creation software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Analytical or scientific software
    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
    • Green occupations are jobs that contribute to energy conservation, development of alternative energy, reducing pollution, or recycling.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.