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Soil and Plant Scientists

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.   (O'Net 19-1013.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Agriculturist, Agronomist, Agronomy Research Manager, Agronomy Specialist, Apiculturist, Arboreal Scientist, Arboriculturist, Arborist, Botanist, Corn Breeder, Cotton Breeder, Crop Nutrition Scientist, Entomologist, Extension Specialist, Floriculturist, Horticulturist, Hybrid Corn Breeder, Microbiology Soil Scientist, On-Site Soil Evaluator, Plant Anatomist, Plant Breeder, Plant Breeder Scientist, Plant Pathologist, Plant Physiologist, Pomologist, Research Soil Scientist, Scientist Propagator, Soil Expert, Soil Fertility Extension Specialist, Soil Scientist, Soil Specialist, Viticulturist
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
  • Related Occupations
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    Career Video
    related to Soil and Plant Scientists
    Plant Scientists photo Plant Scientists
    Soil Scientists photo Soil Scientists
    Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources photo Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
    Additional videos and more information available at
     


    Wages
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 28.64   $ 31.33   $ 42.10   $ 54.50   $ 62.07   $ 42.81  
    Yearly $59,570   $65,170   $87,570   $113,350   $129,110   $89,040  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2014 2024
    Vermont 33 37 1.2% 1
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released July 2016.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Educational services; state, local, and private 18.1%
    Scientific research and development services 18.1%
    Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 13.2%
    Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods 11.1%
    Federal government, all industries 8.4%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • 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.
     
  • Communicate research or project results to other professionals or the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
     
  • Investigate soil problems or 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, or soil properties.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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 or managing soil that can be applied by farmers or forestry companies.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Develop new or improved methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    Knowledge
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
     
  • 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 methods.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    Skills
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    Abilities
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • 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).
     
  • 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.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    Work Activities
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
     
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    Interests
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • 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 outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Soil and Plant Scientists
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    No state licenses listed for this occupation.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  •  
  • 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).
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists  updated July 2012
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Soil and Plant Scientists
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding.
     
    • AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE OPERATIONS, AND RELATED SCIENCES.
     
    • Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture. (NEW)
     
    • Agronomy and Crop Science.
     
    • Horticultural Science.
     
    • Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management.
     
    • Plant Sciences, General.
     
    • Plant Sciences, Other.
     
    • Range Science and Management.
     
    • Soil Chemistry and Physics.
     
    • Soil Microbiology.
     
    • Soil Science and Agronomy, General.
     
    • Soil Sciences, Other.
     
    • Viticulture and Enology. (NEW)
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Soil and Plant Scientists.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Soil and Plant Scientists :
  • Agricultural and Food Scientists
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Soil and Plant Scientists
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  • Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary
  •  
  • Archeologists
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  • Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
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  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
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  • Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers, Postsecondary
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  • Geneticists
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  • Hydrologists
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  • Microbiologists
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  • Photonics Engineers
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  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Soil and Plant Scientists 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor