Soil Scientist

Career Overview

Soil scientists analyze soil to help make farming more productive by studying every aspect of the soil including the chemicals and minerals in the soil and the best way to water and fertilize the soil. They look for the best use of land and how to minimize erosion.


A four-year bachelor's degree in plant science, botany, environmental science, or a related field is necessary to obtain this position. A higher degree (master's or doctorate) in a related field, which may take an additional two-five years to earn, would be more valuable.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$37,000 /yr
$62,000 /yr
$115,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Math - as much as possible!
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Environmental science
  • Science - as much as possible, including chemistry and biology!
Work Environment

Soil scientists typically work for universities, scientific consulting services, and farm product wholesalers. They may have an advantage when competing for environmental consultant or landscape manager positions.

Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position looks fair over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada