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Being a soil scientist is all about Bunsen burners, lab coats and test tubes right?
Not if you are a soil scientist! The entire world is your laboratory. Though some soil scientists spend a great deal of time in the lab, running tests and studying soil, they still are spending time to better understand the world beneath our feet.
Soil science offers a little bit for everyone, for all different interests, education, backgrounds and strengths. The world is full of problems in the environment and supplying our food for everyone, and it takes all of us working together to make a difference, providing food and protecting water resources for the world, while sustaining it.
Check out this Soil Careers Poster for more information about being a soil scientist, as well as reading the specific topic areas below.
The first part in choosing the right part of soils (and the right career for that matter) is knowing what they really want, and capitalizing on what they are good at. There are many different personality traits that make a good soil scientist, and they can be found on this web page.
What exactly do soil scientists do? Well, the jobs available to those who study soil are as numerous as the different types of soil found in the US (numbering over 2,500)! These people may not be CALLED soil scientists as a tilte, but they are using their knowledge about soil to help feed people and/or make the environment a better place. This page talks about some of the many different tasks that a person who studies soil can potentially be involved with.
This page talks about the type of education needed to become a soils enthusiast, as well as highlights some of the valuable courses a soil scientist should take. Education levels vary depending on the position. Some require just an introductory class and webinars for basic understanding for hobbies,city planning or erosion prevention, to multiple years in college to earn advanced degrees to do cutting edge research.
There are several different venues that somebody who has studied soil can work in. From major corporations to nonprofits, to the government, this page lists some of the options for those wanting to work in soil.
Soil science isn't for everyone. However, no matter what you want to do, soil science is related to almost all other occupations, and hobbies too. Understanding soils and studying science helps train the brain in analytical thinking skills, problem solving, and communication. All of these skills are important in any career that you choose. Many of these different careers and hobbies are directly related to each other, and more information can be found here.