Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 19-1013 Soil and Plant Scientists
Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants, 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.
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).
OJT: 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.
Tasks: Identify or classify species of insects or allied forms, such as mites or spiders. Develop improved measurement techniques, soil conservation methods, soil sampling devices, or related technology. Consult with engineers or other technical personnel working on construction projects about the effects of soil problems and possible solutions to these problems. Investigate soil problems and poor water quality to determine sources and effects. 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. Develop ways of altering soils to suit different types of plants. Conduct experiments regarding causes of bee diseases or factors affecting yields of nectar or pollen. Communicate research or project results to other professionals or the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops. Develop methods of conserving or managing soil that can be applied by farmers or forestry companies. 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. 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 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. Plan or supervise waste management programs for composting or farming. Conduct research into the use of plant species as green fuels or in the production of green fuels. Develop environmentally safe methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests. Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the effects of alternative practices on the environment. Research technical requirements or environmental impacts of urban green spaces, such as green roof installations. Study ways to improve agricultural sustainability, such as the use of new methods of composting.
License: License not required.
Outlook: Satisfactory
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $22.40   Entry $46,583.00
Mean $34.07   Mean $70,870.00
Experience $39.91 Experience $83,013.00

The data is based on the May 2016 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2017.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2014Projected Employment 2024Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
Related Occupations: Postsecondary Institutions With Programs:
Agricultural Engineers
Animal Scientists
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists
Marine Engineers
Photonics Engineers
No postsecondary schools reported programs.
Occupational Videos
19-1013.00 Soil and Plant Scientists