Pedologists are environmental scientists who study soil. They are interested in observing soil as it exists in nature and determining how the soil changes naturally over time. They provide advice and recommendations to companies and industries that are interested in soil conservation. One of their job responsibilities includes studying soil samples to determine the soil’s composition. The composition of soil helps to determine if it should be used for growing crops if it should be harvested for use as construction material or if it shows a risk of erosion due to natural or man-made causes. They also work directly with farmers to help determine what type of fertilizer and nutrients should be added to the soil that is used to grow crops. According to the website pedologists must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree but most who want to progress their careers higher than entry-level must earn a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in pedology. Those with graduate degrees often find employment in the research departments at colleges or universities. However many pedologists work for the U.S. Soil Conservation Services or one of several governmental agencies dedicated to preserving land and stopping erosion. Pedologists split their work time between laboratories offices and field work. Therefore pedologists must be comfortable with spending a considerable amount of time outdoors in all kinds of weather. Many pedologists who work independently belong to the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists (NSCSS) which is a professional organization dedicated to publishing research results and helping pedologists find work opportunities. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is another organization dedicated to the promotion of this professional field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median yearly salary for pedologists is $51200.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $51200
High Salary: $61200
Low Salary: $41200
Tasks: Analyzes soil.
Gives advice on the conservation of soil.
Determines which soils are best for growing crops.
Studies ways to use soil more productively.
Also Called: Soil Scientist
Soil Conservationist
Soil Researcher
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