Skip to page content
Return to Top

Are there jobs requiring soils knowledge?

Yes. There are jobs that require knowledge and training about soils.

  • If you enjoyed Land Judging in high school consider taking soils courses at Tarleton State University.
  • Collegiate Soil Judging happens here!
  • Your skill at Land Judging can be built upon to give you a rewarding job after college.

A short explanation might help.

First, a definition of "soil scientist." Then a brief discussion about soils knowledge and jobs.

With the United States Federal Government, a candidate applying for a position under the "Soil Science Series" requires a college degree that includes 15 semester hours in courses such as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility. The operative is that these courses all revolve around attaining knowledge about soil. See the US Office of Personnel Management web site for more detail.

Not everyone that has training in soils meets the number of semester credit hours for the "Soil Scientist Series" qualifications. And still other jobs opportunities with the United States Federal Government require soils courses.

Another United States Federal Government position is a "Soil Conservationist" and this position only requires 3 a semester hours soils course. Tarleton State Universities Soils course (The introductory course) will satisfy that requirement. This introductory course is also the prerequisite for the balance of soils courses offered at Tarleton State University.

Several other Federal positions require a soil course, or courses, as part of the standards. Many of the Federal position that require, or include, soils courses as part of their qualifications do not even have the word soil in the job series name. The public sector employment opportunities are not limited to Federal service as State, County, and Municipalities also recognize the value of knowledge about soil.

Since "can I get a job with this" is asked quite a bit try the following exercise.

Try for yourself. Go to USAJOBS and enter soil. This will return US Federal job openings that specifically have the word soil in the job description. The positions, and the number of positions, returned in the search will change so returning over and over is alright. That is one reason they created that site.

Demand for Soil Scientist remains strong.

Most graduates who do have a strong soils training will find that the employment opportunities are greater in number in the private sector than they are in the pubic sector. Enter soil into the job search web page of your choice (e.g. and it will likely return hundreds to thousands of positions.

Even more staggering is the number of jobs that rely on or specifically want soils training that do not specifically name soils.

This list is extensive but examples include environmental management, agriculture, revegetation, wetland identification, levee work, road construction, natural resource extraction reclamation (coal, metals, oil, gas), conservation, and resource management.

Here is a United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS_ external page that offers more information. Here is another external page about soils opportunities. Suggest a page to include here as examples of soils opportunities.

Agriculture is dependent upon soil.

Go ahead Google "define:agriculture" without the quote. Try it.

It returns:

The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.

There it is. Soil. It is the basis of the definition of agriculture. Note that this definition is excluding aquiculture such as fish farming, but not wildlife management or ranching.

Archeology is largely dependent upon knowledge of soils.

Engineering projects often depend upon soil (tanks, reservoirs, roads, building foundations, levees, dikes)

Range Land Management depends upon some understanding of soils

Wildlife management depends upon some understanding of soils.

Forestry depends upon some understanding of soils.

Growing crops obviously depends upon some understanding of soils.