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Soil and Plant Scientists - 19-1013.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, 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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Agronomist
  • Arboriculture Researcher
  • Crop Nutrition Scientist
  • Forage Physiologist
  • Horticulture Specialist
  • Plant Physiologist
  • Plant Research Geneticist
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Soil Scientist
  • Scientist

SOC Occupation Groups

19-0000 Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
19-1000 Life Scientists
19-1010 Agricultural and Food Scientists
19-1013.00 Soil and Plant Scientists

Related Occupations


  • Communicate research or project results to other professionals or the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
  • Conduct experiments investigating how soil forms, changes, or interacts with land-based ecosystems or living organisms.
  • Conduct experiments regarding causes of bee diseases or factors affecting yields of nectar or pollen.
  • 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.
  • Conduct experiments to investigate the underlying mechanisms of plant growth and response to the environment.
  • Conduct research into the use of plant species as green fuels or in the production of green fuels.
  • Conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products.
  • Consult with engineers or other technical personnel working on construction projects about the effects of soil problems and possible solutions to these problems.
  • Develop environmentally safe methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or pests.
  • Develop improved measurement techniques, soil conservation methods, soil sampling devices, or related technology.
  • Develop methods of conserving or managing soil that can be applied by farmers or forestry companies.
  • Develop new or improved methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests.
  • Develop ways of altering soils to suit different types of plants.
  • Identify degraded or contaminated soils and develop plans to improve their chemical, biological, or physical characteristics.
  • Identify or classify species of insects or allied forms, such as mites or spiders.
  • Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the use capabilities of soils and the effects of alternative practices on soil productivity.
  • Investigate soil problems or poor water quality to determine sources and effects.
  • Perform chemical analyses of the microorganism content of soils to determine microbial reactions or chemical mineralogical relationships to plant growth.
  • Plan or supervise land conservation or reclamation programs for industrial development projects.
  • Plan or supervise waste management programs for composting or farming.
  • Provide advice regarding the development of regulatory standards for land reclamation or soil conservation.
  • 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.
  • Research technical requirements or environmental impacts of urban green spaces, such as green roof installations.
  • Study insect distribution or habitat and recommend methods to prevent importation or spread of injurious species.
  • Study soil characteristics to classify soils on the basis of factors such as geographic location, landscape position, or soil properties.
  • Study ways to improve agricultural sustainability, such as the use of new methods of composting.
  • Survey undisturbed or disturbed lands for classification, inventory, mapping, environmental impact assessments, environmental protection planning, conservation planning, or reclamation planning.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Advise others about environmental management or conservation.
  • Advise others about land management or conservation.
  • Analyze biological samples.
  • Analyze environmental data.
  • Classify organisms based on their characteristics or behavior.
  • Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.
  • Conduct climatological research.
  • Conduct research of processes in natural or industrial ecosystems.
  • Develop agricultural methods.
  • Develop environmental sustainability plans or projects.
  • Develop sustainable industrial or development methods.
  • Direct natural resources management or conservation programs.
  • Plan natural resources conservation or restoration programs.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Research crop management methods.
  • Research diseases or parasites.
  • Research geological features or processes.
  • Research hydrologic features or processes.
  • Research impacts of environmental conservation initiatives.
  • Research sustainable agricultural processes or practices.
  • Survey land or properties.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Entomologist (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Entomology (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Environmental Science and Engineering (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Medical Service Corps Officer (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Pest Management (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pest Management Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pest Management Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pest Management Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pest Management Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Preventive Medicine Officer (Aerospace) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Preventive Medicine Sciences (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Public Health Officer (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Public Health Officer, Medical Entomologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Horticulturist

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Agronomist
  • Apiculturist
  • Botanist
  • Entomologist
  • Horticulturist
  • Plant Breeder
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Soil Scientist