Career Opportunities

AgExplorer.com is an excellent resource for investigating career opportunities in fields related to degrees in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. Below are highlights from AgExplorer, with links to the full analysis, including roles and responsibilities, typical employers, salary ranges and available jobs.


Looking for the ideal career in crop and soil sciences? Register for the career finder hosted by National FFA Organization.


Agronomist

An agronomist is knowledgeable about the production of field crops, including all the variables involved such as soil and land management, nutrient and water needs, pest control and minimizing environmental impact. An agronomist provides knowledge and leadership to growers in their assigned market while performing job duties such as field scouting, soil management and market analysis. (Learn more)

Agronomy Sales and Management

Those involved in agronomy sales and management are responsible for providing agronomic product support and advice in order to sell products to customers in both retail and wholesale establishments. An agronomist must be knowledgeable about production of field crops and all the variables involved so they can provide seed and fertilizer advice directly to the farmer. In a management role, this person would not only be responsible for area or regional sales but also responsible for training new staff members. (Learn more)

Athletic Turf Manager

Athletic turf managers are responsible for producing and maintaining sporting grounds. They ensure the turf and surrounds are pristine. They plan, oversee, and project-manage major athletic grounds and field renovation projects. Additionally, they develop and manage budgets related to athletic fields and grounds. (Learn more)

Crop Advisor

Crop advisors are knowledgeable about plants and soil. They maintain a close relationship with their client and scout their fields for problems that may arise during the growing season. They make recommendations on things ranging from seed to fertilizer and from pest management to disease treatment. Additionally, they keep agronomic and financial records of customer accounts. (Learn more)

Conservationist

Conservationists work with private landowners and federal, state and local governments to manage, improve and protect the planet’s natural resources. This career involves advising and consulting with farmers as to the best practices for improving their land and productivity without damaging the environment. Conservationists research and study conservation management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock and wildlife. They also measure and assess vegetation resources for biological assessment companies, environmental impact statements and conservation monitoring programs. (Learn more)

Crops Systems Specialist

A crops systems specialist works to improve how a business or company manages and utilizes data from the seed or crop production process. They must coordinate various data collection initiatives including in-field data and plant performance-based metrics and then present various data types to aid in strategic decision making. Crops systems specialists must also be able to work with various teams like agronomy, seed production and information technology in assessing and implementing future system solutions. (Learn more)

Ecologist

Ecologists study the relationships of organisms and their environment. In addition to their research, they gather data and analyze it for importance. They study environmental problems and determine what caused them and how to improve the situation. Additionally, they provide educational programs to the public on how to protect species of plants and animals in their area. (Learn more)

Environmental Scientist and Specialist

Environmental scientist and specialist direct and support land and nutrient management operations to comply with company programs and regulatory requirements. Additionally, they will manage ecological studies to assess the environmental fate of plant biotechnology traits and evaluate potential effects on soil organisms and microbial processes. (Learn more)

Extension Agent

Extension agents are employed by land-grant universities and serve the citizens of that particular state by serving as an expert or teacher on a topic relating to economics, community development, agriculture, family, animal production, diet, and nutrition. Furthermore, they may be required to speak at industry events on a wide variety of topics. (Learn more)

Golf Course Superintendent

A golf course superintendent manages and directs the maintenance, management and operation of golf courses. They conduct routine inspection of equipment and vehicles to ensure productivity and safety of the facility. Additionally, golf course superintendents oversee the current and consider future applications to maintain quality turf. (Learn more)

Hydrologist

A hydrologist examines the physical characteristics, distribution and circulation of water above and below the earth’s surface. They research and understand the movement (and its impacts) of water in the environment. Hydrologists design dams, ponds, piping and pumping systems, as well as sewage system for rainfall. (Learn more)

Nutrient Management / Waste Management Specialist

Nutrient management/waste management specialists develop appropriate methods for removing and managing animal and food waste from or in the environment. They monitor processes that remove or destroy harmful materials, chemicals and microorganisms from water or land. Additionally, these specialists analyze the fertilizer value of applied manure. (Learn more)

Plant Breeder

Plant breeders study seed characteristics and work to improve those characteristics that are most desirable for a plant, such as yield, size, quality, maturity, and resistance to frost, drought, disease and insect pests. A plant breeder will rely heavily on their knowledge of genetics, statistics, molecular technologies and plant growth to develop plants that are best for crossing. (Learn more)

Precision Agriculture Specialist

Precision agriculture specialists provide support and technical assistance to growers who are using precision technologies on their farms. They implement actual work of grid and contour differential global positioning systems for soil sampling as well as developing informational and recommendation maps. (Learn more)

Real Estate Manager

Real estate managers in agriculture are responsible for overseeing and supporting a company or business’s real estate strategies by managing all aspects of real estate transactions. They organize and manage the company’s real estate portfolio through developing and following standardized processes, providing guidance on evaluating strategies and negotiating business terms. (Learn more)

Research Station Manager

Research station managers work in a leadership role for the management of research station operations such as animal agriculture, plant breeding, research, crop/seed production and product development. They also host events for farmers, consumers and government officials for educational and promotional purposes. (Learn more)

Restoration Specialist

Restoration specialists investigate the connections between organisms and the environment in a variety of settings and make recommendations for improvements to reestablish natural ecosystems. This work will typically include assisting in the implementation of those recommendations. (Learn more)

Seed Production Agronomist

Seed production agronomists are responsible for the management and execution of all phases of seed production. They are different from field agronomists in that they work specifically toward the creation of high quality seeds. Additionally, they complete administrative duties such as signing grower contracts and collecting and inputting data for reports. (Learn more)

Soil Scientist

Soil scientists study soil characteristics, map soil types and investigate responses of soils under certain conditions. Soil scientists study the chemical composition, structure, and properties of soil and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. Some personal qualities of soil scientists include being practical; working well in a team and as an individual; being analytical; having strong communication, writing, planning and organizing skills; and problem solving. (Learn more)