Soil Microbiologists


Soil microbiologists study life in soil. There are very small, mostly invisible organisms living in soil. The knowledge they can gain from studying soil helps farmers, engineers working on construction projects, environmentalists and land owners desiring to learn about what would be the best use of their land.

Working Conditions

Soil microbiologists may visit various sites, such as a hazardous waste site or an agricultural field. They will bring soil samples back to their lab to study. There is much scientists do not know about soil, so there is much to learn which can make this job satisfying.


The average salary for soil scientists is in the $50-60,000 range.

Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study

Research and communication skills are always helpful for this career. Mathematics, English, biology and chemistry are good classes to help prepare for this line of work. College courses will include plant pathology, soil chemistry, entomology, plant physiology and biochemistry.

Related Jobs

Other agricultural scientists, such as food, plant and animal scientists are related occupations. Also chemists, foresters, and conservation scientists.

Education & Training

A bachelor's degree is normally required for this career. It is always necessary for a job with the Federal Government.

Job Outlook

There should be job openings for qualified people.

Sources for Additional Information

Soil Science Society of America
677 S. Segoe Rd.
Madison, WI 53711-1086

Food and Agricultural Careers for Tomorrow, Purdue University
1140 Agricultural Administration Bldg.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1140