CompGeo Salary Survey Benchmark Job Summary and Competencies

Soil and Plant Scientists

The Benchmark Job Description below represents the specific Position Characteristics of the job used in the Salary Survey. Benchmark Job Descriptions should be inspected carefully to review the degree of matching between an organizations' Job and the Salary Survey Benchmark. Matching internal Jobs to Salary Survey Benchmark Jobs should not be done on Job Title alone. A thorough comparison of Salary Survey Benchmark to Internal Job Descriptions is recommended. A good overlap should exist on any comparisons used on critical Job Dimensions and Competencies.
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
Summary Job Description Tasks
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. Communicate research and project results to other professionals and the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
 
Provide information and recommendations to farmers and other landowners regarding ways in which they can best use land, promote plant growth, and avoid or correct problems such as erosion.
 
Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the use capabilities of soils and the effects of alternative practices on soil productivity.
 
Develop methods of conserving and managing soil that can be applied by farmers and forestry companies.
 
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.
 
Investigate soil problems and poor water quality to determine sources and effects.
 
Study soil characteristics to classify soils on the basis of factors such as geographic location, landscape position, and soil properties.
 
Develop improved measurement techniques, soil conservation methods, soil sampling devices, and related technology.
 
Conduct experiments investigating how soil forms, changes, and interacts with land-based ecosystems and living organisms.
 
Identify degraded or contaminated soils and develop plans to improve their chemical, biological, and physical characteristics.
 
Survey undisturbed and disturbed lands for classification, inventory, mapping, environmental impact assessments, environmental protection planning, and conservation and reclamation planning.
 
Plan and supervise land conservation and reclamation programs for industrial development projects, and waste management programs for composting and farming.
 
Perform chemical analyses of the microorganism content of soils to determine microbial reactions and chemical mineralogical relationships to plant growth.
 
Provide advice regarding the development of regulatory standards for land reclamation and soil conservation.
 
Develop new or improved methods and products for controlling and eliminating weeds, crop diseases, and insect pests.
 
Conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products.
 
Consult with engineers and other technical personnel working on construction projects about the effects of soil problems and possible solutions to these problems.
 
Develop ways of altering soils to suit different types of plants.
 
Study insect distribution and habitat and recommend methods to prevent importation and spread of injurious species.
 
Identify and classify species of insects and allied forms, such as mites and spiders.
 
Conduct experiments regarding causes of bee diseases, and factors affecting yields of nectar pollen.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
Important Knowledge Competencies Competency Description
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
 
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
 
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
 
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
 
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
 
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
 
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
 
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
 
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
 
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
Important Skill Competencies Competency Description
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
 
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
 
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
 
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
 
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
 
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
 
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
 
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
 
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
 
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
 
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
 
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
 
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
 
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
 
Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
 
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
 
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
 
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
 
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
 
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
 
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
 
Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
 
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
 
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
 
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
Important Ability Competencies Competency Description
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
 
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
 
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
 
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
 
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
 
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
 
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
 
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
 
Originality The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
 
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
 
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
 
Fluency of Ideas The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
 
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
 
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
 
Selective Attention The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
 
Far Vision The ability to see details at a distance.
 
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
 
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
 
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
 
Perceptual Speed The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
 
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
 
Depth Perception The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
 
Memorization The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
 
Finger Dexterity The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
 
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
 
Visual Color Discrimination The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
 
Auditory Attention The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
Prerequisite Qualification Category Education and Experience Level
On-Site or In-Plant Training None
 
Required Level of Education Bachelor's Degree
 
Related Work Experience Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
Alternate Job Title(s)
Agriculturist
Agronomist
Agronomy Professor
Agronomy Research Manager
Apiculturist
Arboreal Scientist
Arboriculturist
Arborist
Botanist
Corn Breeder
Cotton Breeder
Crop Nutrition Scientist
Crop and Soil Science Department Chair
Entomologist
Floriculturist
Horticulture Professor
Horticulturist
Hybrid Corn Breeder
Hydrology Professor
Microbiology Soil Scientist
Physical Hydrologist
Plant Anatomist
Plant Breeder
Plant Breeder Scientist
Plant Pathologist
Plant Physiologist
Pomologist
Research Soil Scientist
Scientist Propagator
Soil Expert
Soil Fertility Extension Specialist
Soil Physical Chemistry Professor
Soil Physics Professor
Soil Science Professor
Soil Scientist
Soil Specialist
Viticulturist
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist - Physical/Biologcal
Benchmark Title: Soil and Plant Scientists
 
 
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