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How Do I Become a Soil Technician?

Soil technicians analyze and test soil.
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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2014
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In order to become a soil technician, you will typically need some type of post-secondary education in addition to an aptitude for subjects like math, science and writing. There is a wide range of different soil technician jobs, and your ability to advance through them will typically depend at least partially on your education. A two-year degree from a vocational school or community college will typically be enough to obtain an entry-level soil technician job, but many positions require a bachelor's or even master's degree. In addition to an associate of science (AS) or bachelor of science (BS) degree in an appropriate field of study, you will also need to be able to communicate well and write legible reports to become a soil technician.

Soil technicians are scientists who analyze and test soil, so they need to have strong aptitudes for the physical sciences. They are often employed to analyze soil that has been contaminated in some way, in which case they can be required to devise and even carry out remediation plans. Soil technicians can also play a part in the design of remediation equipment, so their duties can be quite varied depending on who employs them. If you think you would like to work in soil science some day, you can begin to prepare in high school by taking all of the science and math courses you can, in addition to other college prerequisites.

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Most companies require soil technicians to have some post-secondary education, so if you want to become a soil technician you will need to decide what type of degree to pursue. If you want to enter the workforce sooner, you may want to consider attending a two-year vocational school or community college. A two-year degree in soil or environmental science from an accredited school is typically the least amount of education required to become a soil technician. You may also want to ensure that the credits you earn will be transferable to a four-year school, in case you decide to further pursue your education in the future.

Another option is to earn a bachelor's degree in soil or environmental science right away. If you opt for a degree in soil science, you will typically be prepared to work in the agricultural field, while environmental science can allow you to find work that deals with groundwater issues and waste disposal. Either one will allow you to become a soil technician, so it depends largely on the type of company you want to work for. You may also consider pursuing a more advanced degree, which may be necessary to move beyond a certain point in your career as a soil scientist.

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