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SOIL SCIENTIST, IN-DEPTH: Key Decision Was Realizing He Wanted To Work In Nature

About this video 

Soil Scientist Craig talks further about what he likes/dislikes about his job, the key decision that led him here, how hard it is to get a job in soil science, and his work-life balance. Soil Science is a growing industry, and demand for professionals is increasing.

Degree: Chemistry - Soil Sciences
Job Title: Soil Scientist
Employer: University of California, Davis

Job Summary: Soil and Plant Scientists

Job Description

Soil and Plant Scientists 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.

On-the-Job Training

Minimal

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$35,000 - $95,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 14 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Outdoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Likes working with hands, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Mathematical skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='890'>One</span> <span m='1080'>thing</span> <span m='1330'>that</span> <span m='1450'>I</span> <span m='1510'>really</span> <span m='1840'>like</span> <span m='2110'>about</span> <span m='2420'>my</span> <span m='2530'>job</span> <span m='2700'>is</span> <span m='3167'>I</span> <span m='3634'>get</span> <span m='4101'>to do something</span> <span m='4568'>different</span> <span m='5035'>every day.</span> <span m='5970'>I come in the morning and I'm</span> <span m='6140'>never</span> <span m='6480'>quite</span> <span m='6850'>sure</span> <span m='7240'>what</span> <span m='7680'>the day</span> <span m='8029'>is</span> <span m='8450'>going</span> <span m='8770'>to</span> <span m='8850'>be.</span> <span m='9370'>A</span> <span m='9849'>lot</span> <span m='10328'>of</span> <span m='10807'>challenges,</span> <span m='11286'>a</span> <span m='11765'>lot</span> <span m='12244'>of</span> <span m='12723'>different</span> <span m='13202'>people</span> <span m='13681'>that we work with,</span> <span m='14160'>a lot of different</span> <span m='14639'>projects</span> <span m='15118'>that we work on.</span> </p><p><span m='16555'>Probably one of the</span> <span m='17034'>most</span> <span m='17520'>difficult</span> <span m='18220'>things</span> <span m='19030'>is</span> <span m='19280'>nowadays,</span> <span m='20470'>research</span> <span m='20890'>is</span> <span m='21810'>grant-funded.</span> <span m='22595'>So</span> <span m='22990'>we're</span> <span m='23422'>always</span> <span m='23854'>having</span> <span m='24286'>to</span> <span m='24720'>come up with</span> <span m='25220'>new</span> <span m='25590'>ideas</span> <span m='25980'>and</span> <span m='26100'>write</span> <span m='26450'>grants,</span> <span m='26880'>prepare</span> <span m='27310'>budgets,</span> <span m='28810'>write</span> <span m='29110'>reports</span> <span m='29505'>to</span> <span m='29900'>the</span> <span m='30250'>granting</span> <span m='30720'>agencies.</span> <span m='32090'>Sometimes</span> <span m='32950'>it's</span> <span m='33460'>not</span> <span m='33710'>always</span> <span m='34090'>the</span> <span m='34160'>most</span> <span m='34480'>fun</span> <span m='34850'>thing</span> <span m='35340'>to</span> <span m='35830'>do.</span> <span m='36810'>But</span> <span m='38280'>by</span> <span m='38530'>writing</span> <span m='38960'>grants--</span> <span m='39400'>it's</span> <span m='39840'>forced</span> <span m='40160'>me</span> <span m='40650'>to</span> <span m='41140'>do</span> <span m='41630'>two</span> <span m='42120'>things.</span> </p><p><span m='42610'>One is</span> <span m='43100'>collaborate with a lot of other folks,</span> <span m='43590'>which</span> <span m='44080'>is really</span> <span m='44570'>good.</span> <span m='45060'>And</span> <span m='45550'>the</span> <span m='46040'>second</span> <span m='46530'>part is</span> <span m='47030'>really</span> <span m='47365'>get</span> <span m='47700'>clear</span> <span m='47970'>ideas</span> <span m='48100'>that we</span> <span m='48370'>have</span> <span m='48690'>to</span> <span m='49030'>sell.</span> <span m='49790'>Being</span> <span m='50100'>a</span> <span m='50410'>researcher</span> <span m='51020'>nowadays</span> <span m='51620'>is</span> <span m='51780'>kind</span> <span m='52050'>of</span> <span m='52140'>like</span> <span m='52340'>having</span> <span m='52640'>a</span> <span m='52690'>small</span> <span m='53180'>business.</span> <span m='54190'>You</span> <span m='54450'>have</span> <span m='54740'>to</span> <span m='54860'>sell</span> <span m='55290'>your</span> <span m='55480'>products,</span> <span m='56550'>and</span> <span m='56720'>you</span> <span m='56850'>can</span> <span m='57070'>hire</span> <span m='57840'>people</span> <span m='58135'>and</span> <span m='58430'>you can</span> <span m='58810'>partner</span> <span m='59190'>with</span> <span m='59688'>people</span> <span m='60186'>who</span> <span m='60684'>are</span> <span m='61182'>going to</span> <span m='61680'>work with you</span> <span m='62178'>to get the job done.</span> </p><p><span m='64170'>I</span> <span m='64668'>guess</span> <span m='65166'>when</span> <span m='65664'>I</span> <span m='66162'>think</span> <span m='66660'>back,</span> <span m='67158'>part of</span> <span m='67656'>the</span> <span m='68154'>key</span> <span m='68652'>decisions</span> <span m='69150'>that</span> <span m='69648'>got</span> <span m='70146'>me</span> <span m='70644'>to where</span> <span m='71142'>I am</span> <span m='71640'>today--</span> <span m='72138'>one was in</span> <span m='72636'>I was</span> <span m='73134'>in</span> <span m='73632'>school</span> <span m='74130'>and</span> <span m='74628'>was</span> <span m='75126'>focused</span> <span m='75624'>on</span> <span m='76122'>chemistry,</span> <span m='76620'>I decided that</span> <span m='77130'>I</span> <span m='77700'>really</span> <span m='78020'>didn't</span> <span m='78240'>have</span> <span m='78440'>the</span> <span m='78520'>fire in</span> <span m='78910'>the belly for it</span> <span m='79235'>and</span> <span m='79560'>wanted</span> <span m='80051'>to</span> <span m='80542'>get</span> <span m='81033'>back,</span> <span m='81524'>more</span> <span m='82015'>into</span> <span m='82510'>nature,</span> <span m='83140'>more</span> <span m='83500'>into</span> <span m='83910'>the</span> <span m='84380'>outdoors.</span> <span m='85570'>Moving</span> <span m='85835'>into</span> <span m='86100'>soil--</span> <span m='87210'>that</span> <span m='87702'>was</span> <span m='88194'>a</span> <span m='88686'>really</span> <span m='89178'>great</span> <span m='89670'>move</span> <span m='90162'>for</span> <span m='90654'>me.</span> <span m='91146'>The other</span> <span m='91638'>one</span> <span m='92130'>was</span> <span m='92622'>when</span> <span m='93114'>there</span> <span m='93606'>were opportunities</span> <span m='94098'>to</span> <span m='94590'>do new types of</span> <span m='95082'>projects was</span> <span m='95590'>taking</span> <span m='95980'>the</span> <span m='96090'>risk,</span> <span m='96460'>and</span> <span m='96550'>stepping</span> <span m='97080'>out,</span> <span m='97390'>and saying--</span> <span m='97750'>we're</span> <span m='97870'>going</span> <span m='97980'>to</span> <span m='98040'>find</span> <span m='98320'>some</span> <span m='98600'>partners.</span> <span m='98880'>And</span> <span m='99160'>we're</span> <span m='99650'>going</span> <span m='100140'>to</span> <span m='100630'>do</span> <span m='101120'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='101610'>And</span> <span m='102100'>it</span> <span m='102590'>led</span> <span m='103080'>us</span> <span m='103570'>down--</span> <span m='104060'>for</span> <span m='104550'>example, the path into organic farming</span> <span m='105040'>systems.</span> <span m='106020'>Some</span> <span m='106510'>of</span> <span m='107000'>the</span> <span m='107490'>others--</span> <span m='107980'>research</span> <span m='108470'>on</span> <span m='108920'>climate change that we're</span> <span m='109050'>doing</span> <span m='109420'>now--</span> <span m='109705'>all</span> <span m='109990'>of</span> <span m='110438'>that</span> <span m='110886'>were</span> <span m='111334'>kind</span> <span m='111782'>of risky</span> <span m='112230'>decisions</span> <span m='112890'>where</span> <span m='113200'>we</span> <span m='113370'>said,</span> <span m='114219'>we</span> <span m='114718'>have</span> <span m='115217'>some</span> <span m='115716'>expertise.</span> <span m='116215'>And</span> <span m='116714'>we</span> <span m='117213'>can</span> <span m='117712'>find the</span> <span m='118211'>other expertise</span> <span m='118710'>to get the</span> <span m='119209'>job done.</span> </p><p><span m='121205'>As</span> <span m='121704'>far</span> <span m='122203'>as</span> <span m='122702'>getting</span> <span m='123201'>the</span> <span m='123700'>job in</span> <span m='124199'>soil--</span> <span m='125197'>it</span> <span m='125696'>is</span> <span m='126195'>a</span> <span m='126694'>growing</span> <span m='127193'>business.</span> <span m='128690'>More</span> <span m='129189'>and</span> <span m='129688'>more</span> <span m='130187'>people</span> <span m='130686'>in</span> <span m='131185'>the</span> <span m='131684'>environmental</span> <span m='132183'>consulting world</span> <span m='132682'>are</span> <span m='133200'>realizing</span> <span m='133640'>that</span> <span m='134080'>they</span> <span m='134570'>need</span> <span m='135060'>somebody</span> <span m='135550'>who</span> <span m='136040'>knows</span> <span m='136530'>soils.</span> <span m='137020'>And</span> <span m='137510'>so</span> <span m='138000'>the</span> <span m='138490'>demand</span> <span m='138980'>for</span> <span m='139470'>soil</span> <span m='139960'>scientists</span> <span m='140450'>has</span> <span m='140940'>increased.</span> <span m='141430'>And a lot of those jobs will be at</span> <span m='141920'>the bachelor's</span> <span m='142410'>degree level,</span> <span m='142900'>perhaps</span> <span m='143390'>at</span> <span m='143880'>the</span> <span m='144370'>master's</span> <span m='144860'>degree</span> <span m='145350'>level.</span> </p><p><span m='145850'>When</span> <span m='146240'>you</span> <span m='146330'>get</span> <span m='146460'>up</span> <span m='146610'>to</span> <span m='146750'>a</span> <span m='146820'>ph.D.</span> <span m='147100'>level,</span> <span m='147380'>there's</span> <span m='147854'>a</span> <span m='148328'>more</span> <span m='148802'>limited</span> <span m='149276'>number</span> <span m='149750'>of</span> <span m='150224'>jobs</span> <span m='150698'>in</span> <span m='151172'>academia.</span> <span m='151646'>And</span> <span m='152120'>it</span> <span m='152594'>takes</span> <span m='153068'>a</span> <span m='153542'>little</span> <span m='154016'>bit</span> <span m='154490'>of</span> <span m='154964'>luck</span> <span m='155450'>and</span> <span m='155620'>good timing</span> <span m='155980'>to</span> <span m='156090'>be</span> <span m='156330'>able</span> <span m='156540'>to</span> <span m='156660'>land</span> <span m='157080'>one</span> <span m='157300'>of</span> <span m='157360'>those</span> <span m='157620'>positions.</span> <span m='158600'>But</span> <span m='158780'>you</span> <span m='158880'>can</span> <span m='159060'>also</span> <span m='159450'>get</span> <span m='159680'>higher</span> <span m='160060'>level</span> <span m='160526'>positions</span> <span m='160992'>in</span> <span m='161458'>the</span> <span m='161924'>consulting</span> <span m='162390'>world</span> <span m='162856'>or</span> <span m='163322'>in</span> <span m='163788'>the</span> <span m='164254'>regulatory</span> <span m='164720'>world as</span> <span m='165186'>well.</span> <span m='166120'>I</span> <span m='166340'>would</span> <span m='166530'>say</span> <span m='166830'>we're</span> <span m='167030'>a</span> <span m='167080'>small</span> <span m='167420'>profession</span> <span m='167760'>but</span> <span m='168233'>opportunities</span> <span m='168706'>are</span> <span m='169179'>growing.</span> </p><p><span m='170598'>One</span> <span m='171071'>thing</span> <span m='171544'>that</span> <span m='172017'>I think that</span> <span m='172490'>folks</span> <span m='172963'>wonder</span> <span m='173436'>about</span> <span m='173920'>when you start</span> <span m='174250'>on a career</span> <span m='174640'>is,</span> <span m='174780'>how consuming</span> <span m='175160'>is it going</span> <span m='175460'>to be?</span> <span m='175920'>How</span> <span m='176356'>much</span> <span m='176792'>time</span> <span m='177228'>am</span> <span m='177664'>I going</span> <span m='178100'>to spend</span> <span m='178540'>with my family?</span> <span m='178845'>Gee,</span> <span m='179150'>I</span> <span m='179450'>really</span> <span m='179740'>like</span> <span m='180110'>to</span> <span m='180480'>fish.</span> <span m='180590'>Am</span> <span m='180870'>I still</span> <span m='181150'>going to</span> <span m='181590'>be</span> <span m='182030'>able</span> <span m='182470'>to go out fishing?</span> </p><p><span m='182855'>And</span> <span m='183240'>what</span> <span m='183490'>I</span> <span m='183978'>found</span> <span m='184466'>was</span> <span m='184954'>that</span> <span m='185442'>college</span> <span m='185930'>was</span> <span m='186418'>the</span> <span m='186906'>busiest</span> <span m='187394'>time</span> <span m='187890'>of my life.</span> <span m='188185'>I</span> <span m='188480'>really</span> <span m='188800'>had to be</span> <span m='189105'>focused</span> <span m='189410'>during</span> <span m='189900'>that</span> <span m='190390'>time.</span> <span m='191370'>And</span> <span m='191860'>I</span> <span m='192350'>did</span> <span m='192840'>fewer</span> <span m='193330'>outside</span> <span m='193820'>activities.</span> <span m='194800'>I'm</span> <span m='195290'>a</span> <span m='195780'>runner,</span> <span m='196270'>so</span> <span m='196760'>I</span> <span m='197250'>would</span> <span m='197740'>still</span> <span m='198230'>be</span> <span m='198720'>running.</span> <span m='199210'>I would still be riding my bicycle to</span> <span m='199700'>give myself some balance.</span> <span m='200190'>But</span> <span m='200680'>it</span> <span m='201170'>was</span> <span m='201660'>an</span> <span m='202150'>awful</span> <span m='202640'>lot of work.</span> </p><p><span m='203280'>Once</span> <span m='203630'>I</span> <span m='203710'>got</span> <span m='204000'>out</span> <span m='204270'>into</span> <span m='204540'>the</span> <span m='204760'>working</span> <span m='205000'>world</span> <span m='205386'>I</span> <span m='205772'>was</span> <span m='206160'>able</span> <span m='206460'>to find</span> <span m='206760'>a</span> <span m='207060'>better</span> <span m='207360'>balance.</span> <span m='207960'>It's</span> <span m='208260'>possible</span> <span m='208560'>to</span> <span m='208860'>get</span> <span m='209160'>consumed</span> <span m='209460'>by</span> <span m='209760'>this</span> <span m='210060'>stuff,</span> <span m='210660'>because</span> <span m='210960'>it's</span> <span m='211260'>a</span> <span m='211560'>lot</span> <span m='211860'>of fun.</span> <span m='212460'>But</span> <span m='212760'>there's</span> <span m='213060'>a</span> <span m='213360'>lot of</span> <span m='213660'>other</span> <span m='213960'>things</span> <span m='214260'>I</span> <span m='214560'>like</span> <span m='214860'>to</span> <span m='215160'>do</span> <span m='215460'>in</span> <span m='215760'>life.</span> <span m='216060'>I have a</span> <span m='216360'>family.</span> <span m='216660'>I have</span> <span m='216960'>other</span> <span m='217260'>activities</span> <span m='217560'>that</span> <span m='217860'>I'm involved</span> <span m='218160'>in.</span> <span m='218760'>And</span> <span m='219060'>I've</span> <span m='219360'>been</span> <span m='219660'>able</span> <span m='219960'>to</span> <span m='220260'>find</span> <span m='220560'>that</span> <span m='220860'>it's</span> <span m='221160'>not</span> <span m='221460'>too</span> <span m='221760'>hard</span> <span m='222060'>to</span> <span m='222360'>balance.</span> </p>","file":{"id":255690,"video_id":"2700183925001","name":"68184397","duration":224853,"thumbnail_url":null}});