Graduate Information

How do I ensure a professional career in soil science?

Soil Science Australia recognises that there is no dedicated degree in soil science, and that many people arrive at wanting a career in soils from very different vocations. For this reason we have compiled some useful guides to help you map the pathway of your career.

Within soil science, the Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) accreditations is the mark of the highest level of professional practice. It is not an easy accreditation to obtain, nor is it meant to be. In acknowledgement of this, our pathways documents are designed to clearly map how you might approach this, should that be your desire.

Consulting and soils

Consultancy offers a wide range of opportunities and interfaces directly with industry on many different levels. There are global consultancy agencies with branches in numerous countries, and specialised niche consultancies, with a broad spectrum existing between these.  All offer the ability for global travel, and can be flexible in terms of the time worked per week. Salaries can be greater than for government and academia, but the security of work is much lower, reflecting this salary.

See the career pathway document prepared by the CPSS Board. <LINK>

Government agencies and soil

Government positions in soils and soils related work allow a contribution to natural resource management first and foremost. Government departments at Federal and State/Territory levels are concerned with soil as a resource through specific departments. Regional and local councils may often have soils positions also. Jobs can range from technician and research officer, to qualified scientist/ engineer, to policy advisor. Government positions normally offer very good job security, and facilitate both regional and urban jobs.

See the career pathway document prepared by the CPSS Board. <LINK>

Academia and soils

Academia presents the opportunity to educate, as well as research at the cutting edge of science and engineering. While many roles will require you have to undertake doctorate studies (PhD), there are many opportunities that do not. Research Officer and Technicians will often work on projects under direction of PhD qualified staff. You may even get the opportunity to do your PhD while working in such a position. In academia there is an expectation of teaching, publishing new material in academic journals and obtaining external research grants. The job is highly flexible and facilitates a high level of autonomy, although secure positions are less frequently available.

See the career pathway document prepared by the CPSS Board. <LINK>

Want more information?

Having read that above, if you want further information on any of these pathways, including being put in touch with someone working in your ideal career and region, then contact us to discuss. We are only too happy to help facilitate the start of your chosen or new career.