What Does a Soil Technician Do?
Soil technicians are professionals who test and study land to assess viability for specific usage. They analyze soil composition, fertility, and structure and recommend optimal use and sustainability. Additionally, they assess potential risks, such as contamination and erosion, and recommend mitigation measures.
Soil technicians ensure that before a company spends a significant investment in a piece of property, it can be used for its intended purpose. In collaboration with lab technicians and other field technicians, these experts test soil types and compositions to reveal vital information.
These technicians should have a broad knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental regulations, along with ecological reporting and surveying. They should effectively be able to communicate their findings, be it written or verbal, and be comfortable doing significant amounts of fieldwork gathering samples.
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National Average Salary
Soil technician salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Soil Technician is:
Soil Technician Job Descriptions
It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a soil technician. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.
From construction to agriculture, many industries rely on the expertise of soil technicians to develop recommendations for best practices. Understanding the properties of a site’s soil composition is important to protect the site from the damages of erosion. A soil technician analyzes the soil to make the best recommendations. [Your company name] is looking for skilled soil technicians to join our team. If you have excellent observational, communication, and critical thinking skills, our company could be the perfect fit.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Test and analyze soil, aggregates, concrete, and other materials
- Document and explain all findings and note any issues or concerns
- Collaborate with contractors, technicians, and project managers
- Compile and present findings and recommendations to decision-makers
Education and experience
- This position requires an associate degree, preferably with courses in ecology, biology, chemistry, and global environmental issues. Employers often prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree and certification as an environmental professional.
Required skills and qualifications
- Broad knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental regulations
- Experience with ecological surveying and reporting
- Knowledge of various sampling techniques and equipment
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Robust technical writing, analytical, and communications skills
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and industry-related software
- Comfortable with fieldwork
- Bachelor’s degree in science, agriculture, or related field
- Experience working with the local soil
- Passion for environmental science
As a Soil Technician, you will be responsible for in-the-field testing of concrete, soils, and other construction materials. You will use a company-provided vehicle to travel to job sites in the area. We also provide on-the-job training and future construction materials testing certification possibilities. If you’re reliable, have a good work ethic, and can cooperate with co-workers and clients respectfully, this is the position for you.
- Drive to job sites and conduct soils and other construction materials testing
- Perform visual inspections of soils
- Return samples to the office for laboratory testing
- Report data in an accurate, complete, timely, and understandable fashion in accordance with applicable testing procedures
- Read and accurately interpret construction plans and specifications
- Ensure that all test equipment used is functioning properly, maintained as required by the company and/or manufacturer’s policy and that all calibrated equipment is within its calibration cycle
- Communicate with dispatching and/or field supervisor, advising of current job status and locations as required
- Ensure that project requirements are met and are compliant with project specifications, requirements, and company policies or procedures
- Attend all technician meetings
- Complete daily time and labor reports accurately in accordance with company policy
- Follow all company safety procedures and policies
- Pass required testing certification classes
- Other duties may be assigned
- Prior experience as field/engineering technician
- American Concrete Institute (ACI) Concrete Field Testing Technician – Grade I preferred
- Required: ICC Soils Special Inspector OR NICET Soils Technician II
- Required: Valid Driver’s License with an acceptable driving record
- Required: Must be at least 18 years old for entry onto job sites, must be able to lift up to 75 pounds repeatedly
- Required: Ability to read and write, ability to use a computer
In this role, the selected candidate will join ABC Company’s New Ag Technology team as a Plant and Soil Science Technician to support the discovery and development of nove, new, and existing plant stress and stimulation products.
- Evaluate plant stress and stimulation products, i.e., biostimulants, biofertilizers, nutrients, etc., in the lab, growth chamber and greenhouse for benefits to corn, soybean, sorghum, cotton, peanut, rice, wheat, and other crops
- Plan, coordinate, and carry out all aspects of growth chamber/greenhouse trial experimentation including pot filling, planting, watering, collecting data, validating methods, troubleshooting causes of variability, and analyzing data from all the experiments
- Write protocols/SOPs, and reports, as needed to document methods and results in laboratory notebook
- Report findings to R&D leadership and in team/platform meetings
- Work with OpenAg Center colleagues and green house colleagues to meet safety standards and support global greenhouse trial initiatives
Required education and experience
- Bachelor’s Degree and 4 years experience or Master’s degree and 1 years of relevant experience
- Expertise in plant physiology and phenotyping of North American row crops and other plant species in laboratory, growth chamber, and greenhouse required
- Good computer skills, proficient in Microsoft office
A top provider of technical consulting to the public and private sectors in environmental science, hydrogeology, and geotechnical engineering is actively looking to hire a Soil Field Technician to help run a project in (City, State)!
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to
- Sampling materials for testing
- Logging samples and writing daily reports
- Understanding of sampling methods
- Project transportation will be provided
- Soil testing
- Microsoft office
- Microsoft word
- Construction materials testing
- Concrete testing
- Nuclear density
- Soil density
- Nuclear gauge
- Soil compaction
Top skills & qualifications
- At least 2+ years of field experience
- WACEL Soils Certification
- Soil sampling and testing
- Ability to communicate well with others
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Aggregate/Soils Base Testing Technician. Offered through the American Concrete Institute, this certification program is available nationwide. The certification requires prior experience and knowledge of performing, recording, and analyzing soil/aggregate samples in the field and in the laboratory. The certification program reviews AASHTO/ASTM standards to prepare candidates for both the written and performance exams.
- Construction Materials Testing Soils Certification. The NICET certification program prepares technicians for working in the field and in the lab with materials collected from construction sites. The program has four levels, beginning with the basics in Level I of sampling standards, how to collect samples, how to test and identify samples, and safety procedures on a construction site and moving up to level IV, which prepares candidates to work in managing roles.
- Certified Professional Soil Scientist. The Soil Science Society of America offers this certification program, which requires a Bachelor’s degree, with five years post-degree experience, 15 soil-specific credit hours, and 45 credit hours of supporting classes. The program both adds credibility to a candidate’s portfolio as well as helps them better serve their clients.
How to Hire a Soil Technician
When hiring a soil technician, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for soil technician openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Describe your experience with analyzing soil samples and referring to the results of these tests when making land use and development decisions.
- Provide an overview of your experience performing soil composition and structure tests.
- Which soil testing equipment have you previously used?
- Describe your hands-on experience using soil probes.
- What makes you believe you will make a good soil technician?
- What is your process for ensuring soil test results are accurate and reliable?
- What is your process for collecting and storing soil samples?
- What steps are necessary to ensure soil test results are used to support sustainable land use and development practices and preserve soil health?
- How do you communicate the technical aspects of a project with someone who doesn’t have a technical background?
- Tell me about a time you analyzed data from soil samples and used your knowledge to make the best recommendations.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you correct your error?
- How do you manage your time when working on a project?
- Describe an experience where you used new technology in the field to improve a project.
- Describe a time you provided support in planning a project to make sure environmental regulations and policies were followed.