Career in Pedology


“The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source, and destination of all.” – Wendell Berry. Soil is the root of the earth’s environment and is also the source of our basic living essentials, be it water, food or shelter. Amongst the two chief branches of Soil Science, Pedology is concerned with the study of different kinds of soils in their natural surroundings. With the hazardous impact of pollution on our planet’s atmosphere, soil contamination is amongst the grave issues which still needs to be fully addressed. Also connected with Environmental Engineering and Agricultural Engineering, scientists working under this domain strive towards bringing better and advanced technologies to secure the fertility of this natural resource while also incorporating efficient agricultural practices. Read on to know more about pedology, courses offered in this domain, top universities as well as its career scope!

Career in Pedology: Overview

Concerned with the multidimensional aspects of soils, Pedology aims to study the physical and chemical attributes along with the role of different organisms in facilitating soil production as well as their impact on the soil character, its origin, and formation. Further, it incorporates an interdisciplinary approach including, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, and soil physics to understand the process in detail. 

Related Read: Irrigation Engineering

What does a Soil Pedologist do?

As a soil scientist specializing in Pedology, you will be expected to analyze several forms of soils in their undisturbed and natural state, carry out classification, and peruse on their formation and morphology. Pedologists also sample and evaluate soil forms to curate better approaches for conserving environmental quality and explore new ways to ameliorate agriculture practices. Some of the other roles and responsibilities of a soil scientist and pedologist have been given a rundown below:

  • Research about soil management systems for their copious forms and classifications.
  • Facilitating the management of soils for various land enhancement activities like landscape design, site restoration, etc.
  • Working towards curation of better practices for natural resource management, especially of forest soils, wetlands, archaeological sites, amongst others.
  • Analysis of soils affected by the application of wastes like non-hazardous materials, residential waster, etc.
  • Carrying out suitability studies for land development utilization and working towards soil stability, moisture retention, sustainability, etc.

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Skills Required

In order to pursue a career in Pedology, it is important to be aware of the competencies it demands so that one can work towards skill development to build a successful career in the field. Enlisted are the abilities that every budding soil scientist must have:

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  • Attention to Detail
  • Observational and Analytical Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication Skills
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Familiarisation with computer software like map creation and soil erosion modelling
  • Knowledge of industry-specific tools for soil analysis like pH meters, photometers, etc.

List of Courses & Universities in Pedology

Since Pedology is a part of Soil Science, the academic programs in this specialization are generally provided under its parent branch. Further, one can also opt for degrees in its related branches like BSc Geology, Forestry courses or Geotechnical Engineering to delve deeper into a particular facet of this domain. To help you explore your study options across the globe, we have curated a comprehensive list of some of the major courses offered in Soil Science which you can pursue to specialize in Pedology at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

University Related Courses in Pedology
University of Saskatchewan B.S.A in Soil Science
Master’s in Soil Science
University of Aberdeen Bachelor’s in Plant and Social Science
Master’s in Soil Science
Macquarie University BA & BSc with a Major in Environmental Earth Science
Massey University Bachelor of Science (Earth Science)
Master of Science in Soil Science
Murdoch University Bachelor of Science in Crop and Pasture Science
McGill University Bachelor’s in Agro-environmental Sciences
Memorial University of Newfoundland Bachelor’s in Earth Sciences
Cornell University MSc in Soil and Crop Sciences
Scotland’s Rural College MSc in Soil and Sustainability
University of Waikato MPhil in Earth Sciences
University of Oxford DPhil in Earth Sciences
Imperial College London Master in Soil Mechanics and Environmental Geotechnics

Check Out Our Exclusive List of Top Agriculture Universities!

Career Prospects

After attaining a degree in Pedology or related specializations of Soil Science, one can explore a wide range of career prospects in both the public and private sectors and can build a career in Ecology and Environment along with scores of other sectors. Although research and development is a prominent area of work for soil scientists, some of the other major employment sectors under this domain include, environmental and agricultural consulting, land-use planning, sustainable agriculture, soil mapping, fertilizer technology, farming, forestry, waste technology, amongst others. Further, the prominent career profiles in soil science and pedology are also provided below: 

  • Agronomist
  • Pedologist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Environmental Consultant/Lawyer
  • Seed Technologist
  • Soil and Water Conservationist
  • Farmer
  • Land Use Planner
  • Research Laboratory Technician
  • Integrated Pest Management Specialist

Hence, we hope that this blog familiarized you with the imperative features of building a career in Pedology. If you are planning to study a program in Earth Science or its varied specializations, take the assistance of Leverage Edu’s AI-based tool to browse through a plethora of programs and universities and it will help you find the most suitable combination that fits your interests, skills and career aspirations!

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