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If you're passionate about science and the environment, then a career as a soil scientist could be for you. No, soil science isn't about playing with dirt in a professional setting.
It's using acquired knowledge, advanced technology, and specialized resources to study and maintain a vital resource that sustains life.
And it is one that you may absolutely love. But what exactly does a soil scientist do?
Soil Scientist Job Description
Primarily, a soil scientist would analyze soil samples to provide invaluable information to benefit the construction industry, science, agriculture, and even the government. But it doesn't end there, some key tasks include:
- Applying knowledge of soil science to collect, assess, and examine samples.
- Enhancing soil knowledge by analyzing soil systems and soil management data provided by research institutions.
- Embarking on fieldwork in a variety of environment to collect samples.
- Producing soil maps to indicate soil types, their distributions, and other related details.
- Conducting laboratory research and completing paperwork.
- Consulting for professionals in related fields.
- Incorporating soil science knowledge into areas such as ecosystem management and land management.
Soil Scientist Skills and Career Prospects
As a soil scientist, you need high-level skills that include:
- Communication skills: to expertly explain your research, methodologies, findings, and implications
- Critical-thinking abilities: to help determine the best way to conduct research and analytically solve a problem
- Data analysis skills: for collecting data in various environment and expertly applying data analysis techniques
- IT skills: to expertly navigate soil science systems and technologies
A career in soil science is highly rewarding; you could go on to work in sectors that include:
- Governmental or educational body
- Forensic laboratory
- Industrial or commercial organizations
- Environment consultancy or charities
Soil Scientist Training and Education Requirements
The minimum requirement for becoming a soil scientist is a bachelor's degree in an agricultural field. Generally, the degree should focus on environmental soil science or soil science.
Fortunately, other science-related degrees may increase your chances of achieving your dream. They include biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, and mathematics. A few others are microbiology, physical geography, and physics.
You may decide to get a master's degree or PhD. if your degree didn't cover soil science topics into details. While training is typically done on the job, you may decide to partake in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs to stay current.
Soil Scientist Salary and Wages
In June 2019, salary.com reported that the average soil scientist salary is $70,967. However, the range is $56,794 to $87,844 depending on education, additional certifications, and experience. According to experts, a professional working for the federal government earns $9,260 more than the $63,280 of a merchant wholesaler.
Likewise, a soil scientist in research would receive an average of $59,980, while those in consulting make around $56,550. It's vital to note that the salary changes from state to state.
Soil Scientist Certifications
Generally, a certificate is not required to practice; but, it contributes to advancing one's career. Depending on your research and career focus, you may consider certifications that recognize your expertise.
To sharpen your skills set, into the following organizations for certifications.
- Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
- The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
- The American Society of Agronomy, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)
Soil Scientist Professional Associations
There are a few organizations that support soil scientists. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is one of the most prominent professional bodies. They publish publications, offer professional development, share resources, and networking opportunities for soil scientists.
Another major organization that a soil scientist needs to belong to is The U.S. Consortium of Soil Science Associations (USCSSA). They support the professional activities of soil scientists, offer training, and maintain a database of soil science contractors.
Benefits of Becoming a Soil Scientist
A soil scientist typically focuses on the chemical, biological, and physical structure of soil. This primary role is the heart of sustainability because soil is a vital resource that sustains food production, animal life, and plant life. By interpreting soil-related data, you play a role in resource management.
Additionally, your results could influence agricultural production, human health, climate change, and natural resources.
Share your thoughts about this career below.
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According to a 2012 research study by The Ladders, the average time spent reading a resume is just 6 seconds. For that to be more than just a discouraging statistic, you need to learn how to start a personal statement.
Unless your resume boasts a competitive edge, the hiring manager is likely to flick past it without much thought.
By including a personal statement as part of your job application, you’re making it easier for the employer to see whether or not you’ll add strategic value to the organization.
Learning how to start a personal statement could very well be the best thing you’ll ever do for your career development.
What Is a Personal Statement?
A personal statement, also known as a career summary or a personal profile, is a short paragraph that acts as an overview of you as a professional.
Simply put, a personal statement is your sales pitch.
A great one may get your foot in the door, a poor one does less than nothing.
There are two types of personal statements:
- An introduction to your resume
- Sent in as part of a job application
The former is useful when your resume is more than one page long. By including a personal statement, you’re making sure that the employer notices the must-see information as soon as they open your resume.
On the other hand, the latter helps employers sift through candidates, separating those applying for every job in a specific category from those that are genuinely engaged and passionate about the company.
How to Start a Personal Statement
Writing a personal statement might seem daunting, but it’s easier than it sounds.
Below we break down the process of how to start a personal statement into three steps.
1. Out of the gate
How to start a personal statement? Grab their attention.
The very first thing you want to do is introduce yourself. Who are you, and where do you currently stand in your professional field?
Are you a recent graduate? Or do you have 20 years of industry experience?
Be factual and avoid vague information.
2. What’s in it for them?
Next, you want to set yourself apart from the competition by highlighting your most relevant experience.
Notice our use of the word “relevant.” What do you bring to the table that they’re looking for?
Your personal statement should be as targeted as possible. You probably have a lot of skills. But you don’t need to mention every single one of them.
Before you even begin drafting your statement, it’s crucial that you take a moment to read the job description carefully.
The attributes you choose to highlight should mirror the skills and qualifications noted in the job description. For example, if the position requires that candidates have management experience and you’ve spent the last 10 years managing a team of people, say so.
Just listing your skills and interests isn’t good enough, though. Employers have no way of knowing whether you’re telling the truth or not.
As such, back up everything you’re saying by referring to specific results you’ve achieved.
You can also touch on your passions, but only if they’re relevant. If you’re applying for a job in sustainability, mentioning your love for the environment could potentially help you stand out among hundreds of applicants.
3. Think long-term
Finish your personal statement by mentioning your career aspirations. Just make sure that there’s a connection between your answer and the role in question.
Your career objective should help the recruiter understand why you’re applying for the job in the first place.
For example, if you’re at an early stage of your career, your goal could be gaining responsibility in leading a project.
If you’re somewhat further along in your career, your aim should be a bit more specific, such as expanding your marketing skillset.
You want to show the employer that you’re worth investing in and that you’re serious about pursuing a career in that specific area.
Words Are Only Half the Story
By now, you know what kind of information to include in your personal statement.
It’s time to talk about how to best put it all together, format matters too.
Positioning is everything
To ensure that the recruiter sees your personal statement, you need to position it appropriately.
Place your statement right at the top of your resume, under your name and your contact information. The employer should be able to see the statement in its entirety without having to scroll down the page.
If your statement doesn’t quite fit in the space you’ve allocated it, try reducing the top page margin.
Avoiding a snooze-fest
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Your personal statement should be comprehensive enough to give the reader a good sense of your skills and knowledge. But make the statement too long, and the hiring manager will give up halfway through it.
Don’t bore your reader.
You don’t want to go over 200 words on a personal statement that will end up on your resume. Conversely, anything between 250 and 500 words is ideal for an application.
Remember that you can expand more on your experience in your resume or cover letter. By the way, your resume and cover letter should be perfect, or as near-perfect as possible, too.
If you’re still struggling with your resume, take a look at “How to Write the Perfect Resume: Stand Out, Land Interviews, and Get the Job You Want.”
Need help with your cover letter? “Stand Out Cover Letters: How to Write Winning Cover Letters That Get You Hired” will get you started.
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How to sell yourself
Keep your personal statement simple.
Use a clean font and 1.5 line spacing to make the statement easier to read.
For a pleasant reading experience, break up your statement into two or three paragraphs. Use proper sentences but keep them sharp, to-the-point, and persuasive.
Whenever possible, use action verbs such as:
As for the narrative: It doesn’t matter whether you write your statement in the first-person or the third-person. However, never, ever use both.
Avoid overusing the word “I” if writing in the first-person. The reader already knows that the statement is about you. The more varied the composition of your sentences, the more engaging your personal statement!
If you choose to write in the third-person, remove all pronouns. For example, “she is a marketing executive looking for a new role” would become “a marketing executive looking for a new role.”
Your tone of voice should be confident and persuasive but also polite and professional. Remember that you’re selling yourself. There’s nothing wrong with bragging. But don’t go over the top. You don’t want to appear arrogant or inappropriately aggressive.
The Do’s and the Don’ts
When writing a personal statement, it’s always a good idea to keep the following five tips in mind:
- 1Reusing the same personal statement for every position you go for might be easy, but it won’t get you far. Always individualize your statement. You don’t necessarily need to re-write it every single time you go to apply for a job. But you do need to tweak it so that it reflects the role you’re gunning for.
- 2Avoid buzzwords and cliches. Phrases such as “excellent communicator,” “works well on her own or as part of a team,” and “extensive experience and passion for…” are not only boring but also overused. Hiring managers read these phrases every single day, and they’re not impressed; generic phrases can describe just about anyone in any role. You can do better than that.
- 3Your statement should be a positive introduction to you. Negative language is a big no-no.
- 4If you’ve been unemployed for a little while, don’t highlight it in your personal statement. Instead, focus on the experience you can bring to the role. Note any training courses you’ve attended or blogs and journals you’ve read to show the employer that you’re aware of the latest industry trends.Don’t have any practical work experience just yet? That doesn’t mean that learning how to start a personal statement is useless. Show the hiring manager that you’re positive and proactive. Mention any relevant skills you’ve developed by working on passion projects or from pursuing your interests.
Ready to Land Your Dream Job?
A personal statement is an excellent opportunity to summarize your unique selling points and show the employer that you’re the best candidate for the job.
Learning how to start a personal statement is intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before.
But by mastering the art of writing a personal statement, you’re one step closer to landing your dream job!
Do you have any tried-and-tested tips on how to start a personal statement? We’d love it if you shared what works for you (and what doesn’t) in the comments down below.
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There's an infinite pool of information begging to be uncovered. Each research scientist is part of humanity's frontline for exploring the unknown.
There aren't uncharted continents waiting to be discovered anymore. However, there's still an entire universe to learn more about.
It's impossible to understand all of the complexities of subatomic particles, biological processes, and the stars. But we're never going to stop trying.
Uncovering The World's Mysteries As A Research Scientist
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Whether working for an industry or academia, a research scientist conducts experiments to learn more about their field of expertise.
They either choose or have an area of investigation assigned to them. Then, their goal is to plan and conduct experiments to learn more about the topic and report their findings.
It's one of the broadest job titles because every scientific field has research scientists.
Technology, medicine, fitness, psychology, and biology are just a few of the fields you can become a research scientist in.
The biggest drawback to becoming a research scientist is that you'll have to specialize to get good pay. Most industries and colleges are looking for applicants with a master's or doctoral degree.
There are some positions for those with bachelor's degrees, but many are seasonal jobs that only span the few months a project is going on.
The Right Fit
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The fact of the matter is, a lot of science is tedious. To learn about the empirical universe, a research scientist has to be meticulous, analytical, and willing to do repetitive tasks.
Some love crunching numbers and running centrifuges all day, but others will hate life in the lab. Thankfully, the best part of science is its diversity.
If you don't want to be cooped up in a lab, you could always do field research. In the field, you could find yourself observing animals, conducting interviews with strangers, or even setting up and conducting complex experiments monitoring entire ecosystems.
No matter what field you go into though, you have to be curious. A research scientist is always asking questions, learning what they can from recently published scientific articles, and trying to piece small bits of information into the big picture.
What's It Take To Become A Research Scientist?
There are a few steps everyone has to go through to become a research scientist. However, there are ways to stand out above other applicants to negotiate higher pay and prestigious positions.
Planners VS Doers
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When planning on becoming a research scientist, you have to ask yourself if you want to be a leader or a follower. In research, there's usually a leader of the experiment who looks at the question at hand. They then lay out the procedures the team needs to follow to conduct the experiment.
The designers of an experiment are usually individuals with a Ph.D. Often, they lay down the rules and instructions for experiments, and analyze the results of the investigation rather than conducting it.
In the middle are those with master's degrees. These are often the team leaders whereas someone with a Ph.D. designs the experiment, those with master's degrees lead the experiment. They're the ones planning the day to day tasks, similar to a shift manager working under a general manager.
Finally, there are those with bachelor's degrees. In an experiment, these are often the people doing the actual data collection. They're the ones calibrating lab equipment, taking water samples, writing down data and observations
Depending on how you work best, you may prefer to be the one doing the down and dirty work. Or, you might be someone looking to design experiments and lead a team towards groundbreaking discoveries. Each position has a vital role to play.
Learning The Field
No matter what position you want, your best bet to becoming a research scientist is to get a master's degree or higher. Most jobs, even data collection, have applicants with master's degrees applying to them.
Some positions hire applicants with bachelor's degrees, but you'll have to boost your resume to get your foot in the door.
The best ways to stand out are internships, research experience, and experience working in whichever industry you're after.
Because you'll have to go to college to land a research scientist job, make sure to network with your professors and try helping them with their research.
As long as you love science, there's likely a dream research scientist job waiting for you. As you progress through college, you'll be sure to find more and more avenues of specialization that catch your eye.
Whether you want to learn more about the stars, pandas, or freshwater habitats, there's a research scientist position out there for you.
Dream big, and keep a curious mind, and you'll be sure to thrive.
Leave us a comment below sharing what field you're planning to work in!
Becoming an editorial assistant is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of a publishing house, magazine, or newspaper. Other industries utilize editorial assistants as well, mostly in their marketing and communications departments.
Editorial Assistant Job Description
An editorial assistant is an entry-level position whose primary function is to support an editorial staff. It is fast-paced and usually full-time.
Most editorial assistants work for a magazine, newspaper, book publisher, or digital publication. However, the marketing and communications departments of corporations will hire editorial assistants, too.
Editorial assistants perform a variety of tasks that include checking mail, keeping calendars, and proofreading and fact-checking copy.
Additionally, some editorial assistants have the opportunity to write articles. This may include writing promotional copy as well as pitching and researching various topics. They may also be tasked with managing a publication's social media. It all depends on the industry.
Editorial Assistant Job Responsibilities
An editorial assistant's job responsibilities vary from day to day. One day might consist entirely of office support duties like filing, answering phones, or greeting visitors. Another day might include checking copy for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.
Other job responsibilities include tracking editorial submissions, screening manuscripts, and researching and verifying facts in an article.
Many editorial assistants work their way up the ladder and become senior or executive editors. Some move into full-time writing for a publication, while others may become advertising copywriters.
Editorial Assistant Training and Education Requirements
Editorial assistants should have a bachelor's degree in journalism, English, or communications, but this varies by employer.
However, editorial assistants should also have excellent writing skills. Excellent working knowledge of AP and Chicago style rules and familiarity with word processing is beneficial. Additional experience with digital applications such as Microsoft Word, CMS, and HTML is also helpful.
Editorial assistants need to have strong interpersonal and organizational skills. Also, they should have the ability to prioritize and multitask for this fast-paced editorial environment. The ability to work independently and as part of a team is also beneficial.
Editorial Assistant Salary and Wages
Salary and wages for an editorial assistant vary from state to state and from employer to employer. However, editorial assistants just starting out or with limited experience can expect to earn between $34,000 and $42,000 a year.
More experienced editorial assistants can make up to $64,000 a year.
Editorial Assistant Certifications
Certifications will increase your chances of getting hired as an editorial assistant and help you move up the ladder more quickly. Obtaining a certification in HTML, Adobe Photoshop, copy editing, or technical writing can enhance your resume. These skills are as close as your local college. Gaining additional education is vital, especially if you don't have a bachelor's degree.
Editorial Assistant Professional Associations
Joining a professional association is a great way to network with others, learn the latest trends in your specific industry, and search for job openings.
The American Society of Magazine Editors is one such organization. ASME is an association for journalists and editors of consumer and business magazines in print and on digital platforms. These editors and writers come together to share ideas, knowledge, and opinions about the magazine industry.
Another useful organization is the American Copy Editors Society, which welcomes editors of all mediums. There are even professional associations that focus on specific niches such as science, sports, and travel.
Jumpstart Your Career as an Editorial Assistant
If you're looking for a career in a fast-paced environment, becoming an editorial assistant could be a perfect choice for you. This career allows you to utilize your excellent writing and communication skills. It's a stepping stone that can open the doors to becoming a full-time writer or an executive editor. For this reason, the possibilities are endless.
The year 1962 was a landmark year in many ways. The Beatles released their first single “Love Me Do,” while Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe was found dead of an overdose. The first-ever Walmart store opened in July of that year – and two months later, Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” would inspire a movement where the ecologist gained renewed importance as the savior of the planet.
The concept of ecology isn't a new one. In fact, Ernst Haeckel coined the term "ecology" as the study of the environment way back in 1869. It's only in the 20th century, however, that people have been paying attention to the environmental impact of human activities -- impact that ecologists measure, analyze and provide solutions to.
What does being an ecologist entail, though? And how do you become one? We’re here to help you out.
What Is an Ecologist?
Ecologists are people who study the interrelationships between the environment and the organisms living in it. They analyze the nature and extent of damage to the environment and develop solutions for it. Essentially, they're champions of the environment -- they work every day to protect, preserve, and improve it.
We live in a world where humans are causing dramatic changes to the environment. Forests are cleared every day to make room for buildings or agriculture, and factories belch out tons of pollution every hour. All of that has serious, often lasting effects on the environment – and it’s an ecologist who tells us just what those effects are.
As an ecologist, you could be working with the government, with corporates, at an academic institution or as an independent consultant. Awareness about the environment and the need to protect it is growing with each passing day. Career opportunities for ecologists are thus expected to grow over the next few years.
What Does an Ecologist Do?
It's hard to put together a job description for an ecologist -- they work in such diverse areas! One thing they all have in common, though, is fieldwork. Whether you're compiling research for a scientific paper, studying natural habitats that need to be restored or creating impact studies for a government organization, you'll need to actually immerse yourself in the habitat and collect data firsthand on how it has altered.
Many ecologists, however, prefer to limit their field activities and work in an office environment. Some act as consultants for companies developing green technology. Some actively campaign for conservation efforts and testify in cases where individuals or organizations caused environmental damage. And some go into the teaching line – to inspire young nature lovers, in their turn, towards ecology.
What Does a Workday Look like for an Ecologist?
As an ecologist, you’ll have a lot of fieldwork in different locations, but you’ll also need to clock in some hours at the office. This could involve preparing presentations, analyzing research data, preparing computer models, and compiling reports. You might also need to work as a consultant with firms that are building green technology or extracting natural resources.
You’ll typically need to perform fieldwork in different natural habitats depending on the kinds of projects you take up. This might involve a good amount of travel during your workweek. Also, be prepared to face natural hazards while on the field, like getting caught in a storm or coming into contact with poisonous plants -- ouch! Bring bug spray. You're gonna need it.
Your fieldwork won't have any fixed deadlines -- you'll need to finish the job on time, no matter how many hours it takes. Back at the office, though, you'll have a relatively normal 9-to-5 workday. And unless there's a critical report to be completed, you'll have the weekends off, too.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Become an Ecologist?
The first thing you’ll need is a bachelor’s degree in ecology or a subject related to ecology. There are several options you can choose from, like biology, zoology, botany, or environmental science. It’s also essential to have a strong understanding of mathematics, computer science, and statistics, as you’ll need to crunch numbers quite often for your reports.
If you plan to assist companies as a consultant, you’ll need a master’s degree in environmental science, biology, or whichever area you specialize in. Most research positions at universities and government roles also require a master's degree. And if you're planning to teach at a university, you'll need a Ph.D. in your chosen field.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Ecologist?
In most ecology career options, you can start some sort of fieldwork right after your bachelor’s degree. However, you’ll need some extra work experience or training before you can truly call yourself an ecologist. For instance, most research and company positions require a master's degree. In addition, many conservationist roles require credentialing from the state government you'll be working in.
You'll also need a good amount of amateur field experience for many career paths, including consulting and research roles. Try to work as a research assistant in a lab or volunteer at a nature center. Several organizations, like the Student Conservation Association, offer internships and part-time jobs for ecology students. You can also opt to work at a biological field station for an extended amount of time to bulk up your experience.
All in all, expect to study and work for around four to eight years before you become a practicing ecologist.
What Can I Do with an Ecology Degree?
As an ecologist, there are several ways you can contribute to studying and improving the environment. Whether you like hands-on activities or prefer crunching numbers, there's something for everyone in ecology.
If you enjoy being out on the field, you might want to be a forest conservationist. You'll be visiting forests, studying the impact of incidents like forest fires and preparing solutions to conserve flora and fauna. If you want to do this at a broader scale, you can become an environmental consultant and help companies and governments shape environmental policy.
If you prefer a more academic role, consider becoming a research scientist. You'll be converting the data that field workers collect into viable models for making predictions about the environment. If you have a way with numbers and the patience to test and re-test different hypotheses, this could be the job for you.
And if you consider yourself a born leader, natural resource management is an excellent option. Natural resource managers work with chemists, zoologists, biologists, and other scientists to develop ways of using natural resources while conserving their supplies. You'll need to make sure everyone's coordinated, come up with action plans, and ensure everything is going according to said plans.
Should I Become an Ecologist?
Regardless of what degree you take, the first thing you'll need to succeed as an ecologist is a love of nature. You'll be spending much of your time amidst wildlife and natural terrain. That's something you can't sustain unless you're genuinely passionate about the environment. One thing is sure, though -- you'll truly feel like you're helping to save the planet every day.
So if you’re looking for a career path that lets you explore the great outdoors, allows you to make the world a better place and pays you a comfortable salary, you should definitely think about becoming an ecologist!
Have you ever thought about building a career as an ecologist? Let us know in the comments below.