Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
14811 06 ST B4 C 813-01 08/01/2023
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JOB CODE: 14811

SERIES NATURE OF WORK: The Soil Scientist job series describes professional soil evaluation work for regulatory compliance programs in the Department of Environmental Protection regional offices.

DEFINITION: This is structured trainee work testing, identifying, and classifying soil samples to ensure compliance with clean water, waste management, biosolids management, and environmental cleanup laws and regulations.

An employee in this job receives formal and on-the-job training to develop understanding and competence in conducting soil characterization, testing, mapping, and suitability evaluations in an assigned program area. Work involves assisting Soil Scientists with soil investigations and surveys to determine sewage, solid waste disposal, or remediation site suitability; detecting, and evaluating erosion and siltation hazards to reduce land and stream disturbances; inspecting waste treatment facilities for soil and drainage characteristics; conducting soil nutrient reviews for biosolid use; identifying soil contamination levels; and participating in remediation plan development. Work includes collecting soil samples for laboratory testing; preparing preliminary reports of investigations and inspections; preparing responses to permit applications, general inquiries, and complaints; providing technical support to permitting staff; testifying at dispute hearings regarding assigned work results; and assisting soil scientists and other department staff with conducting training for stakeholders, such as municipalities and treatment facilities. Duties are performed with increasing independence as experience is gained. Work is performed under the supervision of a Soil Scientist or supervisor who reviews the work in progress and upon completion for effectiveness and adherence to established policies and procedures.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: (NOTE: The examples of work are representative of the work, but every position classified to this job may not perform all examples of work listed. Conversely, this is not an all-inclusive list of work examples.)

• Participates in formal and on-the-job training conducting soil evaluation work to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

• Participates in and assists with soil characterization, testing, mapping, and suitability evaluations related to on-site permit applications, hazardous spills or contamination incidents, new waste disposal treatment facility proposals, and erosion and sediment control efforts.

• Participates in and conducts inspections of permitted facilities, such as wastewater treatment and hazardous waste disposal facilities.

• Collects soil samples and sends them to the laboratory for chemical, physical, and mechanical property evaluations.

• Testifies at hearings regarding work results.

• Assists with providing technical guidance to permitting staff and stakeholders regarding soil inspection, investigation, and testing results; and environmental impacts to soil.

• Prepares preliminary technical reports for review detailing soil analysis findings and conclusions.

• Prepares responses for review regarding permit applicants, technical consultants, complainants, and the public.

• Assists with conducting training courses for stakeholders, such as environmental health personnel, conservation districts, local governments, farmers, and sewage plant treatment operators, regarding applicable rules, regulations, and guidelines.

• Maintains work tracking databases related to assigned area.

• Travels to field worksites to participate in inspections and investigations.

• Performs related work as required.


• Knowledge of the practices and principles of soil sample collection, evaluation, and analysis.

• Knowledge of soil classification types.

• Knowledge of geology, geomorphology, and statistical methods for understanding and interpreting soil processes in natural earth systems.

• Knowledge of environmental hazards affecting soil and water quality.

• Knowledge of the use and functionality of Microsoft Office Suite software.

• Ability to read and interpret soil maps and graphics.

• Ability to read and interpret written material, including laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

• Ability to operate motor vehicles.

• Ability to communicate effectively orally.

• Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: (NOTE: Based on the Entry Level Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities.)

• A bachelor’s degree in environmental resource management, environmental science, environmental studies, earth science, agricultural science, or a closely related field that includes 15 college credits in soil science;


• Three years and six months of technical experience in soil testing, identification, classification, suitability, or remediation work, and 15 college credits in soil science;


• An equivalent combination of experience and training that includes 15 college credits in soil science.


• All positions require possession of an active motor vehicle license.