- Investigates soils (origins, composition, and toxicity);
- Studies soil fertility and plant nutrient levels;
- Identifies degraded soils and develop plans to improve them;
- Develops improved soil management practices for farmers and forestry companies;
- Develops waste management programs for composting and farming; and
- Devises and develops new fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
Agronomists have at least a master’s degree in Agriculture, Forestry, Biology, Environmental or Earth Sciences, with a specialization in soil science. Many enter the field as technicians or assistants with only a bachelor’s degree in these areas, but advancement usually comes with a master’s or doctoral degree.
- Must have an interest in the science of both soil and plants;
- Should be environmentally concerned person;
- Should have strong organizational skills;
- Good communication and listening skills;
- Must be able to work alone as well as part of a team; and
- Should be analytical and creative when it comes to problem solving.
- Physically fit;
- Patient and curious;
- Dedication to work;
- Service oriented; and
- Good interpersonal relations.
In the Philippines, an Agronomist’s entry level salary ranges from P18,000 to P25,000 per month and may even go up to P30,000 per month for those highly-trained and experienced. Overseas such as in the U.S. & Canada, the annual average salary for an Agronomist is $51,200 or $4,267 per month.
Agronomists can specialize in many different areas, so there should always be opportunities for advancement and exploration of other areas of agricultural study. They can work for research companies, or start up a private business of their own, in agricultural counseling, or otherwise. They can write books and articles about agriculture, become environmental advocates, or start up their own organic farms.
Agronomists can work outside on fields and pastures, as well as inside on research labs and boardrooms, giving seminars and information sessions. They work for government departments, or private entities, farming and breeding associations, universities and colleges. They also work as advisors to individual ranchers and farmers. Agronomists may be employed in the following industries: Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry; Public Administration and Defense, Compulsory Social Security; and Education.
A master’s course for Agronomist ranges approximately from P19,000 to P27,000 per semester in private technical schools and about P10,000 to P15,000 in public institutions.