MADISON, Wis. — The Soil Science Society of America has created a new certification program called Certified Soil Technician (CST).
According to Luther Smith, director of certification and business development for the society, the certification will serve several purposes.
“Being accredited, especially by SSSA, will help those in soils-related fields grow with their jobs,” Smith said. “It will help their employers know that, as staff, they are keeping up with industry standards.”
There are many people doing soils-related work who may not have the formal education to qualify for the full ‘certified professional soil scientist’ program, Smith added.
They may have a bachelor degree or higher but not all of the soil science coursework. Or, they may have years of experience and are currently in positions where most of their time is spent doing soils-related work.
“The certifications will help the technician grow in their expertise, and make sure they stay abreast of new techniques.”
New professional level
These individual do not qualify for Certified Professional Soil Scientist certification (CPSS), due to the course work requirement. There was no prior certification that would meet their needs as professionals.
About the program
Becoming a Certified Soil Technician requires passing the fundamentals in soil science exam, with three years of experience. The education requirement is an associate degree with at least seven semester credits in soils along with three references.
Smith said CST will not be available in states that have state soils licensing programs. Check www.soils.org/certifications for more details about soil certification programs, as well as the licensing states’ requirements.
Practitioners in soil science licensing states should follow state-specific procedures to become licensed.