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Application Process

Application for registration as Soil Classifier or certification as a Soil Classifier-in-Training shall be made on the application form provided by the Board. Answer all questions on the form. Among other things, the applicant shall provide the Board with the following as stated in the Rules and Regulations:

  • References:

    • Applicants for Soil Classifier shall provide five references, three of whom shall be Professional Soil Classifiers and two shall be character references.

    • Applicants for Soil Classifier-in-Training shall provide three character references.

  • Transcripts:

    • Applicants shall provide the Board with certified transcripts for all college or university courses they have attempted.

  • Experience:

    • Applicants are to provide the Board with a descriptive record of their present and past employment.

    • Applicants holding valid Soil Classifier-In-Training certificates are to provide the Board with detailed records of work experience in soil classification including examples of work and name(s) of Professional Soil Classifiers worked under (as per Section III, paragraph 2).

    • Applicants are also to provide the Board with any other information that relates to their competence as a Soil Classifier or Soil Classifier-in-Training such as reports published, professional organizations, etc.

    • The Board, at its discretion, may ask for additional information, or ask the applicant to appear before the Board. The Board may, with sufficient reason, waive any requirement not specifically made by the Act.

  • Educational Requirements

    • An approved soils curriculum shall consist of at least:

    • (1) a full four-year course of study leading to a Bachelor of Science (or equivalent) or higher degree from an accredited college or university with a major in a pertinent field of agricultural or physical science, and

    • (2) 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical and earth sciences with a minimum of 15 semester hours in soil science. Soil science hours shall include at least one course in soil classification and genesis with field instruction in site evaluation and writing soil descriptions.

    • The 15 semester hours in soil science shall be acceptable toward a major in soil science at the institution offering these courses or at another accredited institution in the event the offering institution does not grant a major in soil science.

      An unapproved soils curriculum shall consist of at least:

    • (1) a full four-year course of study leading to a Bachelor of Science (or equivalent) or higher degree from an accredited college or university with a major in a pertinent field of agricultural or physical science, and

    • (2) 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical and earth sciences with a minimum of 15 semester hours in soil science, without a course in soil classification and genesis.

    • The 15 semester hours in soil science shall be acceptable toward a major in soil science at the institution offering these courses or at another accredited institution in the event the offering institution does not grant a major in soil science.

  • Experience Requirements

    • Applicants for Soil Classifier-in-Training who have completed an approved soils curriculum are not required to have experience.

    • Applicants for Soil Classifier-in-Training who have completed an unapproved soils curriculum are required to have one year of soil survey field mapping experience in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program, or one year of soil survey field mapping, site evaluation and description writing experience under the supervision of a registered Professional Soil Classifier as defined in the following paragraph.

    • The definition of supervision for the purposes of these Rules and Regulations shall mean direct on-site observation of and participation in all training exercises, unless otherwise approved by the Board.

    • The experience requirement for registration as a Soil Classifier for applicants holding a valid Soil Classifier-in-Training certificate consists of one year of soil survey field mapping experience in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program, or one year of soil survey field mapping, site evaluation and description writing experience under the supervision of a registered Professional Soil Classifier and a demonstrated ability to be independently productive.

    • Each Soil Classifier-in-Training not receiving his/her experience in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program must prepare a training plan with his/her supervisor and submit it to the Board for approval prior to the beginning of the training period.

    • At the end of the training period, the supervisor must submit to the board signed documentation to support completion of the approved training plan including, but not limited to, training dates, training locations, and description of training. The supervisor must also submit a signed letter to the Board stating that the training is complete and the trainee has received sufficient experience to apply for registration as a Soil Classifier.

    • The requirement for a person not holding a Soil Classifier-in-Training certificate consists of two years of soil survey field mapping experience in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program and a demonstrated ability to be independently productive.

  • Examinations

    • All applicants for certification as a Soil Classifier-in-Training are to pass an examination on the Fundamentals of Soil Classification.

    • All applicants for registration as a Professional Soil Classifier are to pass at some time both the examination on Fundamentals of Soil Classification and the examination on the Principles and Practice of Soil Classifying. The applicant may take both examinations on the same date if he/she meets the other requirements. In the event an applicant taking both examinations on the same date fails the examination on the Fundamentals of Soil Classification, the applicant’s examination on the Principles and Practice of Soil Classifying shall not be graded and shall be considered void, i.e. neither passed nor failed.

    • Examinations on the Fundamentals of Soil Classification and on the Principles and Practice of Soil Classifying will be held on dates and at locations designated by the board.

    • Each applicant shall be notified in writing at least 20 days in advance as to the date and location of the appropriate examination. Examinations shall be prepared and administered by persons designated by the Board. Applicants are required to score a minimum of seventy five percent (75%) to successfully pass an examination.

    • Examinations on the Fundamentals of Soil Classification and on the Principles and Practices of Soil Classifying will be written examinations. In addition, the Board may require, at its discretion, a field examination as part of the examination on the Principles and Practice of Soil Classifying.

    • Field examinations shall be held on dates and at locations designated by the board. Each applicant shall be notified in writing at least 20 days in advance as to the date and location of the examination. The field examination shall consist of three parts: (1) a field mapping exercise; (2) writing a complete, detailed soil profile description and (3) making on-site interpretations for specific uses. Applicants are required to score a minimum cumulative score of seventy five percent (75%) to successfully pass this examination.

  • Fees

    • Applications -- $20.00

    • Initial Registration, Soil Classifier -- $60.00

    • Initial Certification, Soil Classifier-in-Training -- $50.00 (valid for four years)

    • Reexamination -- $20.00

    • Registration Renewal, Soil Classifier -- $20.00

    Late Renewals:

    • Soil Classifier: $30.00 plus $2.00 per month for each expired month.

    • Late renewals may be affected for up to 3 years. Late renewals are effective on August 1, following the June in which the certificate expired.

  • Temporary permits:

    • Initial -- $75.00

    • Renewal -- $60.00