Minimum Qualifications

  1. To be eligible for a license as a soil scientist in this State, an applicant shall satisfy the following minimum qualifications:

    • Be of good moral and ethical character as attested to by (i) four letters of reference, two of which shall be written by licensed soil scientists or persons who are eligible for licensure under this Chapter, and (ii) an agreement signed by applicant to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct adopted pursuant to G.S. 89F-17. For purposes of this requirements, ‘good moral and ethical character' means character that tends to ensure faithful discharge of the duties of a licensed soil scientist.Minimum Qualifications

    • Hold at least a bachelor of science degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours in agricultural, biological, physical, or earth sciences and at least 15 semester hours or an equivalent number of quarter hours in soil science. The Board may adopt rules specifying combinations of education and experience that an applicant may substitute for a bachelor of science degree.

    • Successfully pass an examination established by the Board. The examination shall be designed to demonstrate whether the applicant has the necessary knowledge and requisite skill to exercise the responsibilities of the practice of soil science.

    • Have at least three years of professional work experience as a soil scientist under the supervision of a licensed soil scientist, or a soil scientist who is eligible for licensure, under this Chapter, or a minimum of three cumulative years of professional work experience as a soil scientist in responsible charge of work satisfactory to the Board and in accordance with standards established by the Board by rule.

  2. An applicant may substitute an advanced degree in soil science for a portion of the professional work experience requirement. The Board, in its discretion, may allow an applicant to substitute a master's degree in soil science for one year of professional work experience and to substitute a doctoral degree in soil science for two years of professional work experience. The Board, in its discretion, may allow an applicant to substitute experience gained through upper level soil science courses at the college or university level or research in soil science for all or any portion of the professional work experience requirement if the Board finds the teaching or research to be equivalent to the responsible charge of work by a soil scientist.

  3. The Board shall designate an applicant who meets all the requirements for a license under this Chapter except the professional work experience requirement as a soil scientist-in-training. A soil scientist-in-training may apply for a license upon completion of the professional work experience requirement.

  4. For more information on applying for licensure, please visit our webpage, ncblss.org, and see the “Get Licensed” tab and the “Forms tab”

Special note for military applicants:


In our review of applicants for soil scientist licensing, we consider all applicable training and assess college courses for applicability based on the curriculum and teacher credentials. This would apply to both civilian and military colleges. Documentation required would be a college transcript, a syllabus for the class, and in some cases information on the professor’s background.

Similarly, we look at all work experience on a case by case basis. If a job you held while in the military included some soil component, you can count that work experience. You will need to document the work done, the qualifications of the person supervising you, and the percentage of the job that included soil science work. The amount of credit for the work experience will be based on the percentage of hours spent in soil related work, supervised by a person qualified to be a NC Licensed Soil Scientist (ie, meets the education and work experience criteria listed above).

For military personnel who are already licensed and who would like to have relevant military training count toward their continuing education requirement, requests can be submitted to our professional development hour committee. Send requests to the chair of the board, at chair@ncblss.org.

For military spouses who would like to become licensed in NC based on comity (ie, licensure in another state), please see our webpage or call our office for information on how to apply for a license. If you have already taken the national qualifying exam offered by the SSSA you will not need to retake an exam. You will need to provide evidence of the educational and experience qualifications you possess as part of your application.