Soil specialist

Soil specialists provide consultancy to growers, growing media manufacturers and horticultural retailers on soils, growing media and plant nutrition. They may also teach courses on soils and plant nutrition

Training, qualifications and skills A degree in soil or plant science
Career progression opportunities Horticultural education, technical support role in commercial companies, research and development
Useful links British Society of Soil Science
Soil Association

Focus on: Consultant soil specialist

Susie Holmes
Self employed
Part-time, salary up to £65k

My work is very varied with a diverse customer base including large growing media manufacturers and commercial nurseries as well as private garden owners. I have been lucky enough to work with organisations such as the National Trust and retailers such as Marks & Spencer and B&Q.

Get some practical experience, for example, with a nursery, landscaper, consultancy company or horticultural research station, as well as the right qualifications and get out and meet people.

I like working with people so consultancy work is perfect for me. I also teach about soils and plant nutrition on relevant training courses, which I really enjoy. I gained a lot of my 25 years of work experience working for consultancy ADAS. I have been self-employed for the last 10 years and am still passionate about soils and growing media – you can only grow healthy plants with a healthy soil.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.