(a) To be eligible for a license as a soil scientist in this State, an applicant shall satisfy the following minimum qualifications:
(1) 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 the applicant to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct adopted pursuant to G.S. 89F-17. For purposes of this requirement, "good moral and ethical character" means character that tends to ensure faithful discharge of the duties of a licensed soil scientist.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, 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.
(b) 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 masters 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 teaching 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.
(c) 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. (1995, c. 414, s. 1.)