Departmental Assistant- Soil Lab

Apply now Job no: 505225
Work type: Hourly
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: UMass Extension
Pay Grade: No Pay Grade
Categories: Research

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

This Departmental Assistant position beginning July 1, 2020 includes performance of daily preparatory and analytical procedures at the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory.


Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Log in, prepare, and conduct routine analysis of soils, plant tissues, and greenhouse media.
  • Operate the Soil Lab’s pH and ion-selective meters, balances, drying ovens, muffle furnace, mills and grinders, and other lab equipment.
  • Assist in the preparation of reagents and extracting solutions as needed.
  • Performs other work related to the daily functions of the Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab as assigned.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • One year laboratory or other related experience
  • Exceptional organizational, communication, and customer service skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail and the ability to anticipate, recognize, and assess potential problems.
  • Understanding of laboratory safety protocol.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • General knowledge of soil properties and characteristics.
  • Laboratory experience in the testing of soils, plant tissue, or greenhouse media.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Applicant must be able to lift 50 lbs.  Some tasks generate a fair amount of dust.  Work conditions may be dirty.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (37.5 hours per week)


Salary Information

$18.00 per hour.  This is a non-benefited, six month appointment.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume and contact information for three professional references. Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.  


As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More

The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.