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What Does it Take to Be a Conservation Technician?

Job Description: Provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. May compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under the direction of foresters; or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats.

Life as a Conservation Technician: What Do They Do?

  • Survey, measure, and map access roads and forest areas such as burns, cut-over areas, experimental plots, and timber sales sections.
  • Patrol park or forest areas to protect resources and prevent damage.
  • Manage forest protection activities, including fire control, fire crew training, and coordination of fire detection and public education programs.
  • Provide forestry education and general information, advice, and recommendations to woodlot owners, community organizations, and the general public.
  • Issue fire permits, timber permits, and other forest use licenses.
  • Install gauges, stream flow recorders, and soil moisture measuring instruments, and collect and record data from them to assist with watershed analysis.

Skills Needed to be a Conservation Technician

Below is a list of the skills most Forest and Conservation Technicians say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Types of Forest and Conservation Technicians

  • Grazing Aide
  • Timber Management Technician
  • Conservationist
  • Resource Technician
  • Timber Appraiser

Conservation Technician Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 33,200 jobs for Forest and Conservation Technicians in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 3.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Forest and Conservation Technicians by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 4,000 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Forest and Conservation Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Forest and Conservation Technicians are California, Idaho, and Nevada.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maryland, West Virginia, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Conservation Technician Average Salary

The salary for Forest and Conservation Technicians ranges between about $26,600 and $57,700 a year. The median salary is $37,180.

Salary Ranges for Forest and Conservation Technicians

How much do Forest and Conservation Technicians make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Pennsylvania

$49,170

Alaska

$47,830

Massachusetts

$47,530

Mississippi

$47,400

Maine

$47,270

Connecticut

$47,150

Illinois

$46,650

Kansas

$46,180

Florida

$46,050

Arkansas

$46,020

Georgia

$45,880

Oklahoma

$45,670

South Carolina

$45,500

Nebraska

$44,990

North Dakota

$44,480

Minnesota

$44,430

Alabama

$43,970

Louisiana

$43,890

Texas

$43,880

Missouri

$43,780

Maryland

$43,500

Virginia

$42,080

New York

$42,070

Vermont

$41,250

West Virginia

$41,100

California

$41,010

North Carolina

$40,700

Oregon

$40,490

Ohio

$40,190

Washington

$39,900

Iowa

$39,560

New Hampshire

$39,130

Colorado

$39,120

Nevada

$38,960

Michigan

$38,350

Arizona

$38,270

Tennessee

$38,120

Indiana

$37,980

Idaho

$37,950

Kentucky

$37,620

South Dakota

$37,530

New Mexico

$37,480

Montana

$37,100

Wyoming

$36,430

Wisconsin

$35,320

Utah

$33,750

What Tools & Technology do Forest and Conservation Technicians Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Forest and Conservation Technicians may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Access
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Autodesk AutoCAD LT
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Office

How do I Become a Conservation Technician?

Education needed to be a Forest and Conservation Technician:

Conservation Technician Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Conservation Technician?

Conservation Technician Work Experience

Where Forest and Conservation Technicians Are Employed

Conservation Technician Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Forest and Conservation Technicians might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Fish and Game Wardens
  • First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers
  • Forest Firefighters

Those who work as Forest and Conservation Technicians sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Forest Firefighters
  • Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation
  • Park Naturalists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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