What You Need to Know About Soil and Water Conservationist
Job Description: Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.
Life As a Soil and Water Conservationist: What Do They Do?
- Enter local soil, water, or other environmental data into adaptive or Web-based decision tools to identify appropriate analyses or techniques.
- Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information, technical guides or engineering manuals.
- Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
- Develop water conservation or harvest plans, using weather information systems, irrigation information management systems, or other sources of daily evapotranspiration (ET) data.
- Plan soil management or conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil or conserve water.
- Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
Qualities of a Soil and Water Conservationist
When polled, Soil and Water Conservationists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Types of Soil and Water Conservationist Jobs
- Environmental Consultant
- Environmental Analyst
- Land Resource Specialist
- Filter Changing Technician
- Erosion Control Coordinator
Soil and Water Conservationist Employment Estimates
In the United States, there were 22,300 jobs for Soil and Water Conservationist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,400 new jobs for Soil and Water Conservationist by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,000 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Soil and Water Conservationist are Colorado, New Hampshire, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, New Mexico, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for a Soil and Water Conservationist
The typical yearly salary for Soil and Water Conservationists is somewhere between $34,020 and $98,450.
Soil and Water Conservationists who work in Connecticut, Alaska, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.
How much do Soil and Water Conservationists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
Tools & Technologies Used by Soil and Water Conservationists
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Soil and Water Conservationists may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Microsoft Windows
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Geographic information system GIS software
- ESRI ArcView
- Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
- ESRI ArcInfo
- ESRI ArcGIS software
- Autodesk Maya
- Clover Technology GALENA
- State Soil Geographic STATSGO Database
How do I Become a Soil and Water Conservationist?
What education or degrees do I need to become a Soil and Water Conservationist?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Soil and Water Conservationist?
Who Employs Soil and Water Conservationists?
The table below shows the approximate number of Soil and Water Conservationists employed by various industries.
Those interested in being a Soil and Water Conservationist may also be interested in:
Are you already one of the many Soil and Water Conservationist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
- Farm and Home Management Advisors
- Civil Engineers
- Nursery and Greenhouse Managers
- Food Scientists and Technologists
- Natural Sciences Managers
- Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
Image Credit: Lynn Betts via Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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