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Soil and Water Conservationist

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All About Soil and Water Conservationists

Soil and Water Conservationist Example Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.

What Do Soil and Water Conservationists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Develop or conduct environmental studies, such as plant material field trials or wildlife habitat impact studies.
  • Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
  • Manage field offices or involve staff in cooperative ventures.
  • Calculate or compare efficiencies associated with changing from low-precision irrigation technologies, such as furrow irrigation, to high-precision technologies, such as computer-controlled systems.
  • Survey property to mark locations or measurements, using surveying instruments.
  • Coordinate or implement technical, financial, or administrative assistance programs for local government units to ensure efficient program implementation or timely responses to requests for assistance.

What Every Soil and Water Conservationist Should Know

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.

  • Farm Planner
  • Soil and Water Conservation District Manager
  • Natural Resources Specialist
  • Water Conservation Specialist
  • Land Resource Specialist

What Kind of Soil and Water Conservationist Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 22,300 jobs for Soil and Water Conservationist in 2016 (in the United States). 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. There will be an estimated 2,000 positions for Soil and Water Conservationist per year.

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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.

Soil and Water Conservationist Average Salary

The salary for Soil and Water Conservationists ranges between about $34,020 and $98,450 a year.

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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
Alabama $59,310
Alaska $93,390
Arizona $71,190
Arkansas $70,630
California $75,980
Colorado $71,170
Connecticut $87,710
Delaware $55,300
Florida $40,620
Georgia $69,390
Hawaii $68,360
Idaho $66,510
Illinois $63,840
Indiana $63,320
Iowa $56,820
Kansas $68,910
Kentucky $67,440
Louisiana $61,430
Maine $61,970
Maryland $79,070
Massachusetts $72,200
Michigan $63,460
Minnesota $72,650
Mississippi $54,870
Missouri $57,580
Montana $64,480
Nebraska $65,300
Nevada $61,670
New Hampshire $72,160
New Jersey $85,360
New Mexico $68,710
North Carolina $61,780
North Dakota $64,900
Ohio $55,550
Oklahoma $64,330
Oregon $76,790
Pennsylvania $55,200
South Carolina $56,220
South Dakota $62,390
Tennessee $68,440
Texas $57,990
Utah $63,720
Vermont $55,150
Virginia $75,370
Washington $65,120
West Virginia $50,210
Wisconsin $65,610
Wyoming $71,180

What Tools & Technology do Soil and Water Conservationists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Soil and Water Conservationists:

  • 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 to Become a Soil and Water Conservationist

What kind of Soil and Water Conservationist requirements are there?

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What work experience do I need to become a Soil and Water Conservationist?

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Where Soil and Water Conservationists Are Employed

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Soil and Water Conservationist may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Soil and Water Conservationist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

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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