Soil and Water Conservationists
SOC: 19-1031.01

Description:

Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
21,100 employed

Projected (2024):
22,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Agriculture Consultant
  • Aquatic Ecologist
  • Aquatic/Terrestrial Habitat Restoration Technician
  • Biologist
  • Botany Technician
  • Conservation Agent
  • Conservation Engineer
  • Conservation of Resources Commissioner
  • Conservation Policy Analyst
  • Conservation Specialist
  • Conservationist
  • Department of Natural Resources Officer (DNR Officer)
  • Ecologist Technician
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Planner
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Professional
  • Erosion Control Coordinator
  • Erosion Control Design and Installation Contractor
  • Erosion Control Specialist
  • Farm Planner
  • Field Agronomist
  • Filter Changing Technician
  • Land Manager
  • Land Reclamation Specialist
  • Land Resource Specialist
  • Land Use Planner
  • Range Conservationist
  • Research Soil Scientist
  • Resource Conservation Specialist
  • Resource Conservationist
  • Restoration Ecologist
  • Soil and Water Conservation District Manager
  • Soil Conservation Technician
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Soil Surveyor
  • Terrestrial Ecologist
  • Water Conservation Specialist
  • Watershed Program Manager
  • Wetland Scientist
  • Wetlands Technician


  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
  • Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
  • Plan soil management or conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil or conserve water.
  • Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
  • Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices or plans.
  • 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.
  • Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
  • Survey property to mark locations or measurements, using surveying instruments.
  • Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
  • Provide information, knowledge, expertise, or training to government agencies at all levels to solve water or soil management problems or to assure coordination of resource protection activities.
  • Respond to complaints or questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information or clarification.
  • Initiate, schedule, or conduct annual audits or compliance checks of program implementation by local government.
  • Manage field offices or involve staff in cooperative ventures.
  • Review or approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans or conservation district plans.
  • Review proposed wetland restoration easements or provide technical recommendations.
  • Review grant applications or make funding recommendations.
  • Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
  • Review annual reports of counties, conservation districts, or watershed management organizations, certifying compliance with mandated reporting requirements.
  • Provide access to programs or training to assist in completion of government groundwater protection plans.
  • 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.
  • Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
  • Enter local soil, water, or other environmental data into adaptive or web-based decision tools to identify appropriate analyses or techniques.
  • Evaluate or recommend geographic information systems (GIS) applications to address issues such as surface water quality, groundwater quality, ecological risk assessments, air quality, or environmental contamination.
  • Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information technical guides or engineering manuals.
  • Compile or interpret biodata to determine extent or type of wetlands or to aid in program formulation.
  • Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
  • Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
  • Identify or recommend integrated weed and pest management (IPM) strategies, such as resistant plants, cultural or behavioral controls, soil amendments, insects, natural enemies, barriers, or pesticides.
  • Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.
  • Develop, conduct, or participate in surveys, studies, or investigations of various land uses to inform corrective action plans.
  • Develop water conservation or harvest plans, using weather information systems, irrigation information management systems, or other sources of daily evapotranspiration (ET) data.
  • 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.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Dumpy levels
  • Dutch augers
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser distance measurement systems
  • Personal computers
  • Theodolites
  • Total stations
  • Water samplers
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Clover Technology GALENA
  • CroPMan
  • CropSyst Suite
  • Datasurge GEOPRO
  • Delft GeoSystems MStab
  • Email software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • GEO-SLOPE SEEP/W
  • GFA2D
  • HYDRUS-2D
  • Interstudio Geo-Tec B
  • Landscape Management System LMS
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Mitre Software GSLOPE
  • Salix Applied Earthcare Erosion Draw
  • State Soil Geographic STATSGO Database
  • Studio of Analytical Models STANMOD
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Vegetation Simulator FVS
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA WinSRM
  • Water resources databases
  • Water Soil and Hydro-Environmental Decision Support System WATERSHEDSS
  • Web browser software
  • WinEPIC


  • life physical and social science


    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220