Projected Growth: Average
Projected Job Openings
Considerable Preparation Needed
Your job is to Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.
Common job titles of Soil and Water Conservationists include:
Experience and Education
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.
66.67% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.
14.29% said they needed a Associate's Degree.
Manage field offices or involve staff in cooperative ventures.
Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information, technical guides or engineering manuals.
Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
Plan soil management or conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil or conserve water.
Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.
Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
Survey property to mark locations or measurements, using surveying instruments.
Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices or plans.
Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
Develop, conduct, or participate in surveys, studies, or investigations of various land uses to inform corrective action plans.
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.
Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
Enter local soil, water, or other environmental data into adaptive or Web-based decision tools to identify appropriate analyses or techniques.
Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
Review or approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans or conservation district plans.
Respond to complaints or questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information or clarification.
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.
Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
Develop or conduct environmental studies, such as plant material field trials or wildlife habitat impact studies.
Develop water conservation or harvest plans, using weather information systems, irrigation information management systems, or other sources of daily evapotranspiration (ET) data.
Compile or interpret biodata to determine extent or type of wetlands or to aid in program formulation.
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.
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.
Provide access to programs or training to assist in completion of government groundwater protection plans.
Review annual reports of counties, conservation districts, or watershed management organizations, certifying compliance with mandated reporting requirements.
Review grant applications or make funding recommendations.
Review proposed wetland restoration easements or provide technical recommendations.
Initiate, schedule, or conduct annual audits or compliance checks of program implementation by local government.
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.
Laser distance measurement systems
Global positioning system GPS receiversAll Tools
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
ESRI ArcGIS software
Geographic information system GIS software
Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
Autodesk MayaAll Technologies
Clover Technology GALENA
Delft GeoSystems MStab
Interstudio Geo-Tec B
Landscape Management System LMS
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
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
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.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Teaching others how to do something.
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Management of Personnel Resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension
Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension
Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression
Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity
Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning
Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning
See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity
Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.