SOIL CONSERVATIONISTS provide technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, forest managers, state and local government agencies, and others concerned with the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources. Soil conservationists suggest ways to conserve soil, preserve or restore wetlands, increase wildlife populations, rotate crops for better yields and soil conservation, reduce water pollution, and other ways to help land users make good land management choices. Some soil conservationists serve as technical advisors to soil and water conservation districts, which may require drawing maps to show some or all of the district and its soil and water conservation problems.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $61,500 average per year ($29.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (18,900 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.2% per year)
Most SOIL CONSERVATIONISTS have degrees in environmental studies, agronomy, crop or soil science, general agriculture, or hydrology; a few have degrees in related fields such as wildlife biology, forestry, and range management. Very few colleges and universities offer degrees in soil conservation. No special licensing or certification is required for soil conservationists. However, voluntary certifications such as Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control issued by the Soil and Water Conservation Society are highly useful.