Career Advice on Becoming A Conservation Scientist

General Information for Conservation Careers

Conservation scientists provide a valuable and often overlooked contribution for society and the nation’s wildlife resources.  Without the work of these highly educated individuals, working conservation careers numerous habitats and national resources would likely disappear or be damaged to a large extent. 

Conservationist Career Facts:

The Federal Government employs roughly sixty-six percent of all conservation scientists.  Conservation scientists work to protect forest and other natural habitats from destruction.  It is common for conservation scientists to specialize in a given area such as soil conservation or pest management to site just two specialties.  Soil and water conservationists are among the more common of all conservation scientists and they work to help conserve the nation’s water and soil.  In this particular conservation career they work with farmers, state governments and agencies and ranchers in all issues relating to soil and water conservation.  Much of their work is spent working with individual landowners who have large land holdings.  Conservationists assist them with finding ways around their various erosion issues and water conservation issues.

Another common type of conservation scientist is the range manager or range conservationist.  A range conservationist works to protect the millions of acres of range-land across the United States.  Much of the nation’s range-land is located in Alaska and Western States, such as Montana and Wyoming.  Much of their work centers upon helping ranchers restore ecosystems and more effectively manage the ranging activity of their livestock.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook - Below Average:

The job outlook for conservation scientists is expected to be about five percent, which is well below national averages.  In 2006, there were roughly 33,000 conservation scientists employed in the United States.  By 2016, this number will increase slightly to about 35,000 or an approximate increase of 1,700.  While conservation scientist’s overall numbers might be comparatively small, their overall contribution in conservation careers is significant.
Job Outlook is OK

Conservation Scientist- A Day in The Life:

Since conservation scientists work in different areas of conservation caeers the specific work they perform can vary as well.  It is common for conservation scientist to be employed by the Federal Government working to protect land from erosion, preservation natural resources and protect the quality of water and habitats around the country.  Their work often means that they will be in field interacting. with ranchers, farmers and other large landowners.

The very nature of the work means that conservation scientists spend a good deal of time outdoors.  This means that anyone interested in a conservationist career should also want to spend time out of the office and in the field.

Average Conservation Scientist Salary:

The average salary for conservation scientists as of 2006 was just under $55,000 per year.  The top ten percent of conservation scientists can expect to earn about $74,000.  Soil conservationist working for the government, who also hold a Ph.D can expect to average about $64,000 as starting salary.


Career Training and Qualifications:

Almost every conservation scientist holds a PhD in biology or environmental sciences.

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