Career Advice on How to Become A Soil Conservationist

General Career Information

Everyone knows that digging around in soil can sure be fun!  If you’re one of those people that love the idea of getting your hands dirty, quite literally, then a career as a soil conservationist might in your future and perhaps should be added to your career planning.  Currently, about 68 percent of all conservation scientists and foresters are working for some level of government.

Career Facts:

It may seem a little mysterious as to what a soil conservationist does on a day-to-day basis. But when their work is broken down, it actually becomes pretty straightforward.  Soil and water conservationists provide different types of advice and expertise to governmental entities ranchers, farmers and others. The end goal is to help them better manage their soil and water resources.  Often this work means dealing with issues of soil erosion, preserving water quality and preventing contamination.  It is quite common for soil conservationists to spend a good deal of time out of the office working in the field, where they may be exposed to the elements in exotic locations such as a cow pasture.  Oh yes, it is very exciting.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

There is not an expected rapid rate of growth for soil conservationist in the coming years.  The overall rate of growth for soil conservationist between 2008-1018 is expected by about twelve percent, which is an overall average growth rate.
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

The fact that the vast majority of soil conservationists work for government in some form whether it is state, federal or local, clearly impacts the nature of their work.  Preventing forest fires, protecting water resources and preventing soil erosion are all key tasks that a soil conservationist might be involved in on a daily basis.

Those interested in this career should realize that the nature of the work means that much of the work will be done in the outdoors.  However, office work is also quite common.  Since much of this job is performed outside and often in rugged and remote areas, it can be physically demanding.  Soil conservationist may not always find that they are “tied to a desk,” but the trade off is that they will spend a good deal of time in the elements.  Yes, as a soil conservationist you might find yourself outside in a rainstorm or two. Be sure to get a good sturdy windbreaker before starting your job search.

Average Salary:

As of May 2008, the average earning for a conservation scientist was about $59,000 per year, with the top ten percent earning about $87,000.  The lowest ten percent earns roughly $35,000 on an annual basis.



Career Training and Qualifications:

A degree specifically in soil conservation is a rare thing.  The majority of those working as soil conservationist have degrees in related fields, such as environmental studies, soil science, forestry or biology.  Clearly, a working knowledge of soil science is a must for this occupation.
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