Soil Conservationists and Technicians

Soil Technician Collects Water Samples

Soil conservationists develop conservation plans to help farmers and ranchers, developers, homeowners, and government officials best use their land while adhering to government conservation regulations. They suggest plans to conserve and reclaim soil, preserve or restore wetlands and other rare ecological areas, rotate crops for increased yields and soil conservation, reduce water pollution, and restore or increase wildlife populations. They assess land users' needs, costs, maintenance requirements, and the life expectancy of various conservation practices. They plan design specifications using survey and field information, technical guides, and engineering field manuals. Soil conservationists also give talks to various organizations to educate land users and the public about how to conserve and restore soil and water resources. Many of their recommendations are based on information provided to them by soil scientists. 

Soil conservation technicians work more directly with land users by putting the ideas and plans of the conservationist into action. In their work they use basic engineering and surveying tools, instruments, and techniques. They perform engineering surveys and design and implement conservation practices like terraces and grassed waterways. Soil conservation technicians monitor projects during and after construction and periodically revisit the site to evaluate the practices and plans.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Develop conservation plans to help farmers, ranchers, and other groups best use their land while following government conservation regulations (soil conservationists); work directly with land users to put conservation plans into action (soil conservation technicians)
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Earth Science
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Interpersonal
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Soil Scientist, or Professor, or Research and Testing Expert
  • Manager
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Soil Conservation Technician