Summary Report for:
19-1031.01 - Soil and Water Conservationists
Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.
Sample of reported job titles: Soil Conservationist, Conservationist, Land Reclamation Specialist, Land Resource Specialist, Environmental Analyst, Resource Conservation Specialist, Resource Conservationist, Erosion Control Specialist, Land Manager, Watershed Program Manager
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
- Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
- Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.
- Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
- Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
- Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
- Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
- Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information technical guides or engineering manuals.
- Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
- Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
|Laser measuring systems — Laser distance measurement systems|
|Levels — Dumpy levels|
|Notebook computers — Laptop computers|
|Theodolites — Total stations|
Technology used in this occupation:
|Analytical or scientific software — Clover Technology GALENA; CropSyst Suite *; Water Soil and Hydro-Environmental Decision Support System WATERSHEDSS *; WinEPIC *|
|Data base user interface and query software — CroPMan *; Microsoft Access; State Soil Geographic STATSGO Database *; Water resources databases|
|Electronic mail software — Email software|
|Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software; ESRI ArcInfo; ESRI ArcView|
|Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel|
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
|Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
|English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.|
|Biology — 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.|
|Geography — 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.|
|Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.|
|Mathematics — 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.|
|Active Listening — 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.|
|Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.|
|Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.|
|Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.|
|Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.|
|Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.|
|Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.|
|Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.|
|Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.|
|Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.|
|Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.|
|Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.|
|Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
|Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.|
|Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).|
|Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).|
|Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.|
|Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).|
|Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.|
|Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.|
|Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.|
|Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.|
|Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.|
|Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.|
|Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.|
|Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.|
|Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.|
|Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.|
|Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.|
|Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?|
|Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?|
|Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?|
|Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?|
|Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?|
|Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?|
|Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?|
|Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?|
|In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?|
|Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?|
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
There is 1 recognized apprenticeable specialty associated with this occupation:
To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.
For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship website.
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|10||Some college, no degree|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IRE
|Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.|
|Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.|
|Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.|
|Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.|
|Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.|
|Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.|
|Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.|
|Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.|
|Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.|
|Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.|
|Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.|
|Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.|
|Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.|
|Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.|
|Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.|
|Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.|
|13-1041.01||Environmental Compliance Inspectors|
|17-2199.03||Energy Engineers Bright Outlook|
|19-2041.00||Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Green|
|29-9011.00||Occupational Health and Safety Specialists|
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Conservation Scientists.
Employment data collected from Conservation Scientists.
Industry data collected from Conservation Scientists.
|Median wages (2012)||$29.38 hourly, $61,100 annual|
|Employment (2012)||22,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Little or no change (-2% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||6,600|
|Top industries (2012)|
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
for Soil and Water Conservationists
State & National Job Banks
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Conservation Scientists and Foresters . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) , 5585 Guildford Rd., Madison, WI 53711. Phone: (608) 273-8080. Fax: (608) 273-2021.