What is a Soil Conservation Technician?

A soil conservation technicians support the professional soil conservationist's efforts to market the concept of conserving soil to achieve optimum land use consistent with conservation objectives.

What Does an Soil Conservation Technician Do?

Some of the tasks required by Soil Conservation Technicians are to gather preliminary data for conservation plans, develop a plan to implement conservation actions and supervise work done. The purpose of the job is to survey, implement and supervise soil conservation work implemented as part of a development or land maintenance project.

On a day-to-day basis a soil conservation technician gathers preliminary data for use in developing physical resource plans and papers on the history of land use. After this, the technician then surveys, plots, lays out, and stakes selected sites and assists landowners in selecting, installing, and maintaining a variety of measures that conserve and improve the soil, plant, water, marsh, wildlife and recreational resources of a land area.

Examples of single conservation measures that may be installed on a land site include contour cultivation, grass waterways, terracing, tree planting, field windbreaks, irrigation ditches, grass and legume seeding, and farm drains. Examples of practices applied to treat a physical resource include center pivot irrigation and strip cropping, conservation tillage practices, fertilization, pesticide application, land leveling, surface irrigation, and conservation cropping systems. In addition, a combination approach involving seeding, terraces, diversions, ponds, sod waterways, erosion control structures and wildlife habitat may be necessary.

Soil conservation technicians are important for the ongoing health of agriculture and more, globally. Soil is the foundation of all food that we and all other animals eat. By preserving soil health we ensure that food production continues to feed the world.

Where Does a Soil Conservation Tech Work?

Soil Conservation Technicians should be comfortable performing fieldwork as well as working in a laboratory or office. They generally work full-time, but sometimes stay in the field collecting data for extended periods of time.

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What Is the Average Soil Conservation Technician Salary?

The median salary for soil conservation technicians was $46,850 as of May 2020. Local government paid the most during this time, with a median salary of $51,510, followed by engineering services, with a median salary of $49,360. The job demand for soil conservation technicians is projected to increase by 11 percent between 2020 and 2030 - that's faster than the average for all occupations.*

What Do Soil Conservation Technicians Study?

Prospective soil conservation technicians generally must have an undergraduate degree or postsecondary training in a related field, such as agricultural or environmental science. Further study may be required to progress this position to more senior roles.

Related Degree Options for Conservation Technicians

What Kind of Societies and Professional Organizations Do Soil Conservation Technicians Have?

*2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for environmental science and protection technicians reflect national data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed September 2021.