Conservationist

Conservationist

Conservationists work with private landowners and federal, state and local governments to manage, improve and protect the planet’s natural resources. This career involves advising and consulting with farmers as to the best practices for improving their land and productivity without damaging the environment. Conservationists research and study conservation management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock and wildlife. They also measure and assess vegetation resources for biological assessment companies, environmental impact statements and conservation monitoring programs.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?: 
  • Research or study conservation management practices
  • Develop technical standards and specifications used to manage, protect and improve the natural resources of conservation
  • Maintain soil stability and vegetation for nongrazing uses, such as wildlife habitats and outdoor recreation
  • Manage forage resources through fire, herbicide use or revegetation to maintain a sustainable yield from the land
  • Plan and direct construction and maintenance of conservation improvements such as water shed research and soil-erosion control structures
  • Study forage plants and their growth requirements to determine varieties best suited to particular area
  • Utilize equipment for monitoring conservation structures and navigation
  • Develop new and improved instruments and techniques for activities such as reseeding
  • Measure and assess vegetation resources
  • Offer advice regarding water management, forage production methods and control of brush
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, earth science, chemistry, biology, botany and mathematics.
Education/Training Required: 
A bachelor’s degree in natural resources, crop science, soil science, biology or a related field, such as horticulture, plant physiology or environmental science, is required. Positions that are research-focused require a master’s or doctorate degree.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Conservationists can be employed by research firms, colleges or universities and governmental, environmental or conservation organizations.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • Society for Range Management
  • World Association of Soil and Water Conservation
  • Soil Science Society of America
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • National Arbor Day Foundation
  • Sierra Club 
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$53,473
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.