CareerShip Home
About CareerShip
Contact Us
Mapping Your Future
Visit the Featured Career Match My Career Interests
Review Careers by Clusters Career Search

Details for Soil and Water Conservationists


Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.


  • Develop and maintain working relationships with local government staff and board members.
  • Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
  • Advise land users such as farmers and ranchers on conservation plans, problems and alternative solutions, and provide technical and planning assistance.
  • Plan soil management and conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil and conserve water.
  • Visit areas affected by erosion problems to seek sources and solutions.
  • Monitor projects during and after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
  • Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey and field information technical guides, engineering manuals, and calculator.
  • Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices and plans.
  • Coordinate and implement technical, financial, and administrative assistance programs for local government units to ensure efficient program implementation and timely responses to requests for assistance.
  • Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
  • Participate on work teams to plan, develop, and implement water and land management programs and policies.
  • Develop, conduct and/or participate in surveys, studies and investigations of various land uses, gathering information for use in developing corrective action plans.
  • Survey property to mark locations and measurements, using surveying instruments.
  • Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements and life expectancy of practices.
  • Provide information, knowledge, expertise, and training to government agencies at all levels to solve water and soil management problems and to assure coordination of resource protection activities.
  • Respond to complaints and questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information and clarification.
  • Initiate, schedule and conduct annual audits and compliance checks of program implementation by local government.
  • Compile and interpret wetland biodata to determine extent and type of wetland and to aid in program formulation.
  • Manage field offices and involve staff in cooperative ventures.
  • Review and approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans and conservation district plans.
  • Review proposed wetland restoration easements and provide technical recommendations.
  • Review grant applications and make funding recommendations.
  • Conduct fact-finding and mediation sessions among government units, landowners, and other agencies in order to resolve disputes.
  • Review annual reports of counties, conservation districts, and watershed management organizations, certifying compliance with mandated reporting requirements.
  • Provide access to programs and training to assist in completion of government groundwater protection plans.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • 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.



  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Related Careers

  • Biologists
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
  • Fish and Game Wardens
  • Foresters
  • Landscape Architects
  • Range Managers
  • Soil and Plant Scientists
Wages for this career
America's Career InfoNet