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Conservation Careers

Carrying out the conservation mission of NRCS requires a variety of disciplines.  The majority of conservation work occurs in county-based NRCS Field Offices by Soil Conservationists, Soil Conservation Technicians, Engineers and Engineering Technicians.  Soil scientists, biologists, foresters,agronomists, geologist, hydrologists, information technology specialists and many other disciplines provide support to conservationists working with landowners.   

Soil Conservationist - Provides conservation planning assistance to landowners.

Qualifications: A degree in a major field of study in soil conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource discipline.  Thirty semester hours in natural science or agriculture, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science is required.  Of the 12 ,at least 3 semester hours in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant sciences is required.

Soil Conservation Technician - Assists the Soil Conservationist

Qualifications: Knowledge of farm or ranch operations.  Education or work experience in conservation is desirable.

Engineer - Must possess skills in erosion control, water management, structural design, construction, hydraulics, soil mechanics and environmental protection.

Qualifications: A bachelor's degree in engineering.

Engineering Technician - Plan, design and construction work.

Qualifications: Education and/or experience in engineering, surveying, construction, layout and inspection.  A sound knowledge of basic math is desirable.

Soil Scientist - Map and classify soils, write soil descriptions, evaluate soil quality and soil samples.

Qualifications: A degree in soil science or a related discipline. Thirty semester hours in biological, physical or earth science, including a minimum of 15 semester hours in subjects such as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics and soil fertility.

Other Career Fields in NRCS

  • Biology
  • Rangeland Management 
  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Business Administration
  • Cartography
  • Communications
  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Plant Science
  • Sociology
  • Computer Technology