Interested in a rewarding career that combines research and advocacy of green best practices? If so, you may want to pursue a career in conservation with an emphasis on crop and soil science.

work as a conservationistWhat Does a Career in Conservation Look Like?

Conservationists focus on sustainability of natural resources, acting as protective guides and educators for private industry, government, policy makers and the general public. They research, educate, advise and instruct.

A career in conservation typically entails:

  • Engagement with scientists, private landowners, government officials, policy makers and the public for research, delivery of findings, advising and education purposes.
  • Acting as a consultant to a wide variety of audiences, both friendly and adversarial to conservation efforts.
  • Research of and establishment of green best practices for your area of specialty, whether that be soil, water, air or flora/fauna ecology.
  • Evaluation of ecological impacts of human activity such as farming or urban development.
  • Measure and assess ecological impacts of events, actions or projects, both man-made and natural.
  • Political activism or consulting to influence the making of policy or the establishment of best practices for an industry or specific client.
  • Interaction with government or nongovernmental organizations to advance conservation efforts.
  • Creation of conservation monitoring programs.

Conservationists are expected to question, research and document findings in a way that is accessible to the end user. You will need to have deep knowledge of the sciences and know how to effectively communicate scientific conclusions. Persuasion skills are also quite valuable in this career field.

Conservation Salary and Forecast

Those working in conservation earn a median salary of $59,070 (as of 2016).

land use consultant salary

Job opportunities in this industry are growing at a rate of 5-8%, with North Carolina leading the way with a job opportunity growth rate of 11.1%.

job forecast for land use jobs

What Education is Required to Work in Conservation?

Most of these career opportunities require at least a bachelor’s degree, and most require a graduate degree or a graduate level certificate.

what education is needed to work in land use

Explore the many related educational programs available at NC State here:

  • Majors, Minors & Certificates

Conservation Job Opportunities

The following are common job titles of people working in the field of conservation:

  • Soil Conservationist
  • Water Quality Specialist
  • Conservation Scientist

Explore job opportunities here.

Ready to Get Started?

Want to protect the planet’s natural resources? Apply now to get the education required for a purposeful career in conservation.