Career and Education Opportunities for Soil Conservation Technicians in Missoula, Montana
For those living in the Missoula, Montana area, there are many career and education opportunities for soil conservation technicians. There are currently 470 working soil conservation technicians in Montana; this should grow 14% to 540 working soil conservation technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for soil conservation technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. In general, soil conservation technicians plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
The income of a soil conservation technician is about $27 hourly or $56,640 annually on average in Montana. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $28 hourly or $58,720 annually on average. Incomes for soil conservation technicians are better than in the overall category of Life Sciences in Montana, and not quite as good as the overall Life Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: conservation agent, agriculture consultant, and resource conservation specialist.
The Missoula area is home to two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can get a degree as a soil conservation technician. Given that the most common education level for soil conservation technicians is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a soil conservation technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Soil Conservation Technician
In general, soil conservation technicians plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
Soil conservation technicians apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy or agriculture, to attain conservation objectives. They also compute layout requirements for implementation of conservation practices, using survey and field data technical guides and calculators. Equally important, soil conservation technicians have to furnish data and training to government agencies at all levels to solve water and soil management problems and to assure coordination of resource protection efforts. They are often called upon to design or participate in surveys and investigations of various land uses, gathering data for use in developing corrective action plans. They are expected to advise land users, such as farmers and ranchers, on conservation plans, problems and alternative solutions, and furnish technical and planning assistance. Finally, soil conservation technicians compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, on the basis of needs of land users and life expectancy of practices.
Every day, soil conservation technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for soil conservation technicians to participate on work teams to develop and implement water and land management programs and policies. They are often called upon to direct and implement technical, financial, and administrative assistance programs for local government units to insure efficient program implementation and timely responses to requests for assistance. They also initiate and conduct annual audits and compliance checks of program implementation by local government. They are sometimes expected to respond to complaints and questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing data and clarification. Somewhat less frequently, soil conservation technicians are also expected to inspect and approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans and conservation district plans.
They also have to be able to inspect grant applications and make funding recommendations and furnish access to programs and training to help in completion of government groundwater protection plans. And finally, they sometimes have to design and maintain working relationships with local government staff and board members.
Like many other jobs, soil conservation technicians must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Missoula include:
- Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
- Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
- Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
- Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
- Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
- Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
- Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
- Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Soil Conservation Technician Training
The University of Montana - Missoula, MT
The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, Missoula, MT 59812. The University of Montana is a large university located in Missoula, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,176 students and an admission rate of 96%. The University of Montana has 4 areas of study related to Soil Conservation Technician. They are:
- Natural Resources/Conservation, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated thirty-three and eight students respectively in 2008.
- Forestry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-five, five, and seven students respectively in 2008.
- Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated forty-three, thirteen, and four students respectively in 2008.
- Natural Resources and Conservation, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
Accredited Agricultural Consultant: The Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation was developed and first offered by the ASFMRA in 1997.
For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.
Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.
For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.
Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in all phases of erosion and sediment control work.
For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Missoula, Montana
Missoula is located in Missoula County, Montana. It has a population of over 68,202, which has grown by 19.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Missoula, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Missoula cost $89,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Missoula, down from two hundred ninety-three the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Missoula are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 14 minutes. More than 38.0% of Missoula residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Missoula is 5.1%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.
The percentage of Missoula residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.4%, is less than both the national and state average. University Congregational Church, Unity Church of Missoula and United Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Missoula. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Missoula is home to the Health Sciences Building and the KOA El-Mar Kampground as well as Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Fort Missoula Park. Shopping malls in the area include East Gate Shopping Center, Southgate Mall and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Missoula can choose from Best Western Grant Creek Inn, Comfort Inn Missoula and Sleepy Inn Motel for temporary stays in the area.