Career and Education Opportunities for Soil Conservation Technicians in Portland, Oregon
For those living in the Portland, Oregon area, there are many career and education opportunities for soil conservation technicians. Currently, 470 people work as soil conservation technicians in Oregon. This is expected to grow by 5% to about 500 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.
Soil conservation technicians earn about $27 per hour or $58,090 yearly on average in Oregon and about $28 hourly or $58,720 yearly on average nationally. Soil conservation technicians earn less than people working in the category of Life Sciences generally in Oregon and less than people in the Life Sciences category nationally. Soil conservation technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: erosion control specialist, range conservationist, and environmental planner.
The Portland area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a soil conservation technician. Soil conservation technicians usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Portland 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.
- Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
- 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.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Soil Conservation Technician Training
Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR
Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Natural Resources/Conservation which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.
Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR
Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Forestry.
Portland State University - Portland, OR
Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has 2 areas of study related to Soil Conservation Technician. They are:
- Natural Resources/Conservation, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
- Natural Resources Management and Policy, master's degree which graduated 5 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: Portland, Oregon
Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.
Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.