Career and Education Opportunities for Soil Conservation Technicians in Houston, Texas
If you want to be a soil conservation technician, the Houston, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 810 jobs for soil conservation technicians in Texas and this is projected to grow 19% to 960 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for soil conservation technicians are expected to grow by about 11.9%. Soil conservation technicians generally plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
Soil conservation technicians earn approximately $26 per hour or $54,690 annually on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $28 per hour or $58,720 yearly. Soil conservation technicians earn less than people working in the category of Life Sciences generally in Texas and less than people in the Life Sciences category nationally. People working as soil conservation technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: range conservationist, erosion control specialist, and environmental consultant.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can study to be a soil conservation technician, among eighty-one schools of higher education total in the Houston area. 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 Houston include:
- Biological Sciences Technician. Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.
- 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.
- Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
- 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
Texas A & M University at Galveston - Galveston, TX
Texas A & M University at Galveston, 200 Seawolf Parkway, Galveston, TX 77554. Texas A & M University at Galveston is a small university located in Galveston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,612 students and an admission rate of 91%. Texas A & M University at Galveston has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management which graduated thirteen and five students respectively 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: Houston, Texas
Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.