How to Become a Conservationist
How would you like to take your love of nature and animals and make it into a career? Conservationists are scientifically trained experts who use their knowledge to help advocate for the environment and its species. They also promote awareness for the protection of wildlife with the hopes of reducing extinctions or reduced populations of threatened species.
Conservationists can work for a variety of organizations such as nonprofits. However, the majority of these scientists work for Local, State or Federal governments. Conservationists direct companies or entities that use the earth's natural resources in order to farm, make consumer products or build developments. Conservationists oversee how the land is being used or how it is being developed.
Some Conservationists help educate landowners about the healthy use and management of their land sometimes creating a program for them to follow. Their goal is to show landowners that their land can remain healthy but can still be productive for farming or similar uses. Conservationists can also help with the restoration or conservation of public or private land.
Conservationists have the goal of protecting the environment. Someone who wants to become a Conservationist should have a passion for nature as well as great communication skills, should enjoy the outdoors, have the ability to be active as this type of job requires a lot of walking and should be open to relocating where their ideas and passion are needed to help protect the environment.
Conservationist Scientists can specialize in one of several areas. These specializations include:
- Soil conservation
- Water conservation
- Urban forestry
- Pest management
- Native Species
- Forest Economics
Education Requirements to Become a Conservationist
Competition is high in this field. A candidate can find a government job with some experience and a few years of college. But in order to become a Conservationist and get hired more quickly, interested students must complete a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree which typically takes four years to complete. Candidates will need to study in Rangeland Management, Agricultural Science, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Sciences or any other related field.
Some educational institutions require students to complete a training session in field work in order to gain experience and have exposure to the type of work they will seek. The field sessions required by the school can either be run by the school itself or by a Federal or State government as well as a private organization.
If a candidate wants to perform research once they become a Conservationist, they must continue their education to acquire a Master's Degree.
Conservationist Job Description
Conservationists use their scientific knowledge to develop and implement several strategies in order to preserve the environment. Their purpose is to manage, protect and improve the environment with the additional goal of protecting all its inhabitants.
These professionals can work in a variety of industries including federal, state or local governments, nonprofit organizations or private corporations. Working conditions vary between sectors and specialties. Some Conservation Scientists work in an office setting while others perform their job doing fieldwork.
They help protect and preserve the environment by fulfilling specific roles. Some of those common tasks are listed below:
- Brainstorm land improvement techniques that also preserve it
- Teach farm owners and workers to improve agricultural processes while still controlling erosion
- Teach local communities about the environment they live in and the importance of preserving it
- Soil Conservationists help farmers with erosion problems and teach them ways to prevent it
Conservationists work with and teach people who use land and the environment to make a living while simultaneously preventing the destruction of it. They teach them how to use the land in an efficient manner while still providing advice on how to preserve it.
People who are interested in protecting the environment may look into similar and related careers to pursue their career goals. Some related careers are listed below:
Conservationist Salary and Career Path
Salary and wages depends on the specialty and sector a Conservation Scientist goes into. The average median wage for all Conservation Scientists in 2008 was approximately $58,700 per year. The salary range for this profession is $35,200 to $87,000 annually. In addition, Conservation Scientists who work for government entities or large companies typically have better benefits than those who work for smaller organizations.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics