What Do Forest and Conservation Technicians Do?
As a Forest and Conservation Technician, your role pertains primarily to data compilation and technical matters. Your technical assistance will impact the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. You may compile data under the direction of foresters, or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. You will at times be called upon to assist conservation scientists in management and protection of rangelands and wildlife habitats.
Forest and Conservation Technicians Skills and Abilities
Since much of what you will be doing is surveying the land and recording data about changes that take place, the main field of knowledge that you will be applying in this application is Geographical. This includes the interrelationships and distribution of plant and animal as well as human lives. As a technician working with data you will need to have a strong Mathematical foundation. Aside from these, you will be working within the laws and governmental structure regarding the land. A knowledge of government and laws will allow you to use these political elements to aid your mission of forest conservation. Also, you will need to be trained in Transportation and the operation of all relevant vehicles.
Forest and Conservation Technicians Duties
Much of what you will be doing involves physical tasks and the operation of vehicles. Beyond that, you will need to gather information and solve problems as they arise, communicating with supervisors when necessary. Much of what you will be doing involves survey and data collection. There will also be more direct work with the land and with others involved in its conservation. A list of some specific duties looks like this:
- Advise others about environmental management or conservation
- Advise others on management of emergencies or hazardous situations or materials
- Collect biological specimens
- Collect environmental data or samples
- Cultivate land
- Develop technical or scientific databases
- Inspect condition of natural environments
- Manage agricultural or forestry operations
- Prepare maps
- Record research or operational data
- Set up laboratory or field equipment
- Survey land or properties
- Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures
Forest and Conservation Technicians Tools and Technology
You will find yourself implementing some special tools in this position, including:
- Commercial fishing nets
- Moisture meters
- Portable data input terminals
- TheodolitesThese tools will be used in combination with the following software types for which you will need to develop a proficiency:
- Analytical or scientific software
- Computer aided design CAD software
- Data base user interface and query software
- Inventory management software
- Map creation software
Education and Training for Forest and Conservation Technicians
Forest and Conservation Technicians must typically acquire an Associate’s degree before applying. An instructional program in general Forestry will provide relevant knowledge if one does not want to go into schooling for a college degree. The most relevant training would be a program in Forest Technology. While most Forest and Conservation Technicians have some college to a Bachelor’s degree, about 15 percent hold a Master’s degree or higher.
Forest and Conservation Technicians Salary
Forest and Conservation Technicians typically make a moderate income. The median wage for Forest and Conservation Technicians is $16.95, which adds up to over $35,00 in a year. Those on the lower end of the spectrum make about $4 per hour less on average, while the top 10% of Forest and Conservation Technicians can make over $26 per hour.
Forest and Conservation Technicians Jobs by Geography
While California currently employs the largest number of Forest and Conservation Technicians, the industry is projected to shrink in that state in the near future. An option more likely to yield prompt employment would be one of the states that has seen significant growth in the industry, such as Arkansas, Vermont, or Massachusetts. Because they each offer both some of the highest wages and some of the highest increase in jobs opening up soon, Connecticut and Massachusetts are both highly viable options to seek employment as a Forest and Conservation Technician.