Natural Resource Technician Job Description

A natural resources technician is typically a mid-level position with a government agency charged with maintaining various natural resources including, land, water, and recreational areas. This job title tends to be used for a wide range of jobs and therefore there are also a wide range of possible duties. Some may work with close supervision and help with the job duties of supervisors, while others may work as a mid-level supervisor and be responsible for completion of the job duties.

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Soil improvement workshop lead by Natural Resources Conservation Service, photo by NRCS SD, Flickr

Natural Resource Technician Job Duties

This is really a bit of a generic title that can be applied to many different jobs, but will have you working with the natural world. You may be sampling water for water quality testing or working to restore local habitats or educating the public about the local natural areas.

Job Duties of a Natural Resource Technician May Include:

  • *Inspect open space areas for maintenance needs and invasive plants and animals
  • *Supervise volunteers and staff in the maintenance of parks and trails
  • *Code enforcement if a city or county position
  • *Use GIS to create maps, reports, and presentations
  • *Maintaining fisheries
  • *Data entry
  • *Writing reports
  • Public presentations and outreach events
  • Developing budgets
  • Work with farmers on integrating conservation into their farming practices
  • Repair buildings, water control structures, and/or trails
  • Take water samples from local rivers and stream for testing
  • Tag fish for population studies

Working Conditions

Most of these jobs are primarily outdoor jobs. You may be working a great distance from home, in rough terrain, and be outside no matter the weather. In some cases you may work indoors at a computerat times to process samples and input data.

Natural Resources Technician Salary

As a mid-level position you can expect mid-level pay. Such a position will pay about $15 to $25 an hour. It may be a full-time, part-time, and/or a temporary seasonal position.

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Monitoring for the invasive Quagga mussel in Oregon. Photo by USDAgov, Flickr

Education and Experience Needed

The education and experience you will need for this position will greatly depend on the employer and specific duties of the position available. You will need several months to a year of experience working in a conservation or land management job. Volunteer management and associate’s degree in a related field is also helpful in gaining employment as a natural resource technician. Some may require special certification such as in pesticide use or from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). To get promoted you will likely need a bachelor’s degree.

Desirable Skills

Generally you will need at least some of the follow skills, but not all. These include knowledge and/or proficiency in GIS, budgeting, local ecosystems, computers, local plant and animal identification, water quality testing equipment, wildlife handling, public relations, erosion control, tree pruning, invasive species control methods, agriculture, fisheries, integrated pest management, and construction.

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