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Career and Education Opportunities for Natural Resource Managers in Modesto, California

If you want to be a natural resource manager, the Modesto, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,000 working natural resource managers in California; this should grow by 10% to 1,100 working natural resource managers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for natural resource managers are expected to grow by about 11.9%. In general, natural resource managers research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

Natural resource managers earn approximately $32 hourly or $67,030 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $28 hourly or $58,720 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as natural resource managers in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: grassland conservationist, land management supervisor, and natural resource specialist.

The Modesto area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Modesto where you can get a degree as a natural resource manager. The most common level of education for natural resource managers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a natural resource manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Natural Resource Manager

In general, natural resource managers research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

Natural resource managers study rangeland management practices and research range problems to furnish sustained production of forage and wildlife. They also measure and assess vegetation resources for biological assessment companies, environmental impact statements, and rangeland monitoring programs. Equally important, natural resource managers have to formulate and direct construction and maintenance of range improvements such as fencing, corrals, stock-watering reservoirs and soil-erosion control structures. They are often called upon to maintain soil stability and vegetation for non-grazing uses. They are expected to oversee forage resources through fire or revegetation to maintain a sustainable yield from the land. Finally, natural resource managers design methods for protecting a range from fire and rodent damage and for controlling poisonous plants.

Every day, natural resource managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for natural resource managers to design new and improved instruments and techniques for efforts such as range reseeding. Somewhat less frequently, natural resource managers are also expected to design new and improved instruments and techniques for efforts such as range reseeding.

Natural resource managers sometimes are asked to formulate and implement revegetation of disturbed sites. They also have to be able to study grazing patterns to establish the number and kind of livestock that can be most profitably grazed and to establish the best grazing seasons and tailor conservation plans to landowners' goals, such as livestock support or recreation. And finally, they sometimes have to design methods for protecting a range from fire and rodent damage and for controlling poisonous plants.

Like many other jobs, natural resource managers must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Modesto include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Natural Resource Manager Training

Modesto Junior College - Modesto, CA

Modesto Junior College, 435 College Ave, Modesto, CA 95350-5800. Modesto Junior College is a large college located in Modesto, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,000 students. Modesto Junior College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Forestry which graduated one, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Joaquin Delta College - Stockton, CA

San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207. San Joaquin Delta College is a large college located in Stockton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,480 students. San Joaquin Delta College has an associate's degree program in Natural Resources/Conservation.


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.


Modesto, California
Modesto, California photo by Foolishfish

Modesto is located in Stanislaus County, California. It has a population of over 202,967, which has grown by 7.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Modesto, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Modesto cost $208,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were constructed in Modesto, down from two hundred eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Modesto are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 16.5% of Modesto residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Modesto is 14.4%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Modesto residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Livingway Tabernacle, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Bethel Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Modesto. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.

Modesto is home to the King-Kennedy Center and the McClure Historical Country House as well as Muncy Park and John Muir Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Shopping Center, Gregory Gardens Shopping Center and Western Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Modesto can choose from Best Western Town House Lodge, Apex Inn and Arrow Inn for temporary stays in the area.