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Career and Education Opportunities for Forestry and Wildlife Managers in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for forestry and wildlife managers in the Chicago, Illinois area. The national trend for forestry and wildlife managers sees this job pool growing by about 8.6% over the next eight years. Forestry and wildlife managers generally compile data pertaining to size, content, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under direction of foresters; train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression.

The income of a forestry and wildlife manager is about $17 hourly or $35,620 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,000 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical, people working as forestry and wildlife managers in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical nationally. People working as forestry and wildlife managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: vector control specialist, grazing aide, and fire engine operator.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a forestry and wildlife manager. Given that the most common education level for forestry and wildlife managers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a forestry and wildlife manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forestry and Wildlife Manager

Forestry and Wildlife Manager video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, forestry and wildlife managers compile data pertaining to size, content, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under direction of foresters; train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. They also may assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats, and help provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.

Every day, forestry and wildlife managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for forestry and wildlife managers to oversee forest protection efforts, including fire control, fire crew training, and coordination of fire detection and public education programs. They are often called upon to patrol park or forest areas to safeguard resources and avoid damage. They also train and lead forest and conservation staff in seasonal efforts. They are sometimes expected to decide on and mark trees for thinning or logging, drawing detailed plans that include access roads. Somewhat less frequently, forestry and wildlife managers are also expected to furnish technical support to forestry research programs in areas such as tree improvement, seed orchard operations, insect and disease surveys, or experimental forestry and forest engineering research.

Forestry and wildlife managers sometimes are asked to formulate and supervise development of access routes and forest roads. They also have to be able to survey and map access roads and forest areas such as burns, cut-over areas and timber sales sections and conduct laboratory or field experiments with plants, animals, insects, diseases and soils. And finally, they sometimes have to measure distances, clean site-lines, and record data to help survey crews.

Like many other jobs, forestry and wildlife managers must believe in cooperation and coordination and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Agricultural Technician. Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.
  • Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Forensic Investigator. Collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, or biochemistry.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forestry and Wildlife Manager Training

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year program in Forest Technology/Technician which graduated four students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Forest Technology/Technician which graduated seven students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.