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Career and Education Opportunities for Forestry and Wildlife Managers in Missoula, Montana

If you want to be a forestry and wildlife manager, the Missoula, Montana area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. 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 average wage in the general category of Life Science Technical jobs is $17 per hour or $34,786 per year in Montana, and an average of $19 per hour or $38,571 per year nationwide. People working as forestry and wildlife managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: tree warden, vector control specialist, and conservation specialist.

The Missoula area is home to two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can get a degree as a forestry and wildlife manager. The most common level of education for forestry and wildlife managers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Missoula include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forestry and Wildlife Manager Training

The University of Montana - Missoula, MT

The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, Missoula, MT 59812. The University of Montana is a large university located in Missoula, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,176 students and an admission rate of 96%. The University of Montana has 3 areas of study related to Forestry and Wildlife Manager. They are:

  • Natural Resources/Conservation, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated thirty-three and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Forestry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-five, five, and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Natural Resources and Conservation, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.


Missoula, Montana
Missoula, Montana photo by Joshulove

Missoula is located in Missoula County, Montana. It has a population of over 68,202, which has grown by 19.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Missoula, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Missoula cost $89,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Missoula, down from two hundred ninety-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Missoula are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 14 minutes. More than 38.0% of Missoula residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Missoula is 5.1%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.

The percentage of Missoula residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.4%, is less than both the national and state average. University Congregational Church, Unity Church of Missoula and United Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Missoula. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Missoula is home to the Health Sciences Building and the KOA El-Mar Kampground as well as Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Fort Missoula Park. Shopping malls in the area include East Gate Shopping Center, Southgate Mall and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Missoula can choose from Best Western Grant Creek Inn, Comfort Inn Missoula and Sleepy Inn Motel for temporary stays in the area.