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Career and Education Opportunities for Biologists in Missoula, Montana

For those living in the Missoula, Montana area, there are many career and education opportunities for biologists. The national trend for biologists sees this job pool growing by about 21.0% over the next eight years. In general, biologists research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.

The average wage in the general category of Life Sciences jobs is $26 per hour or $54,410 per year in Montana, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: aquatic biologist, research scientist, and mycologist.

There are two schools of higher education in the Missoula area, including one within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can get a degree to start your career as a biologist. Biologists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a biologist if you already have a high school diploma.


Biologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, biologists research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.

Biologists represent employers in technical capacities at conferences. They also design pest management and control measures, and conduct risk assessments pertaining to pest exclusion using scientific methods. Equally important, biologists have to communicate test results to state and federal representatives and to the general public. Finally, biologists program and use computers to store, process and analyze data.

Every day, biologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for biologists to teach, supervise students and perform research at universities and colleges. They are often called upon to collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment. They also design and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals and the public to foster cooperative management strategies or to evolve data and interpret findings. They are sometimes expected to study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them such as radioactivity or pollution. Somewhat less frequently, biologists are also expected to communicate test results to state and federal representatives and to the general public.

Biologists sometimes are asked to measure salinity and other physical conditions of water to establish their relationship to aquatic life. They also have to be able to design methods and apparatus for securing representative plant or soil samples And finally, they sometimes have to study reactions of plants and marine species to parasites.

Like many other jobs, biologists must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Missoula include:

  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • 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.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • 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.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.


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 5 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.
  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Microbiology, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Toxicology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Ecology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and seven students respectively 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.