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Career and Education Opportunities for Natural Resource Managers in Missoula, Montana

There are many career and education opportunities for natural resource managers in the Missoula, Montana area. About 470 people are currently employed as natural resource managers in Montana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to 540 people employed. This is better than the national trend for natural resource managers, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. 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 $27 hourly or $56,640 per year on average in Montana. Nationally they average about $28 per hour or $58,720 per year. Earnings for natural resource managers are better than earnings in the general category of Life Sciences in Montana and not quite as good as general Life Sciences category earnings nationally. Natural resource managers work in a variety of jobs, including: habitat biologist, department of natural resources officer , and natural resource specialist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can study to be a natural resource manager, among two schools of higher education total in the Missoula area. 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 Missoula include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Natural Resource 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 4 areas of study related to Natural Resource 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.
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated forty-three, thirteen, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Natural Resources and Conservation, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.


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.


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.