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Career and Education Opportunities for Zoologists in Missoula, Montana

For those living in the Missoula, Montana area, there are many career and education opportunities for zoologists. There are currently 340 working zoologists in Montana; this should grow 9% to 370 working zoologists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for zoologists are expected to grow by about 12.8%. Zoologists generally study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife.

Income for zoologists is about $24 per hour or $50,700 per year on average in Montana. Nationally, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,290 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as zoologists in Montana earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. People working as zoologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: field naturalist, fish and wildlife biologist, and ornithologist.

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 zoologist. Given that the most common education level for zoologists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become a zoologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Zoologist

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

In general, zoologists study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. They also 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.

Zoologists disseminate data by writing reports and scientific papers or journal articles, and by making presentations and giving talks for schools, clubs, interest groups and park interpretive programs. They also inventory or estimate plant and wildlife populations. Finally, zoologists make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options.

Every day, zoologists are expected to be able to write clearly and communicate well. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for zoologists to study characteristics of animals such as origin, interrelationships, classification, life histories and diseases and distribution. They are often called upon to analyze characteristics of animals to pinpoint and classify them. They also study animals in their natural habitats, assessing effects of environment and industry on animals, interpreting findings and recommending alternative operating conditions for industry. They are sometimes expected to collect and dissect animal specimens and examine specimens under microscope. Somewhat less frequently, zoologists are also expected to oversee the care and distribution of zoo animals, working with curators and zoo directors to establish the best way to contain animals, maintain their habitats and oversee facilities.

Zoologists sometimes are asked to ready collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease. And finally, they sometimes have to direct preventive programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases.

Like many other jobs, zoologists must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Zoologist 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 2 areas of study related to Zoologist. They are:

  • 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.
  • Ecology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Associate Certified Entomologist: The Entomological Society of America, long the industry leader in certification through its Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) program, is pleased to announce a new certification option geared specifically toward the pest management industry.

For more information, see the Entomological Society of America website.

Certified Manager of Animal Resources: The Certified Manager Animal Resources (CMAR) certification program is designed to raise competency and professionalism in the field of Animal Resources Management.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Missoula, Montana

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.