Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Fire Lookouts in McKinney, Texas

Forest fire lookout career and educational opportunities abound in McKinney, Texas. The national trend for forest fire lookouts sees this job pool growing by about 8.4% over the next eight years. Forest fire lookouts generally enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards.

Forest fire lookouts earn about $21 per hour or $45,390 per year on average in Texas and about $15 hourly or $31,380 annually on average nationally. Incomes for forest fire lookouts are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fire Control in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Fire Control category nationally. Forest fire lookouts work in a variety of jobs, including: towerman, fire observer, and scout.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the McKinney area, including one within twenty-five miles of McKinney where you can get a degree to start your career as a forest fire lookout. The most common level of education for forest fire lookouts is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a forest fire lookout if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forest Fire Lookout

In general, forest fire lookouts enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. They also report forest fires and weather conditions.

Forest fire lookouts relay messages about emergencies, accidents, locations of crew and staff, and fire hazard conditions. They also direct crews working on firelines during forest fires. Equally important, forest fire lookouts have to manage records and logbooks. They are often called upon to estimate sizes and characteristics of fires, and report findings to base camps by radio or telephone. They are expected to direct maintenance and up keep firefighting equipment, or requisition new equipment. Finally, forest fire lookouts examine and inventory firefighting equipment such as axes and fire extinguishers in order to establish  their condition.

Every day, forest fire lookouts are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for forest fire lookouts to administer rules regarding sanitation and related forest rules. They are often called upon to locate forest fires on area maps, using azimuth sighters and known landmarks. They also patrol assigned areas, looking for forest fires and weather phenomena. They are sometimes expected to examine forest tracts and logging areas for fire hazards such as accumulated wastes or mishandling of combustibles, and recommend appropriate fire prevention measures. Somewhat less frequently, forest fire lookouts are also expected to restrict public access and recreational use of forest lands during critical fire seasons.

They also have to be able to restrict public access and recreational use of forest lands during critical fire seasons and examine and inventory firefighting equipment such as axes and fire extinguishers in order to establish  their condition. And finally, they sometimes have to examine forest tracts and logging areas for fire hazards such as accumulated wastes or mishandling of combustibles, and recommend appropriate fire prevention measures.

Like many other jobs, forest fire lookouts must want to innovate to meet new challenges and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in McKinney include:

  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Forest Firefighter. Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Fire Lookout Training

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated fifty students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Incident Safety Officer - Fire Suppression Certification: A fire department incident safety officer's mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Special Hazards Suppression Systems: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout and/or installation and maintenance related to special hazards suppression systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: McKinney, Texas

McKinney, Texas
McKinney, Texas photo by Agriffin

Mckinney is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 121,211, which has grown by 122.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mckinney, 90, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Mckinney are valued at $168,500 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, nine hundred eighty-seven new homes were built in Mckinney, down from 1,662 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Mckinney are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 39.1% of Mckinney residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mckinney is 7.8%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mckinney residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Eternity Community Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Mckinney. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mckinney is home to the Estes House and the A M Scott House as well as Mouzon Park and Murphy Park.