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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Fire Lookouts in Round Rock, Texas

Forest fire lookouts can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Round Rock, Texas area. 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.

A person working as a forest fire lookout can expect to earn about $21 hourly or $45,390 yearly on average in Texas and about $15 per hour or $31,380 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for forest fire lookouts are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Fire Control in Texas and not quite as good as general Fire Control category earnings nationally. Forest fire lookouts work in a variety of jobs, including: range examiner, fire management technician, and observer.

The Round Rock area is home to thirty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Round Rock where you can get a degree 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 Round Rock 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

Austin Community College District - Austin, TX

Austin Community College District, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Austin Community College District is a large college located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,798 students. Austin Community College District has a one to two year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated fifty-five 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: Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock, Texas
Round Rock, Texas photo by Redsully

Round Rock is located in Williamson County, Texas. It has a population of over 104,446, which has grown by 70.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Round Rock, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Round Rock are priced at $145,400 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, three hundred twenty-four new homes were constructed in Round Rock, down from seven hundred ninety-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Round Rock are educational services, computer and electronic products, and health care. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 32.9% of Round Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Round Rock is 6.2%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Round Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Primera Iglesia Bautista of Round Rock Church, Round Rock Chapel Church and Round Rock Church of Christ are all churches located in Round Rock. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Round Rock is home to the Inn at Brushy Creek and the Captain Nelson Merrell House as well as Roundrock West Park and Mesa Village Park. Visitors to Round Rock can choose from Best Western Executive Inn and Austin Marriott North for temporary stays in the area.