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The bureau of land management is a branch of government established to monitor and care for resources and activities that occur on public lands. Around the country, bureaus of land management take care of rivers, lakes, reservoirs, forests, woodlands, fish and wildlife. In addition, they regulate the various activities that occur on these lands, whether they are performed by citizens or private companies. The bureau of land management employs a range of different specialties in order to accomplish these tasks.
Working in the Bureau of Land Management
The bureau of land management is government agency that requires wide variety of skilled positions for overseeing public lands and their use. The work may require working in offices, laboratories or outdoors to monitor problems in the environmental and to manage those who use the lands on a temporary or longer-term basis to ensure that all regulations are followed.
Positions in Land Management
Land management requires a variety of specialties, including geology, water chemistry, conservation, engineering, forestry, fire science, biology, archeology, botany, as well as clerical and administrative positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the need for environmental scientists to increase 5 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Training For Land Management
Career positions in the bureau of land management often require a 4-year degree in a specialty, but some technician positions are available with 2-year degree or less. Management positions may require advanced degrees. The cost of education for these positions can vary depending on the number of years required for completion of the degree requirements, from $5,000 or less per year to $20,000 per year. A number of public and private colleges offer degrees in conservation and environmental sciences.
Duties and Responsibilities
Environmental scientists and technicians must collect data on the current status of trees, waterways and wildlife on public lands and collate them into meaningful reports for analysis and future management policies. Firefighters must monitor and combat wildfires on public lands. Engineers are required to manage mines, caves and other natural structures on public owned lands to prevent deterioration and safety issues.
Administrative personnel must keep records and reports up to date and in compliance with current government requirements.
Salaries in Land Management
The range of salaries in the bureau of land management varies widely depending on skill levels and duties. Technicians and lower-level clerical personnel may garner salaries in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. Degreed environmental scientists can earn from $54,000 to $59,000 dollars. Level-level management salaries can earn up to $80,000 to $100,000.
Benefits of Land Management Jobs
Bureau of land management positions allow individuals to fulfill their desire to preserve and protect the natural environment. Like many government positions, bureau of land management positions generally include generous benefit packages with health insurance, paid vacations, holidays and pensions. These positions usually have a high degree of job security.
Seasonal firefighting positions are temporary in nature and usually begin in the middle of summer and last until the first heavy autumn rains put out the last of the forest fires for the year. Firefighters are often college students, teachers or others who work or educational commitments for the months when fire danger in nonexistent. Those who wish to work as seasonal firefighters need to be physically and psychologically fit because the demands of the job can be both mentally and physically exhausting.
Wildland firefighting is handled by several different agencies. Those interested in working as a seasonal firefighter should consider applying to as many different agencies as possible. Because it is such a specialized field, mandatory training is provided by the agencies. Although the average wage for a seasonal firefighter is only about eight dollars per hour, overtime is common, and hazardous duty pay is also a factor. Hazardous duty pay can amount to as much as one-fourth of the base wage.
Flexible Seasonal Schedules
Because of the unpredictable nature of the work, seasonal firefighters must have flexible schedules. It is important they are able to respond to a fire on a moment’s notice, which is why this type of work may not be the best choice for those with family responsibilities unless another household member is present who can cover absences.
The majority of wildland firefighters are employed in the western half of the United States. Many of these work in the state of California because forest fires are prevalent there during the summer months. During drought years, firefighters often work well past the traditional ending date for their particular line of work.
Hiring of seasonal firefighters usually occurs from April through June for the following season. Applicants need to have a valid drivers license and be able to pass a physical fitness examination. Possession of CPR an First Aid certifications will increase the chances of an applicant being hired. The minimum amount of education necessary for consideration for a position as a seasonal firefighter is a high school diploma or GED.
Firefighting crews are frequently required to live in remote wilderness areas and to be on-call 24 hours per day for a period of several months. Weekends and holidays are not observed because forest fires do not magically stop burning during those times. Fire activity is the major determining activity in the length of the employment contract, so there is no real guarantee of how long the job will last and how much cumulative compensation can be expected.
Power Plant Workers
All electricity comes from an energy source. These sources include nuclear, wind, coal, solar and water. Power plants turn these energy sources into usable electricity. The individuals who staff these plants perform tasks related to regulating and maintaining the flow of energy. Plants are scattered liberally throughout the country, so these jobs are available in numerous locations.
There are several different paths available to become an employee at a power plant. Those with science and engineering degrees may start at the top, but many people accept entry-level positions and work their way up. The minimum education required for this job is a high school diploma. Entry-level employees begin in manual labor positions that require minimal technical knowledge of the plant workings. As they learn, they can advance to increasingly higher positions until they reach plant operator status. Control room operators must undergo rigorous training and certification. The process of working up the ladder can take several years.
Power Plant Job Requirements
Power plants around the country are not uniform, and each plant has slightly different job requirements. Because of these inconsistencies, power plant workers must retrain for a job when relocating to a new plant. There are basic jobs that are fairly consistent from one plant to another. These include dispatchers and operators. Each job is important to ensuring the smooth operation of the plant. An operator monitors the plant’s equipment and makes repairs when necessary. This is a very technical job that requires operating complicated equipment and reading complex dials and gauges. In order to remain a power plant operator, employees must undergo continuing education training and renew their license every few years. The dispatchers act as energy regulators and direct the energy to substations. They must have a good working knowledge of all equipment and know how to repair and monitor it. Dispatchers must have excellent problem solving skills and be able to remain cool in an emergency.
Power Plant Worker Salary
The pay for a power plant worker is based on tenure, job title and location. The longer an employee works for a company, the more they can expect to earn. Salaries are also adjusted for local cost of living. The average power plant worker can expect to earn around 52,000 dollars a year. This salary increases for nuclear power plants due to the greater danger. Most power plant workers receive health insurance, a 401K and vacation hours. Workers take shifts based on a 24-hour operating schedule. Those who take night and weekend shifts make slightly more money.
The focus on clean, renewable energy combined with the increasingly aging work force may cause a slight worker shortage for power plant workers in the wind and solar fields. The availability of jobs in nuclear, coal and hydroelectric power are expected to remain steady through 2020.