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Seasonal Firefighters Require Flexible Schedules

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.

Careers In Power Plants

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.

National Parks Service Jobs

The national park service is a wonderful federal agency that has the beautiful sights of our country in its best interest. From the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon, the NPS is responsible for the upkeep of these sights. If you’re considering a position in national park services, you should be glad to find out that the NPS hires as many as 20,000 positions. Here are some things you should know about national park service jobs.

National Parks Service Positions

When many people think of national park services, they think of park rangers; people who wear the brown uniforms with the unique hats. Though this is the main representation of the job, the NPS hires many different people with different specialties. Here are just some different positions within the national park services:

  • Fish biologists
  • Hydrologists
  • Archaeologists
  • Botanists
  • Gardeners
  • Electricians

It’s easy to see that joining the park services is more than just being a ranger. However, for the sake of this article, we will focus on the rangers’ duties, salary, job outlook, and requirements.

Park Ranger

Duties

The rangers are the eyes, ears and mouth of the parks. They are responsible for gathering information, disseminating data, giving guided tours, performing search and rescue operations, helping in structure fire control, and operating campgrounds. Therefore, rangers must have a love for the outdoors and wilderness. They must also be friendly and knowledgeable of their park.

As a ranger advances in rank, he or she will assume more managerial responsibilities in offices.

Training

For some parks, their requirement for qualification is a high school diploma or equivalent. Parks give on-site training, though sometimes this training is supplemented with formal training at the Horace M. Albright Training Center at Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, and the Stephen T. Mather Training Center at Harpers Ferry, WV. There is also a training center in Brunswick, GA, where ongoing performance can be tested.

However, many parks require some type of college education in any related area. For example, law enforcement, archeology, natural resource management, park and recreation management, etc.

Salary

Depending on the ranger’s rank, his or her salary will vary. Typically, an entry-level summer ranger with a college degree will start at GS-4 ($18,687). As rangers move up in rank or acquire more education, their salary can increase to GS-5 ($20,908) to GS-9 ($31,680).

If you choose a career in national park services, you will experience the true beauty of nature. It is a rewarding career knowing that you are playing a part to help keep America’s history and culture alive in its most natural format.

Sources: http://www.nps.gov/personnel/rangers.htm, http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/workwithus.htm

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