State Range Management Specialist: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation required to become a state range management specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and other requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

A state range management specialist contributes to the conservation efforts of rangelands by educating the public and property owners about various topics, such as habitat destruction and wildfires. They work with a number of professionals, such as environmentalists and ranchers, to ensure a range's ecosystem is protected against environmental harms such as overgrazing and species invasion. In order to work as a state range management specialist, you must be an American citizen, pass a background check, and have a bachelor's degree in a field such as range management.

Essential Information

State range management specialists work with ranchers, environmentalists, and the general public to conserve public and private rangelands. A significant part of this job is educating the public to prevent overgrazing and wildlife habitat destruction.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements U.S. citizenship, background check
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% for all conservation scientists and foresters*
Starting Salary (2015) $48,403**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **USAJobs

State Range Manager Job Description

State range management specialists are conservation scientists who develop ways to utilize rangelands without ruining them. Range managers balance the needs of ranchers with those of wildlife by protecting and preserving natural ecosystems from overgrazing, wildfires, and invasive species. Other names for range mangers are range conservationists, range ecologists, or range scientists.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hundreds of millions of acres of rangelands exist, primarily in the western states and Alaska (www.bls.gov). State range managers work with other officials to manage these lands that contain varied resources, such as grass and shrubs, rivers and streams, wildlife, and minerals.

Range Manager Tasks

Range managers may evaluate rangeland soils, plants, and animals to prepare plans for range use and ecosystem restoration. Their plans can include fencing, range reseeding, and prescribed burns. Range managers work with ranchers, recommending pasture rotations and grazing seasons. Their tasks may include recommending the numbers and breeds of animals to raise. Range managers can also help land owners with water conservation or irrigation management plans.

State range managers are employed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and specialize in a specific state. USAJobs.gov postings for July 2011 indicate that state range management specialists assess training needs and provide training. They write standards used in field office technical guides. Working together with all groups they form policies and procedures to protect state rangelands.

State Range Manager Requirements

Basic requirements to work for the NRCS include being a U.S. citizen and able to submit to a background check. These government positions also require a specific amount of experience in the next lower grade level and related education. A four-year degree in range management or another degree with coursework in plant and animal science, range management principles, and natural resource management is acceptable, according to USAJobs.gov postings. The BLS reported that the Society of Range Management only accredits nine colleges and universities in this specialty.

Range Manager Candidate Evaluation

Candidates for range manager jobs are evaluated based on their resume, occupational questionnaire, and college transcript. For candidates to get credit for specialized experience, the resume details must support the occupational questionnaire. Candidates are scored based on standard procedures.

Salary Info

According to job postings found on USAJobs.gov in February 2015, the starting salary offered to rangeland management specialists was $48,403 a year. Positions as a state range manager are generally full-time, requiring at least 40 hours of work per week.

Employed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a state range manager is responsible for planning how a range area should be used and/or how its ecosystem can be restored. Working a typical work week of 40 hours, they examine a land's soil, plants, and animals, and also prepare technical guidelines to outline policy and procedure standards for conservation. Candidates who are being considered for this career must complete a questionnaire, provide a college transcript, and have a relevant resume.


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