Range managers measure and improve the quality of forests. Under the supervision of foresters and forest and conservation technicians, they help to develop, maintain, and protect forests. Range managers typically work outdoors, sometimes in remote locations and in all types of weather. They use proper safety measures and equipment, such as hardhats, protective eyewear, and safety clothing.
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Range managers typically do the following:
Range managers are often supervised by foresters and forest and conservation technicians, who direct their work and evaluate their progress. They do basic tasks to maintain and improve forest quality, such as planting seedlings or removing diseased trees. To plant seedlings, they use digging and planting tools. To cut trees, they use handsaws or power saws.
Some Range managers work on tree farms, where they plant, cultivate, and harvest many different kinds of trees. Their duties vary with the type of farm and may include planting seedlings, spraying to control weed growth and insects, and harvesting trees. Some Range managers work in forest nurseries, where they sort through tree seedlings, discarding those that don't meet standards. Others use hand tools or their hands to gather woodland products, such as decorative greens, tree cones, bark, moss, and other wild plant life. Some may tap trees to make syrup or chemicals.
Range managers who are employed by or under contract with the government may clear brush and debris from trails, roadsides, and camping areas. They may clean kitchens and rest rooms at recreational facilities and campgrounds.
Workers with a fire protection background also help to prevent fires. For example, they may construct firebreaks, which are gaps in vegetation that can help slow down or stop the progress of a fire. They also may work with technicians to study how quickly fires spread and how successful fire suppression activities were. For example, workers help count how many trees will be affected by a fire. They also sometimes respond to forest emergencies.
Range managers typically need a high school diploma before they begin working. Most workers get on-the-job training. They do routine labour-intensive tasks, such as planting or thinning trees. When the opportunity arises, they learn from experienced technicians and foresters who do more complex tasks, such as gathering data. Some vocational and technical schools and community colleges offer courses leading to a two-year technical degree in forest management technology, wildlife management, conservation, and forest harvesting. Programs that include field trips to watch and participate in forestry activities provide a particularly good background.
Range managers typically work for local governments or on privately owned forest lands. Those employed by forest management services may work for the federal government on a contract basis. They typically work outdoors, sometimes in remote locations and in all types of weather. However, the increased use of machines has reduced some of the discomfort of working in bad weather and has made tasks much safer.
Workers also use proper safety measures and equipment, such as hardhats, protective eyewear, and safety clothing. Most of these jobs are physically demanding. They may have to walk long distances through densely wooded areas.
Most Range managers are employed full time and have a routine work schedule. Seasonal employees may be expected to work longer hours and at night. Responding to an emergency may require workers to work longer hours and at any time of day.
The median annual wage of Range managers was $23,900 in May 2010. (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) The lowest 10% earned less than $16,730, and the top 10% earned more than $44,780.