Botanists from the BLM and U.S. Forest Service stand along the Rogue River holding invasive weeds they pulled

Careers in BLM

Our challenging mission calls for the best and the brightest our nation has to offer, and in return, we offer interesting, creative work with opportunities for professional growth throughout the organization. The BLM offers a wide variety of job opportunities for qualified individuals with different levels of education and work experience. A college degree may be required in some cases. Check out the federal occupations by college major or the federal occupation job series list to connect your field of study with career series and titles in the Federal Government. To get a better idea of what a career in one of these fields would be like, check out the summaries below.

Check out our career fields below

Biological Sciences

When you work in a biological sciences-related career at the BLM, you’ll get to experience an incredible breadth of terrain and wildlife on a daily basis – including coastal, urban, wildland, sagebrush and more. Whether your focus is general or more specialized, you’ll have the opportunity to monitor and protect species and lands as they're developed. We're responsible for more than 3 million acres of lakes and reservoirs and 117,000 miles of fish-bearing streams and rivers. Some of the nation's most ecologically diverse wildlife and plant life exist on our lands and in our waters.


If you enjoy discovering plants...


Botanist looking very closey at small flowers growing in the sand using a magnifying glass.
Botanist taking a close look at rare vegetation.

Botanists study how activities on public lands affect all plants. They search for new populations of rare plants and sometimes discover plants that have never been documented. They are always on the look out for undesirable and harmful plants that need to be removed. 

To be a botanist

  • College degree in Botany or Basic Plant Study
  • OR or combination of education and experience.

Course Requirements:
College degree in Basic Plant Study must include at least 24 semester hours in Botany.

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Botanist









If you like exploring the living environment...

Employee measuring vegetation density with a densitometer along a stream
Ecology work in Alaska measuring vegetation density.


Ecologists examine how living things depend on one another for survival. They conduct biological assessments, add scientific data to important databases, and develop system models. They also prepare technical documents and present the results of their biological assessments to help inform future uses of public lands.

To be an Ecologist:

College degree in Biology or a related field of science underlying ecological research.


Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Ecologist



Learn about the journey of an intern to become a Fire Ecologist for the BLM Redding Field Office in Oregon.

Course Requirements:

Must have 30 semester hours in biological sciences including 9 in ecology and 12 in physical/mathematical sciences.


Fisheries Biologist

If you enjoy fish and plants...

Fisheries Biologist

BLM fisheries biologists work with other specialists to manage fisheries habitat on public lands. This is accomplished through the use of water developments, fences, vegetation, stream area restoration, and other improvements that will benefit fish and other wildlife that depend on stream habitat. Then, the biologist determines whether the improvements have actually brought positive results or if changes need to be made.

To be a fisheries biologist 

College degree in Biological Science

Required Courses:

  • Animal Sciences
  • Aquatic Subjects, such as Oceanography or Aquatic Botany

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Fisheries Biologist

Spend a day snorkeling and counting salmon and steelhead with two Oregon fisheries biologists.


If you like forests from the ground up...

Forester measuring tree trunks
Forester measuring tree trunks.


A forester is involved with planting, growing and harvesting trees and vegetation. They study trees and soils and issue permits for collecting plants and trees on public lands. They also help conduct timber sales in western states. Foresters work with others to develop forestry management plans.

To be a Forester:

  • College degree in  Forestry or related field, with a total of at least 30 semester hours in any combination of biological, physical, or mathematical sciences or engineering, of which at least 24 semester hours of course work were in forestry.
  • OR a combination of education and experience equivalent to a Forestry degree.

Required Courses:

  • Management of Renewable Resources
  • Forest Biology
  • Forest Resource Measurements and Inventory

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Forester

Learn about forestry projects and forestry management from one of our Foresters from the Lewistown Field Office.

Natural Resource Specialist

If you enjoy math and sciences...

Natural Resource Specialist

A BLM Natural Resources Specialist fulfills both a technical and supervisory role in a wide variety of fields, including: resource management protection, wildlife, GIS, rangeland, ecology, botany, environmental planning and reviews, customer relations and education, and recreation. A Natural Resources Specialist’s work involves inventory, data collection, and resource analysis. It includes developing management plans, coming up with solutions to resource management problems, supervising staff, managing budgets and programs, as well as preparing reports. It requires a working knowledge of laws, regulations, and policies related to natural resource protection. The BLM Natural Resources Specialist draws from this knowledge and experience to communicate with a wide variety of organizations, from tribal governments to landowners to non-profit organizations, who have varied interests in Federal lands, resources, and programs.

To be a Natural Resources Specialist:

College Degree in:

  • Biological Science
  • Agriculture
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Chemistry
  • Related Field

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Natural Resource Specialist

Go in the field with a Natural Resource Specialist from the Vale District Office in southeast Oregon.

Rangeland Specialist

If you are interested in plants and their many uses...

Rangeland Management Specialist

Over 160 million acres of public land are used for livestock grazing – and that grazing has terms and conditions that are managed and, at times, enforced by the BLM. Rangeland Management Specialists work to ensure the long-term health and productivity of these lands and to create multiple environmental benefits that result from healthy watersheds. Work as a rangeland management specialist or technician could cover anything from administrative oversight and long-term planning to physical improvements like seedling planting, fence construction, and working with wild horses and burros.

To be a Range Management Specialist:

  • College degree in Rangeland Management or a related discipline.

Required Courses:

  • Rangeland Management
  • Related Plant, Animal, and Social Sciences
  • Related Resource Management;

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Range Management Specialist

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Range Technician


Wildlife Biologist

If you enjoy plants and animals ...

Wildlife Biologist kneeling on the ground over birds eggs
Wildlife Biologist conducting a bird study.

Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife biologists work with other specialists and agencies to improve wildlife habitats on public lands. They monitor animal movements, prepare population studies, and help restore and improve important habitat areas.

To be a wildlife biologist: 

College degree in Biological Science.  Or a combination college study and experience.


Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Wildlife Biologist

Course requirements: 

• Zoology (12 semester hours)
• Botany and Plant Sciences (9 semester hours)
• Wildlife subjects, such as Mammalogy, Ornithology, and Entomology (9 semester hours)





Business Services and Administrative

An organization as large as the BLM depends on human resources specialists, acquisition and procurement professionals, budget experts and other professional resources to keep things running. The right talent, the right equipment and services, and the right information ensures that the BLM is capable of fulfilling our multiple-use mission. And that’s exactly what makes no two days in the BLM's Business Services the same – recruiting for very specialized talent in competitive fields, working on a wide variety of contracts from environmental education to energy development, and managing fluid budgets that combine fixed allocations and changing revenues is as complex as it is rewarding.

Administrative Assistant

If you like fast-paced work...

Employee behind the front desk of an office answering the phone

Administrative Assistant or Secretary

Administrative assistants are the gatekeepers and process movers for many critical BLM functions. Assistants keep the office running smoothly and help everyone from the managers to employees to the public. They answer phones, make travel reservations, schedule meetings, enter data and make sure things get routed to the right people for signatures. They are often the first contact our customers have greeting visitors and serving as receptionists for offices. There is never a dull moment at the office.

To be an Administrative Assistant or Secretary:

College degree is not required for all positions in this field, but certificates and work experience are necessary for certain job sets.

Budget Analyst

If you like working with money...

Budget Analyst

Want to keep track of the money for an office? Budget analysts review overall budgets to ensure the money is spent in line with allocations, policies, procedures, and laws. They are the BLM financial advisors who work to keep us on track and out of the red!

To be a Budget Analyst:

College degree is not required but helpful.

Recommended Courses:

  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Public Administration
Human Resource Specialist

If you like helping people...

Human Resource Specialist

HR Specialist answering the phone at her desk
HR Specialist answering hiring questions
and looking up qualifications.

Human resource specialists are the first people you meet in BLM once you are hired. They are your navigators through the paperwork and advise you on the benefits and programs offered to employees. They process onboarding, promotions, career moves, and reassignments and help employees all the way through retirement.

To be a Human Resource Specialist: 

College degree is helpful but not required

Recommended Courses:

  • Employee Recruitment and Selection
  • Policies and Procedures in HR
  • Business Management
  • Organizational Training and Development




IT Specialist

If you like computers and helping people...

IT Specialist working on a CPUInformation Technology (IT) Specialist

Information technology (IT) is a broad field for several computer-related careers. Some IT specialists are computer programmers, system analysts, network specialists, and communication specialists, while others maintain telephone systems, set up employee computers and troubleshoot problems.

To be an IT Specialist:

College degree is required OR equivalent experience.

Recommended Courses:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Science
  • Information Systems Management
  • Math and Statistics
  • Operations Research
  • Engineering

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government IT Specialist (2210)

Planning Coordinator

If like to plan for the future...

Planning Coordinator

If like to plan for the future...

Planning Coordinator

Alaska Native elder pointing to a map during a public meeting
BLM Planning Coordinator at a public meeting.

A BLM Planning Coordinator prepares land use plans for BLM resource areas. Throughout the process, the Planning Coordinator consults with BLM specialists from range and forestry, minerals and lands, wildlife and watershed, archaeology, and recreation. In addition, the Planning Coordinator meets with public stakeholders for comments. The final document—the land use plan for a BLM resource area—is the basis for future resource decisions in that area.

To be a Planning Coordinator:

  • College degree is helpful but not required.
  • Or combination of education and work experience.

Course Recommendations:

  • Community Planning
  • Urban Planning
  • Political Science
  • Journalism
  • Economics
  • Urban Affairs
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Public Administration

Other names for this job are Planning and Environmental Specialist, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, NEPA Coordinator, and Planner.

Public Affairs Specialist

If you are a communicator...

Public Affairs Specialist taking video of an eventPublic Affairs Specialist

Public affairs specialists maintain the frequent communication between federal agencies and the general public. They write news releases, update websites, maintain social media sites, write speeches, take photos, and conduct meetings and press conferences. They creatively come up with new ways to inform the public about the land we manage and the many projects we are working on. Work is fast-paced and varied.

To be a Public Affairs Specialist:

  • College degree in Communication, English, Journalism, or Public Administration is helpful but not required.
Realty Specialist

If you like working with people...

Realty Specialist

Realty specialist in the field doing a compliance review.
Realty specialist doing a compliance review.

Realty specialists ensure appropriate use of public land through rights-of-way, leases, easements and permits. Realty specialists take care of the business use of public lands, such as overseeing land exchanges, and setting aside land for access. Realty specialists also administer permits for communication sites, racing events, and filming permits— many movies are filmed on your public lands!

To be a Realty Specialist: 

College degree is helpful, but not required.

Recommended Courses:

  • Business
  • Real Estate
  • English
  • Natural Resources






Cadastral Survey and Land Conveyance

The BLM is the nation's largest repository for original documents and homesteading deeds detailing the history and development of the West. As an organization, we're responsible for guarding that history and maintaining its legacy. Cadastral surveys create, mark, define, retrace or re-establish the boundaries and subdivisions of the public lands of the United States. They're based upon law – cadastral surveys cannot change because of fluctuating conditions or standards. All of the land that is now, or was once, part of the public domain of the United States is maintained by our organization's land surveyors, land survey technicians and land survey aids. Your work in this field could affect policy, development, energy use, disposal, military coordination, realty and more.

Land Law Examiner

If you like puzzles and history...

Land Law examiner looking over case files in AlaskaLand Law Examiner

Land law examiners unravel legal and historical land puzzles to determine land titles. Examiners must be creative, think critically, problem solve, enjoy historical research, and be detail oriented. Land law examiners help answer the question of what land gets transferred to another party. They also help figure out if there are legal restrictions for different activities. They process various kinds of case files, from mining claims to land patents.

To be a Land Law Examiner: 

College degree is not required, but helpful.

Recommended Courses:

  • Land surveying
  • Cartography
  • Land use law
  • Real estate law
  • Land appraising
  • Land use planning
  • Water rights
  • Mining laws
  • Legal instrument review and interpretation

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Land Law Examiner

Land Surveyor

If you like charting new territory ...

Land Surveyor

Do you like math and history and enjoy spending time outdoors? Survey work can be quite interesting, from researching 200-year-old documents to camping along a river trying to find a survey marker set in the early 1900s, to installing new survey markers. A land surveyor also helps establish property boundaries.

To be a land surveyor

  • College degree in Land Surveying or Civil Engineering with surveying emphasis
  • OR have equivalent education and experience
  • OR be a registered land surveyor in a state

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Land Surveyor



Engineers at the BLM work with professionals from many disciplines to design and construct projects to carry out our multiple-use mission. These projects include water pipelines, roads and trails, bridges, well drilling and equipping, outhouses and recreation sites, small reservoirs and erosion-control structures. As an engineer or engineering technician, you’ll be involved with the survey, layout and design; contract preparation, construction inspection or supervision, and maintenance for the projects.

Civil Engineer

If you enjoy math and science ...

Civil Engineer

Civil Engineer out in the field
Civil Engineer out in the field.

Civil engineers work on projects like water pipelines, spring developments, roads, trails, bridges, outhouses, recreation sites, small reservoirs, and erosion control structures. They help in all aspects of the project, including survey, layout, and design; contract preparation; construction inspection or supervision; and maintenance.

To be a civil engineer 

  • College degree in Engineering
  • Or a combination college study and experience

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Civil Engineer









Mining Engineer

If you like things done right ...

Mining Engineer

And by things, we mean mining operations. The BLM manages 245 million surface acres and 700 million subsurface acres with a large mining and minerals program. Mining engineers work closely with mine operators to ensure mining and coal development takes place in an environmentally responsible manner.

To be a mining engineer 

  • College degree in Engineering
  • Or a combination college study and experience

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

If you're interested in oil and gas ...

Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers review permits for all operations through the life of an oil or gas well on federal lands, including on-site inspections. They also review engineering designs to plug abandoned wells along the North Slope of Alaska as a part of the Alaska Legacy Well Program. A a petroleum engineer you'll help the BLM manage the Federal government’s onshore subsurface mineral estate – about 700 million acres (30% of the United States) held by the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and other Federal agencies and surface owners — for the benefit of the American public. 

To be a petroleum engineer 

  • College degree in Petroleum or Chemical Engineering
  • Or a combination college study and experience

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Petroleum Engineer


Geological Sciences

You’ll use changing technologies to manage and record the environmental and geological resources found on public land – moderating the effects of mining on wildlife vegetation, archeological resources and recreational opportunities. This field includes geology, geography, cartography, and also the in demand field of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS).  


If you like rocks and science ...


Geologist in Alaska checking a stream for gold by doing a quick gold panning.
BLM Geologist working in Alaska.

Geologists manage mineral resources found on public land. They sample rocks and minerals, map geological and mineral deposits, look for oil deposits by investigating the Earth's crust, and investigate the geography of public lands. They work with other specialists, scientists, and the mining industry to lessen the effects of mining on wildlife, land, and recreational opportunities. Work includes field study, mining compliance, and writing about their findings.

To be a Geologist: 

  • College degree in Geology
  • Or a combination college study and experience

Coure requirements: 

At least 20 semester hours combined in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computer Science, Geology, or Geography.

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Geologist

Geospatial Information Specialist (GIS)

If you like geography and data ... 

GIS Specialists working on data and maps at deskGIS Specialist

Geospatial information system (GIS) specialists are an integral member of the BLM team and provide valuable geospatial data and visual information for land management activities, fighting wildland fires, publications, websites, and digital and printed mapping products for internal and external customers. They are experts in geospatial information software for data collection and analysis and are increasingly involved in small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) data collection and processing.

To be an GIS Specialist: 

A college degree is not required, but Geospatial Information System college courses, certificates, or degree is highly recommended.

Job family (Series)


If you like discovering how soil and water create our environment...

Two BLM staff taking stream measurementsHydrologist

BLM Hydrologists recommend policies and actions to minimize the effects of grazing, mining, logging, and other public land uses on water quality. Hydrologists may work with rangeland management specialists, outdoor recreation planners, soil scientists, and other professionals to prepare management plans for a basin or watershed. They may design structures in streams to slow water and reduce erosion, or they may study the effects of public recreation on erosion and plant cover.

To be a Hydrologist:

College Degree in:

  • Physical or Natural Science
  • Engineering
    Degree in Engineering must include at least 30 semester hours combined in Hydrology, Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Aquatic Biology, Atmospheric Science, Meteorology, Oceanography, and Water Conservation.

Required Courses:

At least 6 semester hours in Calculus and at least 6 semester hours in Physics

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Hydrologist


If you like finding and preserving fossils ... 


Paleontologists help identify fossil sites on public lands. Many valuable dinosaur and prehistoric fossils have been found on BLM lands across the country. Their work includes conducting detailed excavations, laboratory analysis, writing about their findings, teaching, processing paleontological permits, and preserving fossil sites of the past for the benefit of future generations.

To be an paleontologist 

  • College degree in Geology
  • Or have a combination of education and experience.

Required Courses:

20 semester hours in any combination of: Paleontology, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biological Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Planetology, Geophysics, Meteorology, Hydrology, Oceanography, Physical Geography, Marine Geology, and Cartography

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Paleontologist (Geologist)


Law Enforcement and Safety

Law enforcement professionals at the BLM protect the public, natural landscape, wildlife habitat and recreational areas for our country's citizens. These are very dedicated people who work in conjunction with other federal, state, local and organizations. Your work in this field could include search-and-rescue missions, community assistance and protection, prevention and education, and safety.

Hazardous Materials Specialist

If you are interested in natural resource protection, human health, and safety...

HazMat Specialists checking super sacks filled with hazardous material from a clean up

Hazardous Materials Specialist

A BLM hazardous materials specialist deals with investigating and solving all types of problems created by the use of hazardous substances on the public lands. In addition, a hazardous materials specialist may be responsible for minimizing potential problems in the workplace while ensuring the safe reuse and/or disposal of hazardous substances. Typical projects include: landfill studies, mining operations and reclamation, pesticide application, surface and ground water studies, contract administration, emergency response, interpretation and application of complex laws and regulations, and working with the public and other agencies.

To be a Hazardous Materials Specialist:

  • College degree is not required, but helpful.

Suggested Courses:

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Speaking
  • Writing

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Environmental Protection Specialist

Law Enforcement Ranger

If you want to resolve problems on public lands...

Law Enforcement Ranger

BLM Law Enforcement Rangers play a critical role in land management because of their combined resource protection and search-and-rescue duties. Rangers must understand and convey conservation management and multiple-use principles and practices. They must know administrative, civil, and criminal law as well as individual constitutional rights. Rangers must conduct patrols, investigate crimes, manage budgets, negotiate agreements, and conduct search-and rescue missions while responding to the needs and interests of public stakeholders, such as ranchers and farmers, miners, foresters, and resource groups.

To be a law enforcement ranger:

  • College degree is not required. Prior law enforcement experience is preferred.
  • Required to pass a drug test and extensive security background check.
  • Must pass an annual physical efficiency test.

Recommended Courses:

  • Natural Resources Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Social Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Related Field

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Law Enforcement (General 1801)

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government LE Ranger (Criminal Investigator 1811)


Fire and Aviation

Fire professionals at the BLM work to control and extinguish wildfires, and reduce or eliminate potential fire hazards. Fires occur on different, often remote, terrain and can affect entire ecosystems. Fire professionals need to understand the effects of fire – whether it's better to stop a fire in its tracks or let it burn out, for the sake of the wild and plant life in an area. These are very dedicated people who work in conjunction with other federal, state, local and even international organizations. Your work in this field could include fire suppression, preparedness, predictive services, fuels management, fire planning, prevention, and education.

The BLM is also responsible for aircraft operation support for wildfire and resource management missions – the largest aviation program within the Department of the Interior. Our aviation team supports not only wildland fire efforts and operations but also disaster response, animal census, forest management, photo mapping, search and rescue, and other public land and resource management uses.

Fire Jobs Portal on


Social Sciences

Under our multiple-use mission, the BLM is responsible for protecting a wide array of natural, cultural and historical resources. That’s where the Social Sciences come in. BLM professionals under these roles are concerned with the human element of our public lands as well as the relationships among them and within our society as a whole. With a Social Sciences career, you’ll learn about the past, present and future of our public lands and how they have come together into what you see today.


  If you like history and preserving our past...  


As an archaeologist at the BLM, you’ll study evidence of past cultures on our public lands to help us better understand how they came to be. You’ll conduct studies and detailed excavations, complete laboratory analyses, write reports and teach others about what you’ve learned. Additionally, you’ll be involved in saving artifacts for the benefit of future generations.

To be an archaeologist 

  • College degree in Archaeology
  • Or have a combination of education and experience

Required Courses:

  • Archaeological field school

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Archaeologist

Environmental Educator

If you like teaching outdoors...

Environmental Educator

Environmental educators engage all learners in outdoor experiences that increase appreciation, connection, and stewardship of public lands and natural resources. They create educational curriculum, plan education events and lectures, and develop outdoor science and environmental education programs for a variety of audiences from toddlers to adults.

To be an Environmental Educator:

College degree is not required but helpful.

Recommended Courses:

  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Education
  • Outdoor Recreation

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Education Technician

Outdoor Recreation Planner

If you enjoy working in the outdoors and meeting people...

Outdoor Recreation Planner

BLM Outdoor Recreation Planners work with public land visitors in different kinds of settings. Outdoor Recreation Planners may manage off-road vehicle areas, white-water boating locations, wild caves, National Trails, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, Recreation Areas, Wilderness Areas, or developed campgrounds. They may be responsible for long-range plan development and implementation or visitor use tracking in one or more outdoor settings. In all settings, the work requires applied knowledge of economics, sociology, and other social sciences as well as the practices of natural resource conservation.

To be an Outdoor Recreation Planner:

  • College degree is preferred, but not mandatory.
  • OR combination of education and work experience.

Related Studies:

  • Recreation
  • Park Management
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Sociology
  • Economics

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Outdoor Recreation Planner

Learn more about the Education and Work Experience Qualifications of a government Recreation Specialist

Hear from an Outdoor Recreation Planner from the Safford Field Office in Arizona.

Watch Idaho Outdoor Recreation Planner David Freiberg talk about resources to maximize your fun, knowledge, and safety out on public lands 

Watch Alaska recreation staff talk about the work they do on the Gulkana National Wild and Scenic River

Park Ranger

If you enjoy telling a story...

Park Ranger

Imagine getting paid to connect people to public lands! Through interpretation, guiding, and education, park rangers help ensure visitors have a meaningful experience on BLM-managed public lands. They encourage safety and resource protection and prepare the next generation of public land stewards through conservation and science education programs.

To be a Park Ranger:

College degree is helpful but not required.

Recommended Courses:

  • Environmental Education
  • Sciences
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Law Enforcement

Hear from a seasonal Park ranger at the Alpine Loop in Colorado.


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