An recreation planner rafts in Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Center Content: 

Careers in Demand

There are some positions at the BLM that we almost always have openings for - the positions we have the greatest need for.  To get a better idea of what a career in one of these fields will be like, check out the summaries below.

Biological Sciences

Careers in Demand: 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.

Biological sciences professionals at the BLM work to conserve, protect and sustain biological communities on BLM-administered lands – and spend a lot of time visiting sites and collaborating with people inside and outside the Bureau. Your job won't always involve saving things, though; sometimes the decisions that uphold our multiple-use mission aren't always the ones that coincide with conservation. You'll have to make some difficult decisions as a steward of our nation's natural resources – maintaining the sustainable economic prosperity and quality of life that come from public lands. All in all, a career in the biological sciences at the BLM can make your passion for all facets of our incredible public lands come alive.   

BLM Biological Sciences careers range from hydrologist to wildlife or fisheries biologist to forester.

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

Social Sciences

Careers in Demand 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.

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.

Outdoor recreation planners work with public land visitors to help them enjoy our public lands to their fullest extent. This could include managing off-road vehicle areas, white-water boating locations, wild caves, national trails, wilderness areas or developed campgrounds.

The BLM economist evaluates the economic impact of public land use. For new public lands, the economist might ask questions such as: How many jobs will be created? Can the local community support additional visitors or businesses? Or, will the activity provide revenue for the local community? Accurate answers to these and other socioeconomic questions ensure that public land managers have the knowledge to make sound resource management decisions.

BLM Social Sciences careers include archaeologist, economist, outdoor recreation planner and more.

Business Services

Careers in Demand: Business Services

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. 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.

BLM Business Services careers -- such as a Human Resources Specialists, Budget or Contracting Specialist, Management Analysts and Leadership positions -- exist at almost all locations and in all levels of the organization.

Sometimes business services employees support the agency and public from office locations.  Others spend days in the field, with partners or in remote locations, like this telecommunications specialist.  Check out this birds-eye view of the Arizona landscape.

Cadastral Survey and Geological Sciences

Careers in Demand: Cadastral and Geological Sciences

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 and geological positions deal with the physical lands themselves. 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.

As a geologist, you’ll use changing technologies to manage and record the mineral resources found on public land – moderating the effects of mining on wildlife vegetation, archeological resources and recreational opportunities. As a realty specialist, you’ll ensure appropriate use of public land through rights-of-way, leases, easements and permits.

BLM Cadastral Survey and Geological Sciences careers include geology, cartography and geospatial information management, land survey specialists, realty specialists and more.

Law Enforcement and Fire

Careers in Demand: Law Enforcement and Fire

Law enforcement and fire professionals at the BLM work to control and extinguish wildfires, and reduce or eliminate potential fire hazards. They protect the public, natural landscape, wildlife habitat and recreational areas for our country's citizens. 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, search-and-rescue missions, community assistance and protection, prevention and education, and safety.

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.

BLM Law Enforcement and Fire Professional careers range from Law Enforcement Ranger to Hazardous Materials Specialist to Fire Management Officer.


Meet the Jackson Interagency Hotshot Crew, a fire crew that feels more like a family as they protect our public lands and resources.


Careers in Demand: Engineering

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.

Here at the BLM, we’re responsible for about 245 million surface acres and 700 million subsurface acres of mineral estate – which means we play a key role in ensuring our country's energy needs are met by federal renewable and nonrenewable sources in an environmentally sound way. Oil, gas, coal and increasing amounts of renewable sources of energy such as geothermal, wind and biomass are part of our responsibility. From permitting and monitoring corporate use, to inspecting wells and other development operations, and even collecting royalty payments and fines, the BLM plays an active role in domestic energy production.

As a petroleum engineer, you'll determine where gas and oil are located, and decide how best to extract them – ensuring the safety of lands, wildlife and people. You'll work to design and construct energy projects, using the most innovative technologies in the industry. Our engineers collaborate among public lands, private corporations and communities, requiring a passion to serve their nation and a belief in public service.

BLM Engineering Careers span the professional field, from petroleum and mining engineer to electronics technician.

Landscape and Habitat Management

Careers in Demand: Landscape and Habitat Management

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. You'll work to ensure the long-term health and productivity of these lands and to create multiple environmental benefits that result from healthy watersheds. Your work as a rangeland management specialist or technician could cover anything from administrative oversight and long-term planning to physical improvements like seedling planting and fence construction. As a planning coordinator, you’ll prepare land use plans for BLM resource areas to find their best use.

You'll be responsible for ensuring that public land is used per.  Because the lands used for grazing often overlap or run next to lands used for other purposes, this field requires a thorough understanding of many disciplines – from wildlife patterns to energy sourcing and much more. Many lands you'll be responsible for are very isolated, and have developed specialized kinds of ecosystems – which will be yours to protect.

BLM Landscape and Habitat Management careers include planning coordinators as well as specialists in the field.

A BLM rangeland management specialist takes you into the field for a snapshot of his rewarding job.