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Frequently Asked Questions

[Image description: Four MCC members holding their chainsaws (with the safety guard on) over their shoulders. In the background, one can see a smoky pink sky.]

Adult Conservation Crews

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Where is the application and how does the process work?

    All openings are posted on the website. The application can be completed online. Click any “Apply Now” button.

    All positions are also listed here: Current Open Opportunities

    Once we receive the application, it will be reviewed by hiring staff.  Staff will then respond within a few weeks regarding next steps.

  • Do you have a preferred submission method for my application?

    Yes. To reduce our paper consumption, we prefer applications that are completed online. PDFs can also be emailed to We also accept applications via standard mail or fax. Those may be sent to Montana Conservation Corps, 301 N Willson Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715 or faxed to (406) 587-2606. Please note application and hiring timelines will be lengthened when using standard mail.

  • When are applications due and what is the hiring timeline?

    All of our positions are open until filled and the hiring process is competitive.

    The Open Opportunities page will list when applications are open. The timeline from when you apply to when you’re offered a position will vary. For most positions you should hear from regional staff within a few weeks- either if you’ve been invited to interview for a position or if you are no longer being considered. If you’re offered a position, it’s extremely important for you to remain in contact to complete the AmeriCorps enrollment process. 

  • How do I know if my application meets the minimum criteria?

    AmeriCorps members must be:

    • A U.S. Citizen, National, or Lawful Permanent Resident
    • Age requirements are 17 - 30, and up to 35 for military veterans
    • Have obtained (or be willing to obtain), a high school diploma or GED 

    Please fully take into account the dates for the term of service. If you cannot commit to the full duration of the program dates, please look at another one of our programs.

    Those seeking a position with Big Sky Watershed Corps must also have a college degree or equivalent, preferably in watershed, environment, or an education related field.

  • I’m a student. Can I still apply?

    Of course! Many of our members are college students. Please check that your availability coincides with our program dates. Some students find it necessary to take off the fall school semester to complete our program. 

  • What is MCC's Drug and Alcohol Policy?

    While MCC doesn't drug screen prior to hiring new members, we do reserve the right to test if there is valid reason. MCC is a drug and alcohol free workplace. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted on MCC time while serving.

  • Will I be considered for other positions if I don’t receive an offer for the one I applied to?

    After we’ve received your application, we will ask you if you would like to be considered for other positions. In the event that you aren’t offered a position, we may contact you about reapplying to a different position.

  • How do I apply to a specific region?

    After you’ve submitted an application and answered our questions about regional placement, your application is routed based on two factors: your personal selections and current hiring needs of the region. We will always try to place applicants into their preferred region but this doesn’t always happen. If you want to obtain a position with MCC, being flexible to serve in any region will increase the likelihood of being offered a position.

  • Can I start my term of service 1-2 weeks late?

    No. Our programs are highly contingent on you attending leadership development and technical skills trainings. These occur at the beginning of your term of service and are nearly impossible to miss.

  • Is preference given to applicants who have served with MCC before?

    We value the experience that all applicants bring to the organization—whether that’s with MCC or not. While serving with MCC or another AmeriCorps program strengthens your application, it is not the deciding factor to obtaining a position.

  • Do you have any summer-only or fall-only positions?

    Yes! We have a couple of positions that have shorter terms, including our Youth Leaders and Wildland Restoration Team members.  We also have a limited amount of Summer only & Fall only crew member positions each season. In our Individual Placement Program, we have Conservation Intern positions that also only run over the summer.


  • Do I need any training to join? What training will I receive?

    For many of our positions, no previous experience is required!

    Training will vary by position and project, but may include:

    • Fundamental Leadership Training
      • All leaders are guided by experienced staff through MCC’s leadership development program, crafted and refined over two decades to enhance our participants' knowledge in the areas of leadership, communication & team building, stewardship, and hard work for quality results. 

    • Technical Skills (depending on position)

      • Defensive Driving

      • First Aid & CPR (Members)

      • Wilderness Advanced First Aid (Leaders)

      • Crosscut Saw

      • Chainsaw

      • Hand & Power Tool Use

      • Trail Maintenance & Construction

      • Leave No Trace

      • Habitat Management & Improvement

      • Backcountry Travel

      • Navigational Skills

      • Mesic Restoration 

      • Herbicide Application

      • Fencing

      • And More!

    • Communication & Team Skills

    • Resume Building

    • Interview Techniques

    • Federal Hiring

    • Develop life skills, work skills, and a strong service ethic

    Please see position descriptions for either Open or Closed positions for more information

    View All Opportunities

  • Are your programs exclusively for Montana residents?
    • AmeriCorps positions  are open to all US Citizens, Nationals, or Lawful Permanent Residents
    • Youth Service Expeditions are for Montana teenagers only.


  • Is food paid for?

    While on projects, you’ll receive a meal allowance in addition to your living stipend.  MCC provides $10 per person/per day per diem, which equates to $540 for a crew of 6 for 9 days (the typical length of projects).  During your days off, you are responsible for your own meals. Your living stipend is meant to cover this expense. Many of our participants qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) while serving with MCC although it isn't guaranteed, and/or they utilize community resources like food banks.

  • Is the AmeriCorps stipend enough to live on?

    The stipend is adequate to meet your basic needs for housing, food, and routine needs. You may find it difficult to meet other financial obligations such as a car payment or credit card payment, so please consider your needs and determine whether you would be able to budget appropriately.

    The living allowance amount is posted for each specific position- check the position details for amounts

    Things to consider that may be helpful:

    • You may be able to defer your student loan payments during your term of service. Talk to your lender for more information.
    • MCC provides per diem for meals while on projects ($10 per person/per day).
    • Many participants qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) or "food stamps" to help with purchasing food while not on projects
    • Many participants utilize resources in their community, like food banks
    • MCC provides uniform work shirts, hooded sweatshirts, transportation to work sites, tools, safety equipment (hard hat, work gloves, ear protection, and safety glasses), and group camping gear. (We encourage all members to provide their own personal equipment like a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag.  We have limited equipment available to loan out for applicants in need)
    • Crews are loaned an MCC vehicle for their hitches, which can be used for pick up/drop off from a hitch and grocery shopping for the hitch. This can help alleviate the burden of not having a personal vehicle.
    • DEI funds are available to those who may need help purchasing gear or traveling to Montana.
  • For members serving longer than 4 months


  • What is the schedule like?

    Flexibility is an essential part of a successful term of service. Your schedule will fluctuate to meet the needs of project partners. We often work well over 40 hours a week and on Saturdays and Sundays. Hitches may be nine or more days long, sometimes 12 weeks or more in remote locations. After each hitch, you will have 2-5 days off in town. For most of the season, you’ll be camping at frontcountry or backcountry locations, but you may also have weeks in town.

  • What is the nature of the work?

    MCC crews work long days and the physical demands of the job are real.  We work in remote locations in all weather conditions, often hiking up to 15 miles per day over rough terrain with backpacks weighing up to 60 lbs.  In addition, we carry heavy tools, various group gear, and do arduous physical labor for 10 hours per day, 8-9 days in a row.  Types of projects vary on position, but could include:

    • Trail Maintenance & Construction
    • Backcountry/Frontcountry Clearing
    • Forest Thinning (Fuels)
    • Mesic Restoration
    • Beaver Dam-Analog Construction
    • Streambank Restoration
    • Fencing
    • Planting
    • Facilities Maintenance
    • Invasive Plant Management (herbicide application)
    • Disaster Response
    • Historic Preservation
    • Burn Area Rehab (Fire Restoration)
    • Habitat Restoration
    • Community Projects

    Learn more about Adult Conservation Crews and what your day will look like!

  • Working a season with MCC can be physically and mentally challenging. We suggest that you begin to build your fitness before you arrive for your season. Coming into the season already working on fitness can help you be more prepared, more comfortable with the work, and also limit injuries that can be caused by over exertion. This stretch and fitness plan is entirely optional, but has helped some incoming participants better prepare for a season with MCC.



  • Do you offer college credit for your program?

    Many of our positions can count as an internship!  This is up to you to discuss with your academic advisor or professor(s).  MCC will help look over work plans and assist in signing off on any hours that could be counted toward an internship.

  • What opportunities are available after MCC?

    Much of this depends on your interests. Many members return the next year as MCC Crew Leaders or find work with the Forest Service, Park Service, or other natural resource agencies and organizations. Some of our MCC alumni come back to work for us in our regional or state offices as staff members. 

    Our Conservation Intern and Fellow Program as well as Big Sky Watershed Corps have even designed grants to stay on with their host site. 

    The lifelong skills you build with MCC are transferrable to countless other careers as well!

    Take a look at our alumni resource page for tons of post-MCC career resources, job boards, and other opportunities.