Des Plaines, IL (population: 57,512) has thirty-eight wildlife schools within a 500-mile radius of its city center. University of Wisconsin-Madison, the highest ranked school in this group with a wildlife program, has a total student population of 41,654. It is the 23rd highest ranked school in the USA and the highest in the state of Wisconsin.
Wildlife students from Des Plaines schools who go on to become wildlife technicians, wildlife biologists, foresters, wildlife managers, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 7,530 people working as fish and game wardens alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $54,950. Also, Zoologists and wildlife biologists make on average $60,670 per year and there are about 17,460 of them employed in the US today.
Des Plaines lies in Cook county, which is one of the 49 counties in Illinois. Overall, the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan area has 3,669,800 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 1% unemployment rate, $24/hr average worker wage, and a $48,910 average annual salary.
Of the 38 wildlife schools with a 500-mile radius of Des Plaines, only 17 have a student population over 10k. After taking into account tuition, living expenses, and financial aid, Sewanee: The University of the South comes out as the most expensive ($22,173/yr) for wildlife students, with Bay de Noc Community College as the lowest, reported at only $4,918/yr.
|Name||State||Population||# of Schools||Avg School Rank||Total Programs||Distance from Des Plaines|
|Mount Prospect||IL||52,994||2||36.9644||21||3.4 miles|
|Arlington Heights||IL||73,268||1||24.4091||3||5.8 miles|
|River Grove||IL||-||1||11.7006||67||7.9 miles|
|River Forest||IL||-||2||45.0836||173||10.2 miles|
|Villa Park||IL||-||2||31.4324||7||10.7 miles|
|Oak Park||IL||49,270||1||1.32863||0||11.2 miles|
|Glendale Heights||IL||-||1||27.7281||3||11.9 miles|
|Hoffman Estates||IL||54,568||1||19.0736||10||12.5 miles|
|Hanover Park||IL||-||1||22.3828||2||12.8 miles|
|Glen Ellyn||IL||-||1||13.8242||100||13.6 miles|
|Carol Stream||IL||40,639||0||-||0||14.1 miles|
|Downers Grove||IL||49,475||1||0.403237||10||17.1 miles|
|West Dundee||IL||-||1||23.2604||5||20.2 miles|
|Palos Heights||IL||-||1||26.9291||61||25.6 miles|
|Crystal Lake||IL||42,672||3||24.3677||64||26.0 miles|