If you have ever strolled the grounds at a county or state park there is a good chance you have come across a park ranger. They are the people who work at these parks, helping to keep them running smoothly and protecting the natural resources. Park rangers play an important role in helping to keep parks beautiful and cared for, as well as helping to give those who visit them a great experience. If you are someone who likes working outdoors and loves nature, then a park ranger job may be just what the doctor ordered!
A park ranger job can be a great career opportunity. And the good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of schooling or training in order to get one. Most park ranger jobs require that people be high school graduates and U.S. Citizens. While they prefer that you have had some college classes, including those in business, sociology, psychology, recreation management, law enforcement, or similar fields, it is not required for most positions. What you will need to have is an interest in working in this type of setting, as well as some general job experience.
Prior work experience that they will consider for a park ranger position is vast. They would like to make sure you have some experience in administration and if possible management. They also place an emphasis on those with experience in the fields of museums, law enforcement, historical preservation, and management. If you don’t have experience in these areas don’t worry too much about that. Some park ranger positions are flexible about where your work experience has come from.
There are some park ranger positions that are seasonal or short term. But there are plenty of park ranger jobs that are full time, year round positions. The pay varies, with many positions for park rangers with the USDA Forest Service earning around $13.41 per hour. Others, through the state or counties earn a scale of between $11 per hour for entry level positions, to $17 per hour for those with several years on the job. Park ranger jobs that are through the state are generally going to have a pay scale of around $11 per hour to $23 per hour. Some of the positions may come with benefits as well, adding to the overall value of the offer.
As a park ranger you will spend your days working at a park and helping to do whatever is needed. Some of the duties may include helping to provide information to visitors, answer questions, offer interpretive information about what is at the park, holding educational talks and programs, and surveying the grounds. Part of your job may be to visit the camping and picnicking area to ensure that all safety measures are being taken. You will also work to uphold conservation of the lands and evaluate public areas for safety.
People visit parks on a regular basis and they are looking to have an enjoyable time. A park ranger can help make that happen by being there to keep tabs on people, make sure safety measures are being taken, and even direct traffic if the park gets busy. Being a park ranger is a rewarding job that helps protect, preserve, and inform. It is ideal for anyone who loves the parks, outdoors, nature, and sharing what they know about these things. All of the little things that a park ranger may do during the day add up to help to keep a park looking beautiful and allow people to keep enjoying it for years to come.