Becoming a Park Ranger, or Forest Ranger, (or becoming a national park ranger) affords you the opportunity to have a job that is filled with lots of worthwhile activities, such as the following:
- leading tours
- being/working outdoors and caring for nature
- conversing with park guests
- collecting data (environmental) on wildlife and plant populations
- rescuing lost hikers
- providing information to visitors
- investigating complaints
- performing law enforcement and firefighting duties, collecting usage fees, permit and equipment sales, and conducting grounds maintenance
- teaching subjects on how to enjoy and protect nature
- A good start is visiting federal, state and county parks.
- Discover information about the history of the parks, their rules and regulations.
- Talk with park rangers about how they enjoy their jobs and successfully developed their careers.
- Park and Recreation Management
- Wildlife Management
- One must be willing to work weekends, holidays and during the summer, obviously popular times for tourists to visit public parks.
- One must be open-minded to performing physical labor in hot, cold or wet conditions in the outside environment.
- Also, the more that you advance in your career, the more likely it is that you will be assigned to a region different from your present location.
- Proof of qualifications—college transcripts, copy of birth certificate, passport and/or Social Security card
- Tests and checks—medical and psychological exams, physical agility tests, and drug test
- Interviews—possibly oral interview and possible in-person interviews
- Training classes—after the granting of conditional employment, park ranger training classes take place
Find schools and get information on the program that’s
right for you.
(It’s fast and free!)
Before You Get Start, Do Some Research on How to Become a Park Ranger
One great source of information and programs is the National Park Service website.
There are several ways that you can research and figure out if working as a Park Ranger is a good vocation for you.
Because the job market for working as a Park Ranger is very competitive, volunteering at national, state, county or municipal parks can be a viable way to get into the field.
Look into seasonal work opportunities as a truly viable way to gain highly useful experience. You might not fully understand what it is like to work as a park ranger until you are immersed in the work.
Education and Training for Park Ranger
Usually, a college degree is preferred to get started, though some park service positions do not make this a mandate. Keep in mind that the higher your education, the better your chances are of getting a solid Park Ranger job.
Official park rangers are professionals who receive excellent training and usually hold at least a Bachelor of Science degree in one, or more, of the following:
If you desire to work in management, a Master of Science or Ph.D. in a topic related to your area of interest is highly preferred, and often expected.
After You Submit Your Application
Once completing the application process, there are a few more thing to take care of: