Becoming a State or National Park Ranger

Do you think you might enjoy working as a Park Ranger? Do you enjoy working in nature? Do you enjoy interacting with people?

Official Park Rangers are professionals who receive excellent training in nature and in working with people. Park Rangers usually hold at least a Bachelor of Science degree in one, or more, of the following areas that are quite relevant to the work of Park Rangers:

  • Forestry
  • Park and Recreation Management
  • Botany
  • Geology
  • Conservation
  • Wildlife Management

Find Out More About The Job

Read up on Park Ranger information and programs at the National Park Service website.

Great ways to explore the job of Park Ranger:

  • Learn more about the history of the parks, including their rules and regulations.
  • Have conversations with park rangers regarding what they enjoy about their jobs.
  • Spend quality time at federal, state and county parks.

Entry-level seasonal work is a good idea for getting your feet wet. Consider volunteering at national, state, county or municipal parks as a viable way to get into the profession.

Training and Education for Park Ranger

A college degree is normally preferred to get started.

If you desire to work in management, what is recommended is a Master of Science, or Ph.D., in a relevant topic related to your area of interest.

Flexibility for The Job

  • One must be open to performing demanding physical labor at various times.
  • A park ranger should be flexible to working weekends, holidays and during the summer, obviously peak times for tourists.
  • Maintain an open-mindedness to being assigned to a region different from your present home.

The Work You Will Perform as Park Ranger

  • performing law enforcement and firefighting duties, which includes collecting usage fees, permit and equipment sales, and performing grounds maintenance
  • teaching the public about subjects such as how to enjoy and protect nature
  • leading tours
  • being/working outdoors and caring for nature
  • interacting with park guests while providing excellent customer service
  • gathering environmental data on wildlife and plant populations
  • assisting lost, or injured, hikers
  • offering information to visitors

Additional Requirements for Park Ranger

  • Proof of qualifications— You will need a copy of birth certificate, passport or Social Security card, plus college transcripts.
  • Tests and checks—You will have physical agility tests, drug test, medical and psychological exams.
  • Interviews—You must be open to everything from oral interviews to several interviews with recruiters, human resources and employees from parks or wildlife departments.
  • Training classes— Keep in mind that upon conditional employment being granted, park ranger training classes must be successfully completed. The training will more than likely include weapons training, since park rangers are considered law enforcement officials at both the state and federal levels.