How to Become a Park Ranger in Illinois

Are you interested in obtaining information on how to work as a park ranger in Illinois? Here, we have outlined tall the Park Ranger Training and Degree Requirements in Illinois for you.

People come from all over the world to visit Illinois state parks. State leased and owned trails, parks, woods, and fish and wildlife areas receive over 40 million visitors annually, bringing in roughly $1 billion dollars in revenue for the state.

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Illinois State Parks

Starved Rock
• 18 canyons eroded from streams and thrawed glaciers
• Dazzling waterfalls at heads of every one of the canyons in the springtime
Cache River
• It has southern swamps uncharacteristic of the north
• Trees greater that one-thousand years of age
• Close to 40 endangered animals and plants indigenous to Illinois
Pere Marquette State Park
• Looks out on the Mississippi River and is renowned for having bald eagles throughout the winter
Wildlife Prairie State Park
• Home to bears and bison

Typical Duties of an Illinois Park Ranger

  • Providing exceptional customer service and communicating with park guests
  • Compiling environmental data on plant and wildlife populations
  • Supplying visitors with advice
  • Helping injured or missing hikers
  • Educating people about the area and how to conserve nature
  • Conducting tours
  • Performing firefighting responsibilities and law enforcement, including collecting use license fees and gear sales, and performing property care

Those looking to become park rangers in Illinois can work through the Illinois Department of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency or the National Park Service. Both agencies will require similar standards.

Park rangers in Illinois focus on organizing upkeep as well as the on-going care of property, while supervising the technicians who carry out the upkeep.

Settings for Instruction

  • Parks and Rec.
  • Life sciences

Ideally, candidates would have a year of expertise in care or interpretation. In some cases, education and experience can substitute each other.

  • Capability to get ready and maintain using records and reports
  • Power to make small repairs to tools and equipment
  • Working knowledge of regulations and rules in their section
  • Capability to work under unfavorable environmental conditions
  • Basic familiarity with the management of outdoor recreation and natural systems
  • Skill to offer support, advice, and direction to sports enthusiasts and other guests

Functions of an Illinois Park Ranger

Supervising Workers:

  • Supervise workers who complete:
    • Grounds keeping
    • Offer nature programs and outdoor activities
  • Managing grounds activities
  • Lead other park rangers through training and on site duties
  • Evaluate how other employees are performing


Managing and participating in care of the following:

  • Land
  • Canals
  • Waterways
  • Trails
  • Beaches

Fixing and maintaining:

  • Lights and signs
  • Park displays
  • Outdoor picnic areas

Helping to manage outside recreational plans:

  • Building and setting hunting blinds
  • Gathering boat lease fees
  • Selling fishing and hunting licenses and camping permits
  • Assigning hunters to hunting places
  • Executing security and safety plans
  • Directing traffic
  • Informing of rules and regulations

Illinois Park Ranger

Working in Illinois as a Federal Park Ranger

In the state of Illinois the National Park Service is in charge of five parks, including Shawnee National Forest.

Chautauqua National Wildlife refuge is famous for the thousands and thousands of fowl that settle in autumn and migrate in the spring. Along with wetlands, the park has native prairie-land that are of importance.

Those park rangers that are looking to enforce the law will look to become protective park rangers. The requirements for the position are as follows:

Fundamental Prerequisites:

  • Legal driver’s license
  • 21 years of age

Educational Prerequisites:

  • Bachelor’s degree including 24 hours of related classes (GS-05 level)
  • Graduate school – 1 year (GS-07)


Applicants without formal school can still apply, but should have work experience such as:

  • A year using LEO abilities to safeguard resources and visitors (GS-07)
  • Park guide or LEO experience (GS-05)

Applicants may also use a mix of expertise and instruction to become a national park ranger.

Salary Information for Park Rangers in Illinois

Park Rangers in Illinois take home a great salary while pursuing a fulfilling career protecting the land of his or her state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Park Ranger in the state of Illinois make a median salary of $65,000 per year.

Schooling Information for Park Rangers in Illinois

  • Criminal Justice, MA
  • Homeland Security, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • Homeland Security, AA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Homeland Security, BA
Keiser University eCampus
  • DEM - Emergency Management
Capella University
  • BS - Criminal Justice
Capella University
  • MS - Cybersecurity
Capella University
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Public Administration
  • JM: American Legal Studies
  • JM: General
  • JM: Health Law
  • JM: International Legal Studies
  • JM: Special Student (Non-Degree Seeking) - Legal Studies
  • LLM: International Legal Studies
  • MPA: Law & Public Policy
  • MS: Criminal Justice
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
Liberty University - Online
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership
Walden University
  • DBA - Criminal Justice
  • DBA - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice
Northcentral University
  • BSCJ – Law Enforcement
  • BSCJ – Juvenile Justice
  • BSCJ – Homeland Security
  • BSCJ – Forensic Psychology
  • BSCJ – Crime Scene Investigation
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • MSCJ - Corrections
  • MSCJ - Global Issues in Criminal Justice
  • MSCJ - Law
  • MSCJ - Leadership/Executive Management
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security
  • Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management
  • BS in Corrections
Purdue University Global
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism & Homeland Security concentration
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Public Safety Administration concentration
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • Associate in Science Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Homeland Secu
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Police Admini
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc Human Services
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc in Corrections
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security with concentration in Secure Programming
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • AA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
Saint Leo University - Online
  • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • CTU - Criminal Forensics
Colorado State University - Global