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 all 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.

Illinois Park Ranger Job Duties

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.

  • 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

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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

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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

Illinois Park Ranger Education

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.

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

Illinois Park Ranger Requirements

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.

Park Ranger Programs and Schools in Illinois

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Park rangers are responsible for protecting our parks and wilderness areas as well as guiding and educating the public. These duties are the same across the local, state, and national levels. Park rangers pursue degrees related to parks and recreation, environmental science, as well as law enforcement and criminal justice.