How to Become a Park Ranger in New York

Are you interested in gaining information about New York park ranger training and degree requirements to further your career? We have compiled some useful information for you.

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts travel from around the world to visit the gorgeous state parks of New York.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) manages the workings of all state parks in The Big Apple. Throughout the pinnacle of the season, the OPRHP employs close to 1,700 full-time workers and an additional 4,000 seasonal workers.

New York State park police officers are long-term, full-time police officers selected through a rigorous process that must include the passing of the NYS Civil Service examination. State park police officers spend their time patrolling state parks using these procedures at various times:

  • Police cars that are marked
  • Horseback
  • Boats
  • ATV’s
  • Bikes
  • Personal watercrafts

New York Park Ranger Requirements

Park police officers supply vital police functions for the OPRHP. Candidates should schedule to take the civil service examination through the NYS Department of Civil Service.

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New York Park Ranger Requirements

So that you can receive important notifications regarding civil service examinations, candidates should enroll at the NYS Civil Service web site. Candidates should comply with certain standards:

  • Be a minimum of 20 years old at the appointment time
  • Be a maximum of 35 years old during the written examination time (applicants with military expertise are exempted)
  • Be a USA citizen
  • Be able enough to pass a vision exam, a health exam, polygraph and background check
  • Be able to successfully pass mandatory drug testing and the psychological examination

Candidates must accomplish a residential police basic school that lasts six months and succeed with a traineeship lasting 1 year.

New York Park Ranger Job Duties

New York State park police manage many tasks including:

  • Helping parks users
  • making arrests
  • Running investigations (non-criminal and criminal)
  • Supplying emergency services

The following are considered other services offered by the park authorities:

  • Water rescue teams and enforcement through snowmobile

Recreation forest rangers and seasonal park rangers are seasonal peace officers that are in charge of maintaining public safety services. Seasonal park and recreation forest rangers, who normally work from May through Labor Day are delegated to your particular park authorities command, although they also can travel through other areas for special occasions.

Public safety rangers are often accountable for keeping order, applying park ordinances and regulations, answering questions, and patrolling park facilities and property. These professionals can also help with conducting marine patrol, and rescue/search operations.

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New York Park Ranger Education

People who seek to work as a forest ranger and a seasonal park ranger for New York must comply with the OPRHP basic standards. Candidates should have:

An Associate’s degree or higher in at least one of these:

  • Forestry
  • Diversion
  • Criminal justice
  • Environmental science
  • Fire science
  • Parks


A minimum of sixty college credit hours with a focus (at least twelve credit hours):

  • Environmental science
  • Fire science
  • Parks
  • Forestry
  • Recreation
  • Criminal justice


High school diploma (or equivalent) and a minimum of 1 year of expertise in:

  • Forest fire management
  • Wildlife preservation
  • Search/rescue


A high school diploma or the equivalent plus among the following:

  • Firefighting expertise that is paid for 1 year
  • Volunteer firefighting experience of two years
  • Law enforcement experience of one year

New York Park Ranger Training

Along with satisfying with minimum requirements for education/experience, applicants must possess a valid MPTC Basic Police Officer or Peace Officer training certification. An applicant should also be a resident of New York state at that time of appointment (along with being a United State citizen); additionally, the applicant should be able to pass with success:

  • physical agility evaluation
  • background check
  • psychological examination

Becoming Recreation Public Safety Ranger and a Seasonal Park Ranger

Appearing to be a New York state recreation and seasonal park public safety ranger? You must:

  • Be a USA citizen
  • Be a a minimum of 18 years old at that time of appointment
  • Be capable of satisfying medical, physical, and psychological standards (drug testing is included)

Qualifying for the National Parks Service in New York

A New York park ranger is able to work at any of the National Park Service sites located in the state, for example the following:

  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Ellis Island
  • Niagara Falls

Although certain requirements can vary between interpretive park ranger occupations and protective park ranger, the common requirements for employment usually involve:

  • Be a USA citizen
  • Be a minimum of 21 years old
  • Must satisfy what’s needed at the federal level, which can be:

Possessing a minimum of one year of specialized experience at the level of GS-4; or

Have a Bachelor’s degree from an approved university or college with a minimum of 24 semester credits in areas such as:

  • Forestry
  • Natural science
  • Management of parks and recreation

Salary Information for Park Rangers in New York

Park Rangers in New York 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 New York makes a median salary of $62,800 per year.

Park Ranger Programs and Schools in New York

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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.