How to Become a Park Ranger in Washington

Have you been searching for information on Washington park ranger training and degree requirements in order to advance your career? We have compiled some important information for you.

Washington’s park rangers work within varied terrains and climates. There are several parks throughout the state.

With over 70 state parks and national parks, Washington has among the strongest opportunities for park rangers anywhere in the United States.

Washington Park Ranger Education and Training

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission utilizes park rangers at two primary levels: Park Ranger 1 and Park Ranger 2. Both groups perform similar functions associated with park ranger work, but there are some differences:

Washington Park Ranger 1

Limited to:

  • Protection of park properties
  • Directing traffic
  • (May not carry a firearm)
  • Writing citations

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Minimal prerequisites to become a Park Ranger 1 call for having a valid driver’s license and:

Two years of school (no specific major is mandated)


High school diploma or GED and a couple of years of relevant work experience or military service

Washington Park Ranger Requirements

Washington Park Ranger 2

Authorized to perform added law enforcement functions including:

  • Investigations that are leading
  • Performing crowd control
  • Making filing charges and arrests
  • Conducting surveillance work
  • One year of park ranger expertise


Two years of university/college (no specific major mandated)


High school diploma/GED and a couple of years of expertise or as a commissioned law enforcement officer.

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Having a Bachelor’s degree in a related area is a great way to improve your candidacy. The following are viable choices:

  • Biology
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Park Management
  • Public Management

A four-year degree would likewise meet the demands to act as a ranger with all the National Park Service (NPS) in among the national parks found throughout Washington.

Before an application is submitted by a candidate to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, one should make sure to adhere to the following minimal conditions:

  • Have an excellent private history without criminal misdemeanors that are major
  • Have a driver’s license with no limitations, other than corrective lenses
  • Be able enough to pass an emotional and medical assessment

Available park ranger work in Washington is usually going to be posted on the State Parks employment website. Training, qualifications, and special responsibilities are likely to be listed, as well as unique details about the best way to apply.

A commercial driver’s license will be required by some park ranger positions with sanctions that are special.

National employment website. Nominees must be US citizens. For specific park ranger positions that include law enforcement, nominees should also be at least 21 years old and finish a Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP).

Park ranger occupations at the federal level also have special entry-level requirements which might be detailed in the individual job statements. These usually contain the following minimums:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related area of study
  • The joined equivalent of expertise and instruction

Salary Information for Park Rangers in Washington

Park Rangers in Washington 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 Washington makes a median salary of $66,330 per year.

Park Ranger Programs and Schools in Washington

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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.