Learning how to become a Park Ranger can be a great career for people who enjoy working outside and interacting with the general public. A Park Ranger is an officer who works as a naturalist, enforces law and collects fees, they are entrusted to preserve national,state,provincial and local parks, and they maintain safety for the many people that visit the parks every year. In the U.S., normally they are employed by the U.S. National Park Service which is a bureau of the Dept. of the Interior.
What Does Being A Park Ranger Entail?
A career as a Park Ranger requires one to work outdoors where there is a lot of vegetation, wildlife, extreme weather conditions and sometimes in uncomfortable working conditions. You must deal with the general public. This means putting up with the good and the bad. In this career there are risks involved like working in prolonged exposure to poisonous plants, dangerous and poisons animals like insects. One must expect to work in diversity location across the country. Being a park ranger is fun and exciting if you enjoy working outdoors and love nature.
Park rangers are need in preserving the public parks and for operation services, some of their duties include: Making sure the parks are open and operational for public use and making sure that the public pays their fees. They supervise the management and work done to preserve the resources in the parks.They carry out tasks associated with forests which include, fire controls, protection of property, gathering national historical and scientific information, enforcement of laws in the forest, investigation of violence trespass accidents search and rescues. Manage culture natural resources such as wildlife, forest, historical buildings, and lake shores archeological property. Operate camp grounds with tasks like assigning sites, safety inspections, providing information to people, leading tours.
What Are The Duties of a Park Ranger?
Duties of a Park Ranger (not to be confused with an Army Ranger!) are different depending on the position you are as a park ranger. There are different positions in the employment of park rangers in the national park services, to become one you choose one that best suits you. The positions include:
Guide: A cheerful knowledgeable person who works with the public face to face in creating presentations to help the visitors understand the importance of the parks they are exploring and teaching them of the safety rules with the plants and animals of the region.
Science technician: A person interested in biological science researches and in laboratories, there are very many outdoor researches taking place, and personals are needed in settings to carry out data to carry out trial. Technicians work beneath the direction of professors involved in research and the help to maintain the necessary tools required doing researches.
Seasonal park rangers: For a person who enjoy t be outdoors and around people making sure that the public understands the rules and how to use the natural resources in the park, the interpolate the points of interest to the public and encourage them to serve in the conservation of the nature balance and beauty in the parks.
Maintenance park rangers: The Park requires maintenance rangers to make sure that the trails are well maintained and people are staying on it, this saves land from being trampled upon by travelers. They also take care of other public aids such as furniture, signs and buildings.
What Are The Requirements To Become A Park Ranger?
To venture in this career as stated in the law enforcement for park rangers, some college courses related to the position wanted are require to attain that position. Every position has a moderate competition since its becoming a popular field work. Depending on the position a background in any of this fields is required, biology, law enforcement, archeology,cultural interpretation, engineering, botany, experience in working in any this fields is also an advantage.
Here are some basic requirements you’ll have to meet in order to become a Park Ranger.
- Must be a US Citizen
- Meet agency medical standards
- Pass physical fitness standards
- Complete a background investigation (drug/alcohol free with no criminal history)
- Minimum age of 21 required for law enforcement positions
Personal requirements to become a park ranger include:
- Good communication skills to be able to interact with the public an all travelers in the parks.
- Able to supervise and organize work so as to manage the running of the park.
- Enjoy working with different people to be able to deal with the different tourists visiting every day.
- Good with wildlife and able to handle animals with confidence and patience.
- Interested in nature and is able to conserve and manage it.
- Enjoys anything to do with science to be able to carry out researches.Is able to accurately observe and record information.
- Enjoys nature and is able to work in any weather conditions.
- Is able to work in limited social contact and can handle isolation.
- Able to work in different conditions like moving around in light air crafts.
- Can be involved in incidence management issues.
- Must have an unrestricted drivers license.
Park rangers work in many different environments, in remote areas and with different kinds of people, it is a demanding work that requires someone that is strong willed to make through any challenges and risks associated with this career, but all the same it is a fun and exciting career and the better for you if you love nature and enjoy being outdoors and more people like you are needed to serve the public in our national parks.
How Much Money Does A Park Ranger Make?
Park Ranger pay varies depending on the Park you work at, the geographical location and a few other variables. Salaries and job security are also at the mercy of the State’s our Departments budget. In lean times, jobs, pay or benefits can be cut, so there is a bit of uncertainty in this line of work. Variables in salaries can also depend on the classification title level of the park ranger, and the duties preformed. Average yearly pay would be in the neighborhood of $27,895.68 to $40,110.48 with the average being around $32,000 to $36,000.
Where Can I Find A Job With the National Park Service as a Park Ranger?
You can find out information about National Park Service jobs, both volunteer and paid positions by visiting the National Park Service website and using their helpful search page. It will show you the current openings in different states. You can find that page here. Good luck! Learning how to become a Park Ranger can be a fun and rewarding career choice!