How to Become a Park Ranger

How to Become a Park Ranger

Park rangers are stewards of national parks, they primarily protect and help preserve the natural looks parks for wildlife and plant species safety.  Another park ranger duty is to show or take visitors around the park areas while teaching them about the various wildlife and plant behaviors. They also guard areas of high risk or danger in the park to protect both visitors and the wildlife or plants is such areas. Park rangers also engage in scientific research for information about wildlife and plants. They conduct search and carry out rescue operations. Environment of work include state park systems and national parks service*.

Park rangers are therefore of different specific types with different roles in a park. You may choose to be a wilderness or back country park ranger. Or one who search for missing people in parks, researcher and environmental data collector for study, visitors welcoming ranger at the park entrance, teaching ranger about animals and plant in the park etc. The type of park ranger that you desire to be determines the degree or career training that you should go for*.

In remote places far from police easy reach or fire stations, rangers are the security guards in charge and such rangers are trained as such, thus there firefighting and law enforcement rangers. To become a park ranger, you should be ready to work in every kind of weather condition (rainy, dry, cold, wet or hot conditions) and on holidays*.

Educational Requirement to Become a Park Ranger

To become a park ranger you may need a two or four years degree in science-based courses of relevance, especially in nature and life related courses like biology, geology, botany, forestry, environmental science, ecology, conservation study etc. other required non science based degrees are law enforcement related degrees, public administration, park and recreation management etc. Other relevant degrees for park rangers are business, law enforcement and criminal justice**.

Your work experience and degree type defines your job rank or level on employment into state or national park system. You may gain relevant work experience by volunteering to work or assist experienced rangers at the park. This is an added advantage for employment.

You may also build your ranger career work experience by taking up seasonal park jobs in state, municipal, historic or national parks. Take up tour guide job (docent) in museum and as intern with Student Conservation Association.


Your entry educational qualification, work experience, your type of ranger and the type of park (state, municipal, historic or national parks) that employed you determines your salary. Park rangers are generally paid well with salary according to levels (cadre or ranks). SALARY RANGE for Ranger Cadet is about $3211 to $4187, for Ranger Range A is about $3344 to $4379 and Range B $3981 to $5265***.

Typical Task and Work Environment

Park rangers work environments are at state, municipal, historic or national parks. They swore maintain peace and order in parks; by performing duty patrols with the necessary means (using horse, boat, foot, vehicles etc.) depending on the location engage also in ski-patrol. They are licensed to arrests felonies and misbehaving persons. They are included in criminal investigations, emergencies and rescues (scuba diving, cliff, ocean, surf, lake, and river rescues) in remote areas and parks. Park rangers perform administrative investigation duties. They take care of visitors on tour by guiding and teaching them about lives and objects in the park and so on. Every staff in a park is a park ranger handling specific duty**.



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