How To Become A Park Ranger

educational requirements
educational requirements for becoming a park ranger depend upon the work place and may vary from employer to employer. for instance, the national park service requires a four-year undergraduate degree in a field that is associated with environment. this could be park management, zoology, social sciences, ecology, or forestry.

students should have studied the following courses while earning their degree:

  • natural resource management
  • earth sciences
  • recreation management
  • police science
  • archeology
  • history
  • museum sciences

alternatively, candidates may also take these courses at community colleges. another option is enrolling into an online degree program. online education is a convenient alternative for students who want to earn a degree, but may have other responsibilities that do not allow them to enroll into traditional on-campus programs. training programs are also highly preferred including the seasonal law enforcement training program (sletp). most employers require applicants to have a driver's license and complete a first aid course. you will also have to take a medical examination and pass a drug test.

necessary skills
this job requires candidates to have an out-going personality and good communication and interpersonal skills. as they are often required to promote the park they work at, they must be goal oriented. other essential qualities include:

  • self-motivation
  • detail oriented
  • confident
  • good management skills
  • ability to work independently

a majority of employees may get vocational and on-the-job training to hone these skills. most importantly, you must enjoy doing outdoor work related to nature and wildlife preservation.

work environment
park rangers mostly work outdoors. while this can be invigorating, it could also be unpleasant as they have to work in all sorts of weather. the work could be physically strenuous as they have to remain on their feet and walk long distances. their work also takes them to remote places. they may be asked to work in offices when planning or conducting reviews. associated hazards may be lowered by taking appropriate safety measures and wearing appropriate equipment. this includes wearing protective eyewear, hardhats, and safety clothing

job responsibilities
these professionals generally perform the following tasks:

  • protect and preserve historical sites, recreational areas, and parks
  • patrol campgrounds and participate in search and rescue operation
  • preparation and presentation of illustrative reports
  • give tours to visitors and provide information about the surrounding areas
  • enforce rules and regulations and address needs and complaints of the visitors
  • deal with emergency situations and protect human lives and official property
  • save natural resources such as forests, plants, animals, and nature

employment outlook
jobs are highly concentrated in the west and southeast as many private and national forests and parks are located there. the same park might employ various types of park rangers to carry out different tasks. the following are the different roles in this occupation:

  • interpreters
  • guides
  • law enforcement rangers
  • activity coordinator
  • historical interpreter

the predicted employment growth for this occupation is between three to nine percent between 2010 and 2020, which is slower than the average of all occupations. however, park rangers could earn a nice salary. according to the us bureau of labor statistics (bls), the median annual wage in 2010 was reported to be $57,420 for conservation scientists and foresters, which includes occupations like park rangers.


Q:How long does it take to become a park ranger?

A:Park rangers must have a bachelor degree which takes 4 years to complete. It is recommended that you opt for a bachelor degree in areas such as environmental science, recreation, or even criminal justice. Apart from education, all park rangers must complete on-the-job training that can also anywhere from 12-18 months. This training will help individuals learn about the basic law enforcement concepts.

Have Questions ?

Please submit your question!

* All Fields are Required
Find Now