Park Ranger Career Outlook, Employment & Job Information

Park Ranger

Park Ranger Career Overview

Park rangers patrol our nation�s parks--from the largest national parks to the smallest local parks. Some park rangers are hired specifically to protect U.S. National Parks and their guests; the role is truly more a police job than you might first think. As a park ranger, you could develop programs to address poaching, smuggling, and other illegal activities within the park. You'd also work to preserve national resources through education, investigation, and participation in apprehending offenders.

Park Ranger Degree and Education

The National Park Service has high educational standards for its park rangers. Candidates must have finished at least two years of higher level graduate education, such as criminology, natural resource management, public administration, park and recreation management, or criminal justice degrees.

Park Ranger Employment

About 861,000 individuals work as law enforcement and police officers as of 2006. Specifically, the National Park Service has approximately 16,000 permanent employees and hires up to 10,000 temporary and seasonal employees each year.

Park Ranger Job Description

Employment of park rangers and other law enforcement officers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all careers: about 11 percent over the course of a decade. Competition for park ranger jobs in the National Park Service should be high and those with law enforcement training and several years of on-the-job investigative experience will have the best opportunities.

Park Ranger Salary Range

Annual wages for park rangers are listed below. *Salaries will change based on such factors as location, seniority, and experience.
Low: $27,026
High: $33,477

*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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