Park Ranger Job Overview
Park rangers are stewards of the country's natural and cultural resources. They help visitors learn about and experience places like the wild lands of Yellowstone National Park, the wonder of the Grand Canyon, or the monumental Mount Rushmore Memorial. They work in parks at the federal, state, and county level.
Park ranger jobs are very broad. Some park rangers educate the public about safety measures and the wildlife or history of a park. Other park rangers are primarily conservation scientists; they are responsible for managing natural resources, and carry out duties like tagging and tracking animals and performing population studies. Many park rangers are also law enforcement officials similar to fish and game wardens. They can remove patrons from a site and can make arrests if visitors are found violating park laws or vandalizing resources and property. They also take part in search-and-rescue missions.
Park Ranger Job Education Requirements
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, conservationists need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like environmental science. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' closest data for law enforcement park rangers apply to fish and game wardens, who typically need some form of college study in a related conservation field. They receive academy training upon hire.
Park Ranger Job Market
Competition for park ranger jobs is high because the ratio of available jobs to applicants is low. Employment growth doesn't look great either. The BLS reports a projected growth of 4 percent for conservation scientists until 2022, and a mere 1 percent for fish and game wardens. Current rangers can look forward to promotion opportunities for chief ranger or management positions up to the national level.
Park Ranger Job Salary Information
Conservationists earn a median salary ranging from $51,230 to $71,110 while fish and game wardens earn about $48,070 per year depending on experience, background, and level of training.