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Park Ranger

Park rangers teach people to respect the delicate natural balance of our national and state parks and forests.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Park Ranger, Park Naturalist, Environmental Education Specialist, Park Interpretive Specialist, Park Activities Coordinator, Park Manager, Education Specialist, Historical Interpreter, Interpretive Naturalist, Program Manager

Summary

Park rangers are employed by the National Park Service, which is an agency of the U.S. federal government, and by state agencies. Rangers work throughout the country preserving the natural environment for future generations. They protect these areas by enforcing park rules and regulations, preventing forest fires, helping to maintain an ecological balance, and seeing that visitors plan campsites wisely. Park rangers are skilled campers with a great deal of knowledge about botany and wildlife. Perhaps the greatest danger to our parks is the danger of overuse: rangers watch and regulate the number of visitors to parks. They also provide information regarding park use and points of interest, issue fire permits, and collect fees.

In addition to protecting natural resources, park rangers protect people. They may rescue a rock climber who has fallen or chase away a bear that is threatening campers. In addition, rangers act as educators by teaching campers how to use camping equipment, taking visitors on nature walks, setting up exhibits, and lecturing on historic topics. Park rangers also help to train new rangers.

 

Educational Requirements

Park rangers are usually required to have a bachelor's degree. Interested individuals should study the life sciences, like biology, botany, zoology, geology, and ecology in college. Other useful subjects include park management, forestry, and the social sciences. Candidates with master's degrees in these fields often have an advantage over other applicants who are seeking jobs as park rangers.

 

Median Salary 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a Park Ranger in 2018 was $61,310.

 

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Information retrieved from Science Buddies: Park Ranger and O*NET Online: Park Naturalists.

 

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