PARK RANGERS enforce laws, regulations, and policies in national, state, county, or municipal parks. They protect and maintain parks and historical sites. They are concerned with the safety of park visitors and make sure they follow outdoor safety codes, especially in parks with dangerous wildlife, terrain, or weather conditions. They may plan conservation programs and recreational activities. Some conduct slide shows and nature walks. They investigate accidents, and patrol areas to prevent fires, vandalism, and theft. They caution, evict, or apprehend violators. Some specialize in snow safety and avalanche control. They may also be involved in conservation efforts.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $61,500 average per year ($29.50 per hour)
- A large occupation (644,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.9% per year)
Most PARK RANGERS have a bachelor's degree. A master's degree is helpful for advancement into supervisory or management positions. College degrees in park and recreation management, business or public administration, or the natural sciences, are preferred. College credits in forestry, geology, botany, wildlife management, or conservation will be an asset. A working knowledge of law enforcement, management, and communication skills will also help. No special licensing or certification is required for park rangers.