A park ranger’s main job is to allow people to enjoy nature safely. They also make sure that our natural areas are protected, undisturbed and safe. A park ranger has many different jobs within their main job. For example, finding lost hikers, rescuing people from animal attacks and helping with injuries. They also provide tours, educate the public and study wildlife behaviors.
What kind of education do you need to become a park ranger? The minimum education is a bachelor’s degree. You have to be at least 21 years old and a citizen of the United states. You can’t have any felonies or serious misdemeanors. You need to be in good physical shape and be able to pass all parts of the Physical Efficiency Battery. Vocational agriculture and forestry courses are useful. Also having completed an advanced Red Cross First Aid course including CPR is an additional things that will get your application a second look. If you’ve worked part time as a seasonal worker during the summer, that is also favorable looking on your application.
What about needed skills? You have to be able to write, understand sentences and paragraphs pertaining to work related documents. You need to be able to speak clearly and understand information and ideas when they are presented orally. You will have to be able to climb, lift, walk, stoop and be able to maintain your balance. You need to be dependable, cooperative, have attention for detail and concern for others. You also have to have self control..lots of self control. You have to maintain composure, keep emotions in check , control anger and avoid acting aggressively. Some people will try to bring the worst out in you. Accepting criticism and dealing with high stress situations calmly is a main factor in dealing with this type of work.
What are the negative aspects of the job? Some people aren’t always nice, a sad fact of life. When drunk campers get out of control, you have to step in and deal with them. If they’re playing loud music, burning garbage in their campfires, making 6 foot tall campfires and just being plain obnoxious, then they’re your problem. You have to give them a lecture on common courtesy. You also work regardless of the weather: hot, cold or rainy. You have to clean up the messes that campers leave behind in the campsite and the rest area facilities. You have to work weekends and holidays because that’s the busiest time of year for the park business.
So what’s the good part of this job? You are out in nature in all her glory. You can impart information that you know on tours. You can conduct field trips to point out scientific, historic and natural features of parks, forests, historic sites and other attractions. You provide a needed service to others. So if you enjoy people, nature and history this could be the job of your dreams!
By Linda Lee Ruzicka
Linda Lee Ruzicka lives in the mountains of Western PA , happily married and with her 8 cats and three dogs. She has been published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Writing Village, June Cotner anthology, The Grit, Reminisce , the book, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family. She also does freelances work for Beyond and Hospitalityjobsite. More of her blogs can be found at Hospitalityjobsite blog.