A Park Ranger’s median salary is between $32,000 and $41,415 in the United States. Park Rangers keep our nation beautiful by maintaining our national parks. They educate visitors to their parks on wildlife, vegetation, weather patterns, and other pertinent information that allows visitors to enjoy these areas while minimizing damage from overuse.
How to become a park ranger?
To become a park ranger, you must go through a competitive hiring process. You will be tested on your physical abilities and personal fitness to become a Park Ranger. This is because the job of a Park Ranger can be strenuous and physically demanding at times. Desirable traits in a Park Ranger are strong communication skills, knowledge of local history, ability to oversee large groups of people, and the command presence to maintain order.
Equipment and clothing of a park ranger
Once you become a Park Ranger, you will be expected to provide your equipment and clothing. This may include uniforms, solid steel-toed boots, hats/caps, gloves, and waders. You will also need safety goggles for various weather conditions involving falling objects (i.e., vegetation management). Finally, many rangers are seen wearing their sidearm when they are on duty in the field or riding along on patrol with other law enforcement personnel.
Park rangers job
After completing an entry-level position as a park ranger, some tasks you may be assigned would involve working at backcountry campsites by ensuring that they are free of trash and that all fires are dead out. You may also inspect grounds for damage (i.e., broken fire rings, graffiti) which you will need to note on your report, and proceed to repairing the damage yourself or authorizing contracted park service personnel to do so. Furthermore, you may be required to patrol specific trails or marked areas to monitor visitor activity.
Salaries of a park rangers
For many people, the first sight of a national park is unforgettable. The views are often unmatched, and visitors can get up close to wildlife in their natural habitats. But where there are beautiful sights, there’s also plenty of work that goes into keeping the parks clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
According to salary data collected by Payscale.com, just over $40,000 annually is the average salary for “natural resource management” positions at national parks across the country. This typically includes jobs like a park ranger. Many full-time employees receive medical insurance and paid time off, while part-time workers may or may not be eligible for benefits based on hours worked per week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists 7,360 “park rangers” employed in the United States as of May 2013, working at such well-known national parks as Yosemite and Yellowstone. There’s also a park ranger serving on the International Space Station. According to Pay scale’s salary data, the following national parks offer one of the highest average salaries for this type of position:
1. Wind Cave National Park: $67,904/yr. ( South Dakota )
2. Olympic National Park: $59,335/yr. ( Washington )
3. Chaco Culture National Historical Park: $58,086/yr. ( New Mexico )
4. Grand Canyon National Park: $57,482/yr. ( Arizona )
5. Congaree National Park: $57,267/yr. ( South Carolina )
6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area: $55,073/yr. ( Nevada, Arizona )
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: $54,679/yr. ( North Carolina, Tennessee )
8. Shenandoah National Park: $52,569/yr. ( Virginia )
9. Denali National Park & Preserve : $50,469/yr. ($28.41 per hour) ( Alaska )
10. Valley Forge National Historical Park: $49,514/yr. ( Pennsylvania )
Law enforcement park rangers
Law enforcement park rangers are police officers who enforce laws in national parks, historic sites, recreational areas, and other types of national protected areas. Park rangers must be familiar with the laws that apply to these protected areas because they will be enforcing them.
They also need to know about any other laws that may come into play during their regular duties. For instance, state game wardens often work alongside park rangers because certain animals such as bears, alligators, and wolves fall under their jurisdiction and the park rangers.
Many people mistakenly think that federal law enforcement officers make a lot of money. The truth is that most government jobs do not pay much at all; however, for those interested in working for the federal government, there are a few exceptions. Federal law enforcement officers such as park rangers often make considerably more money than other people in similar jobs. Still, a few things must be considered before believing that this job will be a pathway to wealth.
National law enforcement park ranger salary range
How much a park ranger makes depends upon where they are employed and what agency manages their work area. For example, those who work for the National Park Service generally make less money than those for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because national parks tend to be busier and require more seasoned employees. However, salaries are determined by the Office of Personal Management (OPM) pay-scale based on education and experience levels in both cases.
The OPM is the federal government’s human resources department, and they determine salary ranges for almost all jobs throughout the federal government. It is important to remember that just because a particular government job has a specific classification, it does not mean that everyone working in that job makes precisely the same amount of money. For example, there are many career paths open to someone who wishes to become a park ranger.
Some Park Rangers are assigned as law enforcement professionals, while others are naturalists or environmental specialists. Those with different education levels, experience levels, and other qualifications will make different salaries even though they have identical job classifications.
Law enforcement park ranger salary expectations at different agencies
If you want to work for National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, you should expect to earn between $23,000 and $26,000 per year if you are starting your career. If you have several years of experience under your belt, this salary may be closer to $30,000 or $31,000 per year.
Suppose you choose to work for other federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If so, you might expect to make more money than if you worked for either BLM or the National Park Service since the BLM is typically busier than the NPS; however, a job at NOAA will not face as much competition in terms of hiring qualified applicants.
Expect to earn between $30,000 and $35,000 per year if you begin your career with BLM; expect to earn between $33,000 and $36,000 if you start working for NOAA. If you are more experienced in one of these jobs, expect to make around $35,000 or $40,000 per year.
Do the Rangers have significant revenue?
American Army Rangers make an average of $43,087 annually, or $21 an hour. The least 10% earn less than $25,000 annually, while the highest 10% earn over $74,000 annually.
An excellent career for you: Park ranger?
The happiness of park rangers is higher than usual. At CareerExplorer, we regularly poll millions of people to find out how happy they are with their jobs. It turns out that park rangers are in the top 23% of employment for professional happiness, scoring 3.6 out of 5 stars.