How to Start a Career Working in a National Park

Imagine a career where you are paid to lead people through the Florida Everglades or even serve them drinks as you watch birds chirping in the distance. Though this might sound like a dream, for others it is part of their job description. The good news is, you too can live this life and work in your favorite national park.

You might be wondering what kind of jobs are open to people like you. Well, there are many. From working in recreational and historical sites to protecting and managing parks, the list is endless. The good news is that you can quickly advance to the level of park director, park superintendent, and so on. 

If you are a person with a passion for nature, then this is the right post for you. Read along with us and find out what it takes to start a career working in a national park. After reading this article, you will be ready to start working at your dream job. 

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Duties and Responsibilities of People Working in National Parks

As a park ranger, you will be tasked with several responsibilities ranging from code enforcement to visitor services to even environmental stewardship. You will be required to maintain natural, historical, and scientific information and also to protect the park against any form of theft, damage, or any other kind of danger or harm.

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You should have excellent communication skills because part of your job description will be to communicate with the public daily as you direct them or answer whatever questions they might have. You will also be required to attend to them in the event that there are any complaints.

Typically, as a park ranger, you are typically supposed to work outside. On some occasions, you might be required to work in an office to do some paperwork. You might also consider specializing in specific areas such as backcountry, which entails working in remote areas. You could also become an interpretive park ranger (these usually educate the public), a snow ranger, or even a water-based ranger.

Skills Needed to Work in a National Park

You must be physically fit since you will be expected to take long walks and stand for most of the day. You must have excellent communication skills and be able to work well with others. It would help if you also were well versed in the nature and geography of the forest where you will be working. You also must be willing to work well under pressure and to work for long hours as well.

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What Kind of National Park Jobs Are Available?

There are so many jobs in this line of work that are available. The only challenge you might face is zeroing down on a particular one. It can be quite hard and overwhelming to find one specific thing that you like from this lengthy list. Here are some jobs you might consider.

  • Rafting guide
  • Hiking guide
  • Boat instructor
  • Kayak tour guide
  • Concierge
  • Cook
  • Server
  • Housekeeping
  • Retail associate
  • From desk manager
  • Driver
  • Deckhand
  • Fuel dock attendant

How Much Will You Earn Working in a National Park?

Pay varies depending on location, the nature of the job, and which state you live in. Some jobs might pay minimum wage, whereas others can pay up to $20 per hour. Also, some jobs receive tips, such as servers, drivers, bellhops, baristas, whereas others depend solely on salary. When you put all the incentives together, they might be in a better position to earn more, but this all goes back to where you are working. The good news is that you can be promoted to higher positions as long as you have the necessary skills and experience. 

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Bottom Line

If you have always had a passion for nature and want to work in a national park, we hope that these tips will help you get started with your job search. Who knows, soon you might be the next tour guide in the Florida Everglades. In any case, we wish you the best of luck as you embark on your job search.

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