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How to Be a Park Ranger

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How to Be a Park Ranger

Do you really enjoy nature and all it has to offer? Would you enjoy the perks and benefits of being apart of a government job? Then, you should think about being a Park Ranger. Being a Park Ranger is a profession where you can teach people who enter the park about vegetation, animals, and the history of the park.

Types of Park Ranger

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Know that there are different types of park rangers. Some work in the wilderness or the back country searching for lost visitors and/or collecting scientific data to help gather information on endangered species in the park. Other times, park rangers have an education background. They get to teach visitors about environmental issues that affect the park (ex. pollution, climate change, etc.), and how to enjoy nature to the fullest. Lastly, some park rangers provide security, law enforcement, and fee collections depending on the park.

Pros / Cons of the Job

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Park rangers, who like their job, speak to the excitement when caring for nature and they love working outdoors all the time. Some of the difficulties include long work hours, working holidays and weekends, and difficult work challenges, if people die on park grounds. Just like any job, there needs to be a balance.

Mindset of a Park Ranger

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When working as a park ranger, you need to believe in a few things. First, the job of a park ranger is to honor nature. Everything you do on a daily basis is to protect it from destruction. Secondly, you have to be a leader that is confident in what they do. There may be times where you have to lead a search party to find a missing camper.

Education and Requirements

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To become a park ranger, you need a college education at 2-years minimum to even qualify with the National Parks Service. Common college degrees include: park and recreation management, law enforcement, natural sciences, or ecology. There are a lot of options to get your foot in the door as a park ranger.

Connecting with a Park System

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Find ways to get yourself acquainted with parks across the nation. When you find a park that interests you, research its rules, policies, and the history. Try to speak to park rangers that work there, and see if there is a way you could volunteer to help gain valuable experience.

Apply for a Job

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When you are ready to get hired for job, there will be a few things you need to complete. The process may include testing, an interview, and a background check to make sure the government has covered all of their bases.

A park ranger life can be one full of excitement and joy, if you have passion for nature and the need to protect it. No matter what you do as a park ranger, you will be representing the best that the National Parks have to offer.

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