Becoming a park ranger is a big decision. Before you decide to become a park ranger, you must realize that there is a lot of responsibility involved. You will be responsible for the safety and well being of thousands of visitors who visit the park of which you're in charge. You job duties will include law enforcement, nature preservation, collecting fees, and seeing that the park is maintained properly. Below are some steps to help you to become a park ranger.
- Take plenty of science courses in high school. The biological and natural science are particularly important. Make sure that you take your high school education seriously and work hard.
- Look into colleges that offer degrees in such fields as park management, forestry, natural history, or another environmental related field. You will at least need to obtain a bachelor's degree from a four year college. Your high school guidance counselor and your parents can help you in making decisions as to exactly which field you should pursue and which college is a good choice for you.
- Go to college and obtain your bachelor's degree in one of the aforementioned fields.
- Obtain your CPR certification while you're in college and renew the certification upon expiration. You will need this certification for your next step in the process.
- While you're in college, look for seasonal employment at national parks through the National Park Service.
- It would also be a good idea to obtain a seasonal law enforcement certificate. This will qualify you for becoming a law enforcement ranger which can be a stepping stone to becoming a park ranger. This certification is a 300 hour course, so it will take some time to obtain this.
- Volunteer in the community or at your local fire department. This will help you stand out and make your prospective park employer see that you care about your community.
- Apply for a job as a park ranger through the National Park Service.
In order to become a park ranger, you must really be dedicated to the cause and love nature and the preservation of nature. You must also love wildlife and love to help people and to help keep people safe. You must also have a desire to enforce laws and provide a service to others. If you're dedicated enough and take the steps listed above, you should be successful on becoming a park ranger.