Love Nature? Work for the National Park Service!
If you’re a nature lover who would love nothing more than to work at one of the 59 National Parks and Monuments in the United States, then I say, “Go for it!” The National Park Service (NPS) employs more than 28,000 people and has a volunteer force of over 2 million!
And, if you’re looking for a temporary job with the NPS for the Summer, now is the time to start applying. According to the NPS, those who apply for these temporary jobs by March have a better chance of getting hired. So, get those applications in fast!
If you don’t have a college degree, don’t be discouraged from searching the NPS job listings. There are plenty of full-time, permanent positions with the NPS that don’t require a higher education degree. There are also internships and summer jobs available for students in both high school and college. And, don’t forget that volunteering is a great way to gain experience!
Below are just a few of the employment opportunities with the NPS.
1. Park Ranger
There are several different types of park rangers – General Park Ranger, Interpretation Park Ranger and Protection and Law Enforcement Park Ranger. Minimum education/experience requirements for each position is dependent upon the state the park is in and the position. Some only require a two-year degree, but most require a bachelor’s degree. This website offers some information regarding Park Ranger educational requirements.
2. Park Guide
Park Guides are uniformed employees who present tours and guided walks for visitors to the national parks. They assist with special projects, help maintain trails and public areas, work at the visitor center and patrol the park. Agan, the education requirements vary by state and park, but many require at least some college credits.
The job title kind of speaks for itself so far as duties of the position. Of course, training and education requirements for the job vary, but all require training in wildfire techniques such as fire suppression and firefighting tactics, special equipment operation, and outside influences on fire behavior such as wind, slope and moisture. Some positions are seasonal or as-needed and also require travel.
Archeologists for the NPS work to preserve the cultural and historical resources of a national park for which they are employed. Some positions require knowledge of drafting funding proposals, use of specialized equipment, and, of course, field preparation and documentation of the archeology site. The work is not glamorous and often requires camping for extended periods of time in remote areas. Most states require at least a bachelor’s degree, but some will accept several years of experience working in the field in lieu of education.
5. Museum Technician
The Museum Technician work in operations, curation and exhibit maintenance of the park museum. They also do housekeeping, maintain catalog records, take inventory, and provide answers to researchers’ questions using the archives and databases of the museum. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree, but some will accept a combination of experience and education.
People who work in Concessionaires for the NPS usually work in lodges, gift stores, on-site eating establishments and service stations. These jobs are usually seasonal (2 – 3 months of work) and often have no education requirement. As a bonus, on your days off you can explore the park you are working in for free!
These are just a few of the employment opportunities available at our national parks. Of course, there are also positions in offices, vehicle and equipment maintenance, warehouses, botany and other sciences, and management to name just a few. This website offers links to apply for jobs at several different national parks, but to search all applications go to the USA Jobs website and perform a search. Located in Canada? Check out the Parks Canada careers page.