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How to Become a Park Ranger [PICS]

It’s not really working when you become a park ranger because every day is a new adventure.

Park rangers service local, state, and national parks for others to enjoy. They protect the land, enforce the law, and educate park visitors. There are many different aspects of being a park ranger including enforcement, patrol, interpretation, and conservation. Regardless of emphasis, there are basic requirements to become a park ranger.


Most states in the U.S require some kind of post-secondary education, especially if you have no experience in the field. But because of the variety of knowledge a park ranger must know, many states acknowledge a large number college majors as acceptable education including:

  • Park and Recreational Management
  • Wildlife Management
  • Wildlife and Forestry
  • Environmental Studies
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Biological Sciences

Most states require a bachelor’s degree or higher with no related experience and some states even require additional coursework related to the wanted profession.

Park Ranger


Prior experience required to become a park ranger varies from state to state. Most states accept an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college instead of related experience. The best chance to get your park ranger dream job though is to have the education and the experience.

A great way to gain experience while in school or prior to your application process is interning, volunteering, or working at nature centers, national parks and forests, state parks and forests, any outdoor education center, or an entry-level seasonal job at one these organizations.


Although each state has their own requirements for education and experience, all states have a strict pre-employment process for applicants in order to become a park ranger. Part of the process includes background investigations and certain achieved requirements for medial exams, psychological evaluations, and polygraph tests.

Each state in the U.S. may have slightly different requirements in order to become a park ranger, but the basics are very similar. You need to have some kind of college degree, preferably related to your area of interest, experience is very desirable, and you must complete a strict training process.

To check all the requirements to become a park ranger for a specific state, visit the Park Ranger website.


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How to Become a Park Ranger [PICS]