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There are a lot of jobs available in our national parks throughout the year. At any one time, a search for the same is likely to give you about 6,000 results on a reliable job board like adventurejobboard!
These positions come up at unexpected times and are filled quickly so you might always miss out if you are not very keen.
The fact that you are reading this article, however, means you have done your part and none of the national park jobs you may be interested in is going to pass you by.
When most people think about national park jobs, being a ranger is the first thing that comes to mind.
Well, it is the most popular and most adventurous job, but there are numerous other engagements you could make money from in the lovely outdoors.
Camp hotels, for instance, are always looking for people to assist in service. This demand goes up in the season when the number of visitors increases. There are also parks looking for tour drivers and language interpreters to name but a few.
There is pretty much every kind of task to be done in national parks. Remember these entities are part of a giant stand-alone industry- The tourism industry.
It is an industry with a lot of activities ranging from marketing, maintenance, resource protection, catering and adventure travel.
Available national park jobs are therefore both temporary and permanent. The parks will indicate the nature of the post whenever they advertise.
They are both paid and voluntary, available for individuals and groups (think boy scout groups for instance).
Popular posts within this category of jobs include cooks, custodial workers, rangers (most popular), front-desk attendants, cashiers, marketing coordinators, social media managers and interns, recreational aids/lifeguards, firefighters, and human resource assistants.
Park ranger jobs are usually permanent and require training by the national park service before you join the ranks.
However, people with related training e.g firefighters can always land assistant ranger positions to help in supervisory roles during the peak season.
All parks in the United States, regardless of size, always offer these openings.
The skills needed vary depending on the specific type of national park job. Marine parks will require different skills from those necessary in a game park.
The rangers category requires special training from the park itself but most other jobs require skills acquired either in school or out of personal volition.
Human resource officers would naturally be required to show that they have studied the same in school.
Social media managers and interns, on the other hand, only need to show they are active in social media and have the ability to drive the park’s promotional agenda online.
That aside, park jobs are jobs in the hospitality industry and mostly involve dealing directly with visitors.
Strong interpersonal skills are thus always looked for when hiring people for national park jobs.
The major duty in outdoor park jobs is to supervise.
Workers ensure that park rules are followed, the resources are not damaged and safety of visitors is guaranteed.
Fire is especially a huge concern in national parks.
Employees are tasked to ensure that campers carry out their adventure activities within safety standards.
Rangers are also required to ensure that no illegal activities happen within the parks.
Remember the parks are usually vast and isolated and may be used for drug hauling or illegal game hunting.
Rangers involved in this line are usually highly trained and also armed. These are commisioned law-enforcement officers.
They are few (around 1500 in the whole country) with other rangers having undergone general training.
Other park duties will depend on the specific sub-sector you are engaged in- management, sales, reception, service etc.
Again, this will depend on the specific type of job and particular park.
Management and permanent jobs offer better pay- obviously- while outdoor temporary jobs (rangers, lifeguards etc) fetch more than indoor ones (cashiers, waiters etc).
Ranger earnings vary between $15 and $30 an hour in different parks.
Besides positions that require academic qualifications, national park jobs mostly give on-the-job certification.
Even if you are hired with externally acquired lifeguard skills, you will still undergo another one before you start working.
Hiring thus takes place early in the offseason before visitor numbers hit their peak.
Good body health and physical fitness are necessary for the outdoor tasks, so it would help if you got some extra-curricular certification in school.
Be an early bird by always staying abreast of open national park jobs here on adventurejobboard where you get the freshest list of openings like the ones below.