Park Ranger

A park ranger’s primary duty is to educate park visitors about their natural surroundings. Another duty is, in a sense, to prevent people and nature from hurting one another. This may involve closing off trails that are eroding under the hikers’ feet, educating campers on building safe campfires, relocating animals that have threatened visitors, rescuing lost or injured hikers, putting out fires in some areas while managing fires in others, and a wide variety of other tasks. Other duties include restoration of plant and animal life, maintenance of trails and buildings, and administrative duties. Rangers must be physically fit, knowledgeable of the natural and cultural history of the park, and good at communicating with visitors for educational or enforcement purposes. Depending on the park, rangers may also need extensive training in wilderness rescue, emergency medical care, operation of firearms and vehicles, firefighting, prescribed burning, construction, boating, scuba diving, or other technical skills. A college degree is usually required.

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