One Way is SCA
We get it: who wouldn’t want a government job with security, benefits, room to grow, and the possibility of calling the Grand Canyon your office? Like any dream job, though, there are considerably more National Park ranger applicants than positions, so you have to spiff up your resume if you want to make the cut. We asked NPS Public Affairs Specialist, Kathy Kupper, and NPS Chief of Youth Programs, George McDonald, for suggestions to help you get a foot in the door.
Join the YCC
If you’re in high school, a great way to get started is by working with a land conservation group such as the Youth Conservation Corps, which hires high school age students to work in National Parks. “A lot of that is doing trail construction and other work outside,” says Kupper. On top of showing NPS that you care about natural resources, the YCC specifically builds job skills that translate in to the ones you’d use as a ranger.
Join the SCA
The Student Conservation Association has been providing opportunities for people to work in National Parks in a variety of programs for 60 years and it’s estimated that about 12 percent of park rangers are SCA alumni. Feel like you are too old for an association with the name “student” in the title? Don’t stress. Some positions have an age limit of 25, but not all of them. A few programs have had septuagenarian interns.