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State Park Jobs and Career Opportunities


State Park Jobs and Career Opportunities

courtesy of California State Parks

When most people think about jobs at state parks, the first position that probably comes to mind is that of park ranger, but in fact, state park systems throughout the United States offer job and career opportunities in a number of areas. These jobs include a variety of professional, administrative, and technical positions, including park rangers, park managers, wildlife managers and biologists, resource managers, public information specialists, historic preservationists, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, technicians, and many others.

I believe that one of the best ways to learn about the many job opportunities available at state parks and to find out what these jobs involve is to hear directly from people who hold these positions. After all, who is more qualified to provide first-hand knowledge of the type of training that is required, what experiences are helpful, what a typical day is like, and so on.

I have interviewed a number of park personnel from around the country who hold various state park related positions. These interviews have been posted online and are searchable in two ways: 1) by state; and 2) by job title.

If you search by state, you'll also find a link entitled "How to Apply," which points to the job/career section for each state park agency. As you'll see, each state has its own requirements in terms of application procedures and each state offers a unique mixture of positions.

Hopefully, as you read these interviews, you'll gain insight into what these jobs entail and will learn about the primary responsibilities of the positions, what aspects of the jobs people enjoy the most, what are some of the day-to-day challenges that are faced, and what kind of training is required. You'll also learn about some of the interesting projects that are being worked on, as well a wealth of helpful advice for those of you in the possibility of pursuing career opportunities in the state parks.

As you'll learn from reading the interviews, many of park personnel recommend volunteering and summer internships as a good introduction to parks. They found that this approach helped them to gain an understanding of what was involved in all aspects of park-related work and helped them to decide if this was the type of job they wanted to pursue as a career. It also helped them to assess if their abilities, personality, and skills were suited to the type of work required.

I hope you will find these interviews to be informative and thoughtful, and you will enjoy reading them as much as I did. Please check back here often, as I will be posting new interviews on a regular basis.

Search by state -- Search by job title

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