Seasonal Park Ranger Job Descriptions

Park ranger jobs are some of the most highly coveted seasonal positions available in the National Forest Service parks. With duties as diverse and varied as the national parks and forests in which they serve, ranger positions have become specialized over the years. Currently, there are three types of park rangers: general ranger, interpretive rangers, and law enforcement rangers.

Seasonal Park Ranger Jobs Have Become Increasingly Specialized Over the Years

Although competition is fierce for all three, law enforcement rangers tend to have fewer applicants because they have more training and qualification requirements.

Despite the specialization of duties among the three ranger types, the overarching goals and principles remain the same for all park ranger positions: to protect and improve park resources, and to protect and educate park visitors. To accomplish this, rangers of various types may perform overlapping or complimentary duties. For example, an interpretive ranger may step into a law enforcement duty by explaining regulations protecting natural park resources and cultural history, while a law enforcement ranger may assist visitors by providing information and recommendations regarding park resources and facilities.

FACT! Feeding wild animals is bad. Animals that eat human handouts during the summer months do not produce enough high quality fat to adequately survive hibernation.  

Job Descriptions

The three types of park rangers are:

  • Interpretive Rangers provide interpretive services for visitors regarding natural or cultural resources within the park boundaries. This includes historic sites and monuments, wildlife refuges, archeological properties, as well as recreation areas that are of interest to the public. They educate visitors about the park’s natural, cultural and historic resources through presentations, demonstrations, talks and guided tours and hikes.
  • Law Enforcement Officers enforce the laws and regulations governing the national forest land and resources. They work cooperatively with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to assist in investigations and search and rescue missions on national forest lands. They respond to public incidents such as large group events, threats to national service employees, and environmental protests. They also enforce drug control laws and conduct educational and informational programs.
  • General Park Rangers are the jack of all trades, covering all aspects of park life. This includes fee collection, backcountry and campground duties, receiving and directing visitors, providing park information and conducting recreational activities. They may engage in certain aspects of both interpretive and law enforcement responsibilities, and generally take care of anything that comes up with the park or its visitors.

FACT! American forests currently house about thirteen million acres of old growth trees- trees which are 200 years of age or older.

Explore the latest National Park Service job openings right here on JobMonkey. New jobs – seasonal and year-round – are posted all the time.

Quick Summary:

  • There are three types of rangers: general, interpretive, and law enforcement rangers.
  • Seasonal ranger positions are some of the most highly coveted short-term jobs at the National Forest Service parks, so competition is fierce.
  • All rangers are required to have 20/20 vision, be in good physical condition, and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Additional recommended skills include first aid, CPR, and search-and-rescue training or experience.
  • Law enforcement rangers must pass a drug test to qualify for employment.


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