PARK RANGER - Outlook
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Most park rangers will advise you to be willing to go where the jobs are. The largest number are in urban areas, but with a little experience, you will be more likely to be able to pick a region in which you most want to work. The experience gained from seasonal work is directly applicable to advancement to permanent positions.
Though highly prized, full-time ranger positions do not pay very well. Since this is a government job, full-time rangers receive a complete benefits package, which includes overtime, paid vacations, holidays, sick leave, health insurance, and retirement benefits. In some cases, rangers live in government-provided housing within the park. Most rangers feel the low pay is more than offset by the love they feel for their work and their surroundings.
The popular image of a park ranger is someone who works in a remote forest or high atop a mountain out west. You may be surprised to learn that park rangers can also work in urban and suburban areas. According to the NPS, more than half of all rangers work in areas east of the Mississippi River. Most of your job will take place outdoors, but you may do some office work if you move into a management position. During your career, you are likely to be assigned to several different parts of the country. Depending upon qualifications, park rangers begin their service at various grades, and salary increases along with rank.