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Park Ranger Requirements

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Park rangers protect park lands, assist visitors, and enforce regulations. Park rangers sometimes must deal with emergency situations and assist in search and rescue. They work in national, state and county parks, historical sites, nature preserves, and many other settings. Requirements vary depending on the size and type of the park, but many are similar for most locations.

Work Hours

Park rangers must be available and willing to work overtime and irregular hours during the summer, when park usage increases. These hours generally include evenings, weekends and holidays.


Because the jobs are very competitive, most require a bachelor's degree in park and recreation management, environmental sciences or business administration.

Physical Requirements

Park ranger requirements include physical fitness, strength, agility, and the ability to be walking for a large part of the day. If the park has water areas, the rangers must be able to swim. They also must have excellent eyesight.

Driving Ability

Park rangers must hold a valid driver's license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

First Aid Certification

Usually, park rangers must have a valid Red Cross first aid certificate and a cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificate from the Red Cross or American Heart Association.

Legal Aspects

Some positions prohibit a prior conviction of a felony, and all require drug screening for hiring.


Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.