Tuesday, June 26, 2007
To be a Ranger: hang in there
Summer's increase of visitation at the park brings along lots of young and youngish folks who tell me that they follow my blog (which is nice) and hope one day to become full-time Rangers (me too). As providing that sort of information is one of the goals of this blog, I'd like to give the subject a little more attention.
Those folks who are in the best position to get Ranger jobs are young, college educated, combat veterans,
...and remember, we as a nation are making more combat veterans every day. Veterans, especially those with service-related disabilities, go to the head of the line. I certainly don't begrudge this policy, being a veteran with a five point edge myself, but it is important that you are aware of this going in.
Keep your roots and entanglements to a minimum, meaning don't own a house, don't be married, don't have children, and DO be willing to move at the drop of a (ranger) hat to parks where there are openings that may lead to "Status" or full-time jobs.
Be prepared to relocate to Boston, Philly, Washington DC, or Alaska; the magic portals into the National Park Service.
Be open to the idea of having apartment mates.
Consider NPS law enforcement.
Keep wiggling your toes so they don't get numb.
Everybody starts out as a seasonal Ranger, working 3 to 6 months out of the year.
Landing a seasonal job is difficult in itself. Being a seasonal is just being a seasonal, Its sort of like being a ranger reenactor, with pay. Its a great job, but it is what it is.
I run in to people every day who were seasonal rangers once upon a time. Much like paper towels from a dispenser, they appear, they perform, and they're gone. Don't get me wrong (and I'll certainly get the comments) I love this job and hope to keep it as long as I can...but if you want to make an impact, be noticed, account for something within the larger organization, and have some financial security as a ranger, you've got to be full-time.
Your goal, young person, is that full-time job.
Like perfect diamonds, those jobs are exceedingly rare, but they do exist.
So, set your goal and be willing to commit to it for the very long haul.
And always remember;
it might not, after all, work out for you. Perhaps you'll have to settle for something less than the life of a Ranger...
like, say, president of the United States
Keep the faith,
Below is the blurb from the website of the Association of National Park Rangers. Its a helpful site for you to begin your long, long journey toward that ranger hat.
-----------------------(I wish I knew how to put text in italics)----------------------
"Live the Adventure: Join the National Park Service"
The Association of National Park Rangers has embarked on a publications program to educate others about the national park ranger profession and issues important to park rangers. The newest publication is "Live the Adventure: Join the National Park Service."
It provides definitive steps on becoming a park ranger - and could help increase your chance of gaining employment with the National Park Service.
Get general information on the park ranger profession and related fields.
Learn about types of appointments and hiring authorities used by the National Park Service to fill vacancies.
Gain tips about preparing for a career in the NPS. Which courses should you take in high school? Which college majors are preferred? How can you become a full-time park ranger? And more!
Individual copies are $6 each (includes $1 per copy for shipping/handling). For bulk orders (10 copies & more), the prices are:
10-49 copies: $3.50 each plus shipping/handling
50-99 copies: $3.00 each plus s/h
100+ copies: $2.50 each plus s/h
For more information or to check shipping/handling charges on bulk orders, contact the ANPR business office at ANPRbiz@aol.com.
ANPR can process your order with a credit card payment (Visa or MasterCard) via our secure server now.