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There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a forest ranger. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.98 an hour? That's $51,964 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 17,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Forest Ranger Do

There are certain skills that many forest rangers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, physical strength and good judgment.

Learn more about what a Forest Ranger does

How To Become a Forest Ranger

If you're interested in becoming a forest ranger, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 49.2% of forest rangers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.2% of forest rangers have master's degrees. Even though most forest rangers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a forest ranger. When we researched the most common majors for a forest ranger, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on forest ranger resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a forest ranger. In fact, many forest ranger jobs require experience in a role such as truck driver. Meanwhile, many forest rangers also have previous career experience in roles such as park ranger or field technician.

Average Salary for a Forest Ranger

Forest Rangers in America make an average salary of $51,964 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $115,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Forest Ranger Salary
$51,964 Yearly
$24.98 hourly
$23,000
10 %
$51,000
Median
$115,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Forest Ranger Education

Forest Ranger Majors

23.3 %

Forest Ranger Degrees

Bachelors

49.2 %

Associate

33.3 %

High School Diploma

11.1 %

Top Colleges for Forest Rangers

1. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,101
Enrollment
23,708

2. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

3. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

8. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

9. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

10. Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Carbondale, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,704
Enrollment
9,447

Top Skills For a Forest Ranger

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.5% of forest rangers listed equipment maintenance on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and physical strength are important as well.

  • Equipment Maintenance, 18.5%
  • GPS, 18.5%
  • Law Enforcement, 11.9%
  • Rangers, 9.5%
  • Fire Prevention, 8.1%
  • Other Skills, 33.5%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Forest Ranger Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Forest Ranger templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Forest Ranger resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Forest Ranger Demographics

Forest Ranger Gender Distribution

Male
Male
80%
Female
Female
20%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among forest rangers, 20.0% of them are women, while 80.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among forest rangers is White, which makes up 75.3% of all forest rangers.

  • The most common foreign language among forest rangers is German at 50.0%.

Online Courses For Forest Ranger That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Fire Safety and Prevention Planning
udemy
4.3
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Become an expert in understanding "Fire Safety" and "Prevention Planning" for your workplaces and organizations...

Fire Safety: Become A Fire Safety Expert
udemy
4.6
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Become an expert in Fire Safety, Fire Hazards Control, Fire Evacuation Plans, and Fire Risk Assessment...

Playing with Fire!
edX (Global)

Fire has been a fickle companion to human societies and has acted as friend and foe throughout history arousing feelings of warmth and comfort and dread in equal measure. Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) is a broad multi-disciplinary field and often must deal with competing demands such as balancing sustainability concerns against safety. This course is designed to provide a gentle and fun introduction to the fundamentals of this complex field. The nature of fire and the scientific principles...

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Best States For a Forest Ranger

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a forest ranger. The best states for people in this position are Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Forest rangers make the most in Pennsylvania with an average salary of $92,205. Whereas in Connecticut and Rhode Island, they would average $82,632 and $82,568, respectively. While forest rangers would only make an average of $82,171 in Virginia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Virginia

Total Forest Ranger Jobs:
57
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
2.06 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Pennsylvania

Total Forest Ranger Jobs:
35
Highest 10% Earn:
$172,000
Location Quotient:
1.02 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Forest Ranger Jobs:
39
Highest 10% Earn:
$156,000
Location Quotient:
1.44 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Forest Rangers

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Top Forest Ranger Employers

Most Common Employers For Forest Ranger

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1My Florida Regional Mls$72,240$34.736
2New York State Technology Enterprise$68,353$32.861
3COMPanion$66,986$32.201
4Westvaco Corp$66,775$32.101
5USDA$65,533$31.515
6Lake County Forest Preserves$59,590$28.651
7Florida Dept. of Health$51,964$24.983
8Florida Department of Education$51,964$24.981
9Wisconsin Department of Transportation$51,964$24.981
10Oklahoma Department of Commerce$51,964$24.981