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Working At National Park Service

Zippia Score 4.3

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National Park Service

National Park Service Jobs

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National Park Service Overview

Industry

Services

Organization Type

Government

Employees

> 10,000

Headquarters

Washington, DC

Website

nps.gov

Website

nps.gov



Founded in

1916

Revenue

> $1B

Key People

Adrienne Coleman (Manager)

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About National Park Service

The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations.

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The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations.

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What Is

National Park Service's Mission Statement

?
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Is This Your Company?

Do You Work At National Park Service?

What is it like to work at National Park Service

Whats the most embarrassing situation?

You often catch people *** out in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes they're dressed up in ridiculous costumes, like furries or gimp suits, *** like that.
July 4, 2017 on Reddit

How did you get this position? Favorite thing about the job? Least favorite thing?

I wrote the best/worst thing earlier, and I'm in a hurry now b/c I'm actually on my way to work at 3AM now, lol. But I got the position by starting out as a volunteer. Make friends that way, learn a lot about the park, and when the seasonal jobs come along, just keep applying. Definitely start as a volunteer though, or else you will most likely be overlooked for someone who has.
July 4, 2017 on Reddit

Best and worst parts about your job?

Best part obviously is just being out in nature. You get to see so much that it really keeps you grounded to what makes life worth living. The worst part is dealing with the ignorance of some people who just act like they are the only people on the planet and what they do doesn't matter. Leaving trash is a big one, but also trespassing into protected habitat areas, general disregard for laws, no consideration of others either by picking fights or just interrupting tour groups, things of that nature.

Do you ever get called out to assist in rescues? If so and you are comfortable with it, could you share details?

We have only had two major operations in the time I've been in Death Valley. I helped in a supportive capacity (updated other members of the search group on a walkie talkie) because I was already in the area the the man was believed to have been hiking. But I work for the archaeology department, the Search and Rescue rangers take care of those things.
March 3, 2017 on Reddit

Do you ride a horse or have a 4x4?

I have a truck but my job is 90% hiking.
March 3, 2017 on Reddit

How far away from Baker are you? And where do you employees live?

We are about 100 miles Northwest of Baker. The NPS provides housing for employees near our main compound. However, in the late fall, winter, and early spring, I spend most nights outside in a sleeping bag with a wind-proof shell because the sky is unobstructed by light pollution and the stars are like nothing I've experienced in any other place.

How do you feel about the privatization of non-law enforcement positions within the park systems like maintenance, snow removal, etc? Have you seen a positive or negative impact ecologically and in your role as a ranger?

I haven't had any experience with it. Part of the NPS culture is a deep respect for the resource. I am curious as to if that exists outside of the NPS, specifically with those companies getting the contracts. I have a feeling it will work out similar to the contractors that already are in the parks. Some people will have no problems with them. Others will have continual problems. I don't have any personal experience to base that assumption on.
November 11, 2010 on Reddit

How Much to do you make a year? How are your benefits? Vacation? Can you make a really great living doing this for 20+ years?

37K. Benefits are non-existent as a seasonal. Vacation is good. I usually don't get much because I only work about half a year. It sounds like the permanent staff can usually do one major vacation (1 week+) and some shorter, long weekend, type trips. Conversely, I get half a year off. Though I usually try and work in that period. You're not going to get rich as a park ranger. There's a phrase used alot in the NPS. It goes: "Rangers get paid in sunsets." For many of the NPS staff the non-monetary benefits outweigh the fact that they're making half of what most of their friends are. Simply put, we get to live in National Parks. Our housing is usually dirt cheap. The salary is enough to be comfortable, if things like a second home, boats and sports cars aren't very high on your priority list. The other benefit is your job, or one like it, will always be there.
November 9, 2010 on Reddit

Have you ever seen a dead body? Have you caught anyone getting on with someone else or themselves or with and animal? Have you ever ran into someone taking a ***? Have you been attacked by animals? How did you go into this line of work?

I've seen quite a few dead bodies. This is not a line of work for the squeamish. I've run into couples that were actively enjoying each others company in the woods. Fortunately no animals have been involved, in my experience. I haven't seen that on on the job. I've manage dot avoid animal attacks so far. I spent two years as a bio major and realized that a research lab was not something I would enjoy. I transferred to a Parks and Resource Management program and haven't looked back.
November 9, 2010 on Reddit

How's the sex life?

This is actually a good question. Starting off in the NPS means you are living a very nomadic lifestyle. This can be incredibly difficult for a significant other that doesn't also work for the NPS. The NPS is usually good about hiring couples and often at the higher levels, if a park wants to hire someone they will find a job for that person's spouse. To have a significant other who isn't working in the park is a difficult test of a relationship. For example when I was working in Utah my girlfriend was living in Pennsylvania. I was able to talk to her once a week and saw her once in 6 months. If this is a career that you choose to pursue, prepare your loved ones for the possibility that long periods of isolation will likely follow.

Do many park rangers (at least the ones you work with) have a background strictly in criminal justice/law enforcement? Or do most have a background in some type of environmental/hard science?

It's a mix. Many of the older LE rangers don't have degrees. I've found that to be a competitive applicant a degree is almost necessary now. If you already have a CJ degree I wouldn't worry about it. It won't hurt your chances. Some LE rangers come from LE backgrounds such as local cops, MPs, correctional officers, game wardens and the like. If that's your situation, get a few years in before you try and switch. It will look better and you will be able to transfer to a job that is more like what you are leaving, in terms of pay and benefits. These people usually qualify under equivalent experience. The advantage to a strict CJ background is a better shot at a Law Enforcement Specialist position at a busy park. They are basically legal consultants for the LE staff. It's also a well paying gig.
November 9, 2010 on Reddit

What does it take to become a Park Ranger? I know it takes a love of the land and a desire to serve but what are the requirements and restrictions?

This is a breakdown of what positions fall into what division within the NPS and typical requirements for them. All of these requirements are for employment beyond seasonal work. Law enforcement positions have the most requirements, outside of education or experience. I have to pass the Physical Efficiency Battery every year. There is a very thorough background check as well as a yearly drug test. To be qualified for a LE position you have to complete one of the NPS Seasonal Law Enforcement Academies. I am also expected to maintain my certifications. Resource Management tends to have the highest degree requirements. Most of them have a Masters degree or higher in their field of study. They often have serious research experience as well. Interpretive Services spends a great deal of time educating themselves about the park. They really are the public face of the NPS and need to know, basically, everything there is to know about the parks they work in. They are the people working in the visitor center and offering programs within the parks. Maintenance workers are typically skilled tradesmen of some kind. Because they are responsible for any and all maintenance within the park, they have someone on staff who can fix anything within the park. I think maintenance is the single most important division in a park, because without them the park would not function as it does. Lastly administration covers most of the office related tasks. In admin you're going to see the accountants, the HR specialists, media specialists, the graphic design and IT gurus and so on. Those position requirements aren't much different from what you would find in the private sector. Hopefully this is more what was being asked. If I didn't cover something let me know.

I lived adjacent to a very popular national recreation area. The community pretty much despised park service because they had a tendency to be a bit aggressive. For instance, my one friend broke the axle on their jeep and it was half buried in the sand. So they called for a tow truck and sat on the back drinking beers. Park ranger came by and gave them a DUI because the keys were in the ignition, but the engine off. This is just one example of many due to "over zealousness" on the park of park rangers. My question is whether this was due to this one particular area, or that it was a recreation area and not an actual park? Are some park rangers just ***?

I would say your question is a matter of perspective. I would also like to mention that the scenario you've described is legally a DUI in more than a few states. I tend to take potential DUIs very seriously. I do that because I've spent quite a bit of time dealing with the aftermath of DUIs as part of the job. In fact, the first DOA I ever saw was at a collision caused by a drunk driver. The DOA was not the drunk driver either. Furthermore, if I contact someone and I know they've been drinking, I am obligated by law to determine if they are too impaired to drive, assuming they have demonstrated the opportunity and ability to do so. The keys in the ignition cover both of those. A corollary to that is if I then let that person go and they cause a collision while impaired, I am liable for that. Also realize that to be charged with a DUI your friends had to demonstrate impairment. Impairment to the point where they couldn't legally drive. The property's status as a recreation area would not change how DUI law is applied. I don't know what the atmosphere in the park is. At the Delaware Water Gap, because of the park's history, the NPS was very unpopular with the locals. That was because of what the Army Corp of Engineers had done. Some chose not to distinguish between us and the Corp. I was fortunate though. People had stopped attaching bombs to the doors of the ranger houses by the time I got there. The worst I had to deal with was thumb tacks in my driveway. I haven't liked some of the NPS staff I've worked with, for various reasons. I don't think I'd go so far as to call them *** though.

Being a park ranger is my life goal. Not an immediate life goal, but one to fulfill in time (+ a greater knowledge of mycology). What sort of background (internships and degree included) is most helpful? As someone who has taken a few break years and intends to go to school specifically for this career, I'd like to be well prepared. Thank you for your time and your dedication to something so wonderful.

I kind of answered this in my response to meangrampa's question. A "good" background would be one with a degree in some kind of outdoor education or natural resources management field. Those seem to be the two common ones. This is if you don't have a degree. Getting one in a related field will only help. I am also seeing, for those of you who already have a degree, that the NPS cares less about what kind of degree you have and more that you have one. I've worked with former accountants, and teachers. One of my partners used to be a garbage man. There are many people in the NPS that are in a second career. So that's not out of the question. As far as internships go, that role is played by the GS-4/5 seasonal positions. You're looking at a 3-6 month job at, usually, a busy park. It will probably be something that isn't overly exciting like fee collection, working a desk in the visitor center, or working on some kind of unskilled maintenance crew. The job will most likely suck, but you have the opportunity to try it out. More importantly, you're living in the park and there are usually opportunities to shadow a more experienced ranger and really get a sense of what they do from day to day. You have to request these, but supervisors will usually be able to work something out. The other major benefit is that these jobs count towards time in. For example, three summer seasons, your college summers, at Yosemite is a year in the NPS. If you do those summers as a GS-5, you will qualify for a GS-7 at the end of your degree program. That's means a raise and better positions. As for general experience, doing some kind of job, or volunteer work, that gets you accustomed to educating the public is a big help. This can be done formally, wiht a scheduled presentation, or informally, by answering questions or discussing a topic. Being able to speak extemporaneously on a a variety of nature-related topics is also useful. This is referred to as interpretation of the resource in the NPS. Interpreting Our Heritage (http://amzn.to/duSt9G) by Freeman Tilden is a good book on the topic. Not sure if that's a complete answer, but that would be a good start for any ranger career. Also keep going on the mycology. That's a discipline not well understood by anyone, including most of the NPS resource management folks. If you can get a good handle on that, you would be popular with them. I doubt many NPS properties have had thorough mushroom surveys done.
November 8, 2010 on Reddit

Ever run across someone's outdoor marijuana grow operation?

I haven't myself. I know of a few rangers whose only job is to find them. They are getting more common, but fortunately they aren't near areas with high visitation.

What are the geocaching policies in your park? Are they uniform across the state or do they vary from park-to-park?

Geocaching is illegal on any NPS property. The reasoning I heard for this is that geocaching would further facilitate the transfer of drugs within National Parks. Because I work for the NPS I can only comment accurately on what is the case in the NPS. The legality of geocaching varies from park system to park system. Some park systems outlaw it completely. Others allow and sometimes encourage it with programming focused on geocaching. Your best source of information would be the individual parks in which you would like to be active.

National Park Service Employees

  • -
    Diversity Score
We calculated the diversity score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including the ethnic background, gender identity, and language skills of their workforce.

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Gender

Male

57.4%

Female

41.0%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

64.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.8%
Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.5%

French

9.8%

German

8.1%

Russian

5.7%

Chinese

3.3%

Mandarin

2.4%

Hmong

1.6%

Dutch

1.6%

Portuguese

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Czech

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Swedish

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Cornish

0.8%

Bulgarian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Kazakh

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

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National Park Service Careers

National Park Service Employees Education

Schools

Northern Arizona University

13.0%

George Mason University

6.9%

Colorado State University

6.9%

American University

6.1%

Oregon State University

5.7%

University of Florida

5.3%

University of Georgia

5.3%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.5%

University of Rhode Island

4.0%

Temple University

4.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.0%

George Washington University

3.6%

University of Montana

3.6%

Humboldt State University

3.6%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.6%

University of Alaska Fairbanks

3.6%

Western Washington University

3.6%

San Francisco State University

3.2%
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Majors

Environmental Science

16.2%

Business

11.4%

History

9.2%

Biology

8.7%

Geography

6.3%

Geology

5.9%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Anthropology

4.7%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

4.6%

Political Science

3.2%

Education

3.0%

Psychology

3.0%

Communication

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Natural Resources Management

2.3%

Parks And Recreation Management

2.3%

English

2.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%

Wildlife Management

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.1%

Masters

24.5%

Other

17.7%

Associate

6.6%

Certificate

4.5%

Doctorate

2.6%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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National Park Service Employee Political Affiliation

Democratic Party

88.4%

Republican Party

9.4%

Green Party

0.9%

Independent

0.4%

Employee Political Donations

Name Job Title Party Donation
Neil MulhollandPresident/Chief Executive Officer $8,750Democratic Party
Nancy NelsonPark Superintendent $6,400Democratic Party
John DennisScientist $5,600Democratic Party
Mark SwartzPark Ranger $5,013Democratic Party
Craig ObeyGovernment Affairs Researcher $3,750Democratic Party
Mehmed ALIPark Ranger $3,650Democratic Party
Jay KatzenPark Ranger $3,375Republican Party
Helen PriceInformation Technology Manager $3,200Democratic Party
Clark BuntingPresident/Chief Executive Officer $3,000Democratic Party
Robert PetersonPark Ranger $2,950Democratic Party
Dick EwartPark Ranger $2,900Republican Party
Dennis CarlsonBoat Captain $2,750Republican Party
Guy LapsleyHistorian $2,750Democratic Party
DAN SakuraConservationist $2,700Democratic Party
Kathryn FaulknerPark Ranger $2,500Democratic Party
Anne FarahiBiological Technician $2,500Democratic Party
Steven ElkintonPlanner $2,475Democratic Party
Denise RyanDeputy Director $2,450Democratic Party
Sara FainAdvocate $2,400Democratic Party
Sarah FainAttorney $2,400Democratic Party
Julie GersteinPark Ranger $2,400Democratic Party
Alison ColwellBiologist $2,000Democratic Party
John BransonHistorian $2,000Democratic Party
William RiceBiologist $1,850Democratic Party
Charlotte TatumRetired $1,807Democratic Party
Molly RossPolicy Law $1,800Democratic Party
Ralph MarrantinoRanger $1,650Democratic Party
Lucy GonyeaEngineer $1,575Democratic Party
Judith Knuth FoltsPark Ranger $1,500Democratic Party
Thomas DottsComputer Specialist $1,400Democratic Party
Ray BrownHistorian $1,264Democratic Party
Cynthia MorrisManager $1,250Democratic Party
Randy KanePark Ranger $1,200Democratic Party
Rebecca HarriettPark Ranger $1,076Democratic Party
Jacqueline HenmanPark Ranger $1,013Republican Party
Jason RanoDirector, Customer Relations $1,000Democratic Party
Matthew ShifflettHuman Resource Specialist $1,000Democratic Party
Vincent MulveyLaborer $1,000Republican Party
Edward WarrenHospital CNO $1,000Republican Party
Ingrid NixonPark Ranger $1,000Democratic Party
David SchussPartner $1,000Democratic Party
David LotzHistorian $1,000Democratic Party
Kirsten GalloScientist $1,000Other
Reginald PeoplesMechanical Engineer $1,000Democratic Party
Linda MacIntyrePlanner $1,000Democratic Party
Kevin ChaversPark Ranger $1,000Democratic Party
Lynne NakataPlanner $975Democratic Party
Celinda PenaSenior Advisor $957Democratic Party
Dawn AdamsBiologist $950Democratic Party
Sierra SpoonerBiological Technician $740Democratic Party
Christopher VansickleProgram Analyst $730Democratic Party
Glen AlexanderRetired $700Republican Party
William LinePublic Relations $700Democratic Party
Frederick BrownHistorian $700Democratic Party
Steven FlorayMuseum Curator $600Democratic Party
Glenn KlausSpecialist $595Democratic Party
Anne DerousieHistorian $550Democratic Party
Brian HoduskiMuseum Curator $545Democratic Party
Thomas HillDirector, Special Projects $500Independent
Darwina NealRetired $500Democratic Party
Thomas KiernanPresident $500Democratic Party
Louise RichardsonAdministration $500Republican Party
Hunter SharpPark Ranger $500Democratic Party
Michelle StuebeLandscape Architect $500Democratic Party
Bill FaulknerPark Ranger $500Democratic Party
Penelope Pooler EisenbiesEcologist $500Democratic Party
Jennifer NeillEnvironmental Assistant $500Democratic Party
Debra RumbergerPolicy Advisor $500Democratic Party
Andy ReidInternet Programmer $500Democratic Party
James LoachPark Ranger $500Republican Party
Elizabeth HowardPark Ranger $478Democratic Party
Lawrence GallManager $477Democratic Party
Scott LeedsAdministrator $459Democratic Party
Lourdes OrtizProgram Manager $456Democratic Party
James StrattonRegional Director $450Democratic Party
Milton FearnAdministrator $450Democratic Party
RON SundergillRegional Director $438Democratic Party
Chuch ArningPark Ranger $425Democratic Party
F TurnerBiologist $400Democratic Party
Nathan EplingCivil Engineer $400Democratic Party
James BouknightTrail Maintenance Worker $400Democratic Party
Richard EwartPark Ranger $400Republican Party
Robert FrisbieMechanic $400Republican Party
Cay OgdenWildlife Biologist $400Democratic Party
Alice McLartyLandscape Architect $400Democratic Party
Charles MarkisPark Ranger $350Democratic Party
John DonahuePark Superintendent $350Democratic Party
Mark SeelyOccupational Safety And Health Manager $347Democratic Party
John Adornato IIINon Profit Director $330Democratic Party
Theresa PiernoPresident/Chief Executive Officer $325Democratic Party
Sean BoerkePark Ranger $314Democratic Party
Alison CarlylePublic Safety Dispatcher $310Democratic Party
Rebecca BoltonBiological Technician $308Democratic Party
Noemi GhazalaSuperintendent $300Democratic Party
William PedroPark Ranger $300Republican Party
Michael EissenbergEngineer $300Democratic Party
David SteensenGeologist $300Democratic Party
Sean GhazalaPark Ranger $293Democratic Party
Paul BurgerHydrologist $279Democratic Party
Paul ChatteyManager $270Democratic Party
David ArnoldConservator $265Democratic Party
JED LevinArcheologist $260Democratic Party
Eileen AndesPark Ranger $250Democratic Party
Michelle DavisFundraiser $250Democratic Party
Margaret FlemingRetired $250Democratic Party
Scott BentleySuperintendent $250Republican Party
Brenna WozniakLaw Enforcement Officer $250Democratic Party
Grady WilsonInformation Technology Specialist $250Democratic Party
Noah TellerBiological Science Technician $250Green Party
Gary PollockPark Management $250Democratic Party
Donald HellmannAssistant Director $250Democratic Party
Janet ColesPark Ranger $250Democratic Party
Patricia BrouilletteLandscape Architect $250Democratic Party
Linda RancourtSenior Vice President $250Democratic Party
Tracy FortmannSuperintendent $250Democratic Party
Russ BodnarPark Ranger $250Democratic Party
Alisa ScottPark Ranger $250Republican Party
Edward SupleeGuide $250Republican Party
Roland HallCartographer $203Republican Party
Aaron WielandMason $200Libertarian Party
Susanne MooreRealtor $200Republican Party
RON ReedInformation Technology Specialist $200Republican Party
Linda EscaleraShip Worker $175Republican Party
David FuerstArcheologist $100Republican Party
Reed ReedInformation Technology Specialist $51Republican Party
Darrell LewisHistorian $50Green Party
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National Park Service Stock Performance

  • -
    Performance Score
We calculated the performance score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including revenue, longevity, and stock market performance.

Revenue

> $1B

Net Income

-

Market Cap

-

Total Equity

-

Total Assets

-

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You can find out what it is like to work at National Park Service, also known as National Park Service and Rock Creek National Park.

Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of National Park Service, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about National Park Service. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at National Park Service. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of National Park Service and its employees or that of Zippia.