There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a park naturalist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $19.25 an hour? That's $40,030 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 1,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Park Naturalist Do

Conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.

How To Become a Park Naturalist

Conservation scientists and foresters typically need a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field. Employers seek applicants who have degrees from programs that are accredited by the Society of American Foresters or other organizations.

Park Naturalist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Park Naturalist

Top Careers After Park Naturalist

Average Salary for a Park Naturalist

Park Naturalists in America make an average salary of $40,030 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Park Naturalist Salary
$40,030 Yearly
$19.25 hourly
$22,000
10%
$40,000
Median
$71,000
90%

What Am I Worth?

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Roles and Types of Park Naturalist

There are several types of park naturalist, including:

Park Ranger

Role:

Park rangers are integral to the United States National Park System and provide a variety of services to the public. They also work in the interest of preserving and protecting America's wild places and historical, as well as cultural heritage. Park rangers not only protect but also preserve large national parks such as the Yellowstone National Park.

Park rangers perform tasks that include assisting park administration by collecting and accounting for revenue and creating reports. Moreover, responding to and writing incident reports for visitor complaints and emergencies.

They also perform some law enforcement activities to enforce rules, regulations, and policies for visitor and resource protection. And, they instruct, supervise, and conduct routine maintenance on grounds and equipment and daily visitor services. Although a high school diploma or a GED may suffice, a bachelor's degree in forestry, biology, environmental sciences, or relevant field may be given preference.

The average hourly salary for this position is $15.92, which amounts to over $40,000 per annum. Not only that, but the career is projected to grow in the coming years to come and create more opportunities across the United States.
  • Average Salary: $40,801
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Naturalist

Role:

Like you must have already guessed, a naturalist job is related to nature. Similar to biologists, naturalists study living organisms, their impact on one another, and how they affect their surroundings. Naturalists often have in-depth knowledge about wildlife, animals, and plants. Their job requires some level of study. In fact, most of what they do involves observing potential genetic links and doing so without carrying out any genetic analysis.

If you are thinking of starting your career as a naturalist, keep in mind that you must first get a strong foundational knowledge of ecology, biology, chemistry, geography, and math. Degree options like wildlife management, geoscience, etc., can help you gain proficiency in this area.

Seeing that naturalists deal with plants and animals, they can work in different places. Even so, most naturalists find employment in government-owned establishments like state and federal parks, EPA, and NPS.

They can also work in private-owned scientific and technical consulting companies. Some work in the educational sector as teachers, while others get hired into the medical industry as researchers. Depending on where they find work, a naturalist's salary ranges from $39,180 to $97,390.

  • Average Salary: $42,363
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Park Naturalist Jobs

Number Of Park Naturalist Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1Massachusetts76$43,292
2Colorado71$32,304
3California50$48,898
4Florida50$32,170
5Washington44$34,303
6Virginia39$44,485
7Indiana27$35,833
8North Carolina24$34,983
9Alaska23$50,270
10Georgia22$32,884
11Tennessee19$33,008
12Texas17$33,762
13Pennsylvania16$40,457
14Mississippi16$33,597
15Ohio16$29,443
16Kentucky15$37,036
17Arizona14$40,257
18Maine14$35,538
19Michigan13$40,246
20South Carolina13$31,582
21West Virginia12$41,183
22Maryland12$43,416
23Utah12$33,694
24Oklahoma11$33,754
25Louisiana11$29,533
26New Mexico10$41,922
27Alabama10$29,134
28Nevada9$47,440
29Illinois8$31,841
30Kansas8$27,589
31New York7$53,692
32Wisconsin7$37,548
33Missouri7$33,615
34Minnesota5$37,438
35Hawaii5$35,062
36Nebraska5$33,664
37Wyoming5$30,197
38Montana5$30,386
39Delaware4$59,644
40New Jersey3$46,044
41Iowa3$34,792
42Arkansas3$33,926
43Oregon3$32,912
44Idaho2$34,048
45Rhode Island1$60,094
46Connecticut1$45,054
47South Dakota1$29,767
48North Dakota0$41,013
49New Hampshire0$42,109
50Vermont0$40,487

Park Naturalist Education

Park Naturalist Majors

15.8 %

Park Naturalist Degrees

Bachelors

75.3 %

Associate

12.3 %

Masters

7.8 %

Top Colleges for Park Naturalists

1. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

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

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

Top Skills For a Park Naturalist

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, 20.8% of park naturalists listed natural history on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and management skills are important as well.

  • Natural History, 20.8%
  • Cultural History, 14.5%
  • Hand Tools, 11.3%
  • Trail Maintenance, 9.2%
  • Nature Programs, 9.0%
  • Other Skills, 35.2%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Park Naturalist Resume templates

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

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Park Naturalist Demographics

Park Naturalist Gender Distribution

Female
Female
55%
Male
Male
45%

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

  • Among park naturalists, 54.6% of them are women, while 45.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among park naturalists is White, which makes up 91.6% of all park naturalists.

  • The most common foreign language among park naturalists is Spanish at 42.9%.

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Top Park Naturalist Employers

Most Common Employers For Park Naturalist

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1New York State Technology Enterprise$40,556$19.502
2Loudoun County Social Svc$39,705$19.092
3City of Houston$39,410$18.953
4Watkins 1868$39,349$18.921
5Broward County Government$39,029$18.762
6Amicalola EMC$37,820$18.181
7Caddo Parish District Attorney$37,262$17.912
8Colorado Springs Police$36,670$17.632
9Genesee County$34,366$16.522
10Canaan$33,403$16.061