Park Ranger

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Indigenous Land & Sea Ranger
Park Ranger, Wildlife Management


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Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingNature or RecreationHelping or advisingSkill Level 1
Skill Level 2Skill Level 3Skill Level 4Skill Level 5

Park rangers control, supervise and manage national parks, scenic areas, historic sites, nature reserves and other recreational areas. Park Rangers manage, maintain and protect natural areas that are set aside for conservation and/or tourism. Working in national parks these workers ensure that the public Future Growth Strong are able to use and enjoy Australia's natural environment, whilst protecting native flora and fauna. They patrol, monitor wildlife, carry out surveys and other research, and inform the public on how to appropriately use and enjoy these areas. They may also undertake basic maintenance or lead guided walks through the habitats that they care for.

ANZSCO description: Assists in controlling a State or national park, scenic area, historic site, nature reserve, recreation area or conservation reserve in accordance with authorised policies and priorities.

Alternative names: Environmental Warden, Ranger
, Parks & Wildlife Ranger

Specialisations: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Ranger (Aus), Indigenous Park Ranger

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A park ranger needs:

  • a love of nature and the outdoors
  • motivation and independence
  • good observation and communication skills
  • physical endurance
  • to enjoy working alone
  • bush craft, survival and first-aid skills
  • able to make accurate observations and recordings
  • good communication skills
  • able to organise and supervise work
  • enjoy dealing with people
  • able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • interested in land management and natural conservation
  • enjoy science
  • enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions
  • able to endure isolation and limited social contact
  • mechanical aptitude
  • willing to fly in light aircrafts
  • willing to be involved in incident management duties
  • a full unrestricted manual vehicle drivers licence.


Duties and Tasks

Park rangers may perform the following tasks:

  • assist with guided tours and promote understanding and appreciation of the natural and cultural features of the park
  • inform visitors of the park facilities and supervise public visits
  • advise visitors of park rules and regulations and enforce these when necessary
  • direct parking, control traffic and collect fees from campers and visitors
  • patrol waterways, roads and tracks to observe and report on the park environment, including the condition of animals and plants
  • make sure endangered animals and plants are protected, and assist in related research projects
  • make sure that parks, park facilities and equipment are clean and properly maintained
  • assist in the development of visitor facilities
  • assist in wildlife management projects, including surveys and monitoring of wildlife
  • participate in search and rescue operations
  • supervise and coordinate fire management, weed eradication and pest-control programs
  • investigate and report to supervisors on matters relating to park management
  • support local communities in protecting their cultural heritage and in developing sustainable land management practices
  • conduct research into the protection and recording of Aboriginal and historical sites
  • supervise and train park staff and volunteers
  • oversee crews of general maintenance workers and contractors
  • attend to administrative and clerical duties
  • prepare, review and implement reports, submissions, management plans, development proposals and environmental impact assessments.

 

Travelling along a bush track

Working conditions

Park rangers spend a significant amount of their day outdoors, in all kinds of climatic conditions. They undertake physically demanding work and may be required to complete it in sometimes extreme weather conditions. They may also work in isolated areas and may be required to work and stay alone in these remote areas. These workers may also be required to travel between parks and reserves around the state.

With experience and sometimes further training, park rangers may progress to professional science positions or general management.

Park rangers work in many environments, such as snow fields, rainforests, coastal regions and semi-arid areas. They may be required to work in remote areas and move from park to park. All rangers have contact with the public. Park rangers often work on weekends and public holidays.


Tools and technologies

Park rangers use a number of tools, including gardening and bush-clearing equipment, measuring and recording equipment for conducting surveys, fire-fighting equipment, and light building tools for erecting fences and maintaining pathways.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a park ranger without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in conservation and land management, environmental science or a related field.

The Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management, and VET courses in Conservation and Land Management, and Environmental Monitoring and Technology are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The national parks conservation worker, Indigenous lands worker and senior conservation worker traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.

You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a bachelor degree in science with a major in environmental science or environmental management.

Most of these roles in government now require an appropriate tertiary qualification in Natural Resource Management, Environmental Management, Conservation and Land Management or a related discipline. This may be a VET qualification, but there is strong competition for these roles so increasingly, employers are looking for a bachelor's degree, usually in science. To get into degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology and earth & environmental science would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Employment Opportunities

Park rangers are mainly employed by government agencies. Competition for positions is strong, and employers usually require applicants to have some park or nature-orientated experience.

Some park rangers move between States and Territories and into forest officer, fisheries officer or land protection officer positions. Opportunities may also be available to work as conservation officers with local councils.

With experience, and sometimes further training, park rangers may progress to professional science positions or general management.

Overall employment of park & wildlife rangers is projected to remain neutral, as the number of employment opportunities is very dependent on government funding.

Rangers are employed in federal and state government agencies, such as National Parks & Wildlife (NPWS), State Forests, Department of Lands, Department of Primary Industries, as well as in national parks organisations overseas.

Competition for roles is high.


Wildlife Management
   Government and Defence

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingNature or RecreationHelping or advisingSkill Level 1
Skill Level 2
Skill Level 3Skill Level 4Skill Level 5


Duties and Tasks

A park ranger working in wildlife management may also
perform the following tasks: Kangaroo in National ParkFuture Growth Strong

  • capture and relocate potentially dangerous animals
  • manage commercial and recreational harvesting of native wildlife
  • inspect commercial operations making use of wildlife
  • make sure people follow laws and procedures
  • process animal permits
  • care for sick, injured or orphaned animals
  • clean cages and prepare food and water for caged and captive animals
  • make sure public facilities are clean and operable.


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Air Force Officer

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Park Ranger

Prison Officer

Fisheries Officer

Postal Worker

Local Government Inspector

Biosecurity Officer

Border Force Officer

Naval Officer

Road Worker

Army Officer

Parliamentarian

Urban and Regional Planner

Police Officer

Community Corrections

Diplomat

Public Servant

Coroner

Primary Products Inspector

Tourist Information Officer

Transport Services Officer

Meteorologist

Emergency Disaster Planner

Air Force Officer

WHS Officer

Electorate Officer

Park Ranger

Prison Officer

Fisheries Officer

Postal Worker

Local Government Inspector

Biosecurity Officer

Border Force Officer

Naval Officer

Road Worker

Army Officer

Parliamentarian

Urban and Regional Planner

Police Officer

Community Corrections

Diplomat

Public Servant

Coroner

Primary Products Inspector

Tourist Information Officer

Transport Services Officer

Meteorologist

Emergency Disaster Planner