Working In The Park Service

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This year, 2016 marks the centennial celebration of the US National Park System. 100 years of land designated and devoted to the preservation of nature and the enjoyment and education of those who visit. Over the past century the number of parks has grown to over 400. It’s the dedication and work of the Park Service that has maintained the dream of open land reserved for natural beauty and wonder. Each park is staffed by men and women who have passed their legacy as caretakers down from generation to generation. They take their jobs seriously and must be well trained to handle a position as a National Park steward.

When fire or flooding occurs, the way these situations are dealt with can change the course of the park’s ecosystem for decades. It’s not a matter of rapid prototyping a tree or 3D product development of a species, it takes years to bring back a balance. Great patience and personal care are administered to every living thing that makes up the whole of the area’s eco-system. The life of the park through its fauna and flora is a major role, but also tending to the well-being of the parks’ millions of visitors has to be a top priority.

With so many parks to review, it would be impossible to choose one over another as a favorite, but each has its own personality and feel. The parks vary in size and various attributes – all are beautiful. While National Parks are held to the same high standards, they each are entirely unique. This is exactly why holding a position as a Park Service Representative is appealing to such a wide variety of people. Just like the parks, an individual brings their unique attributes to the enhancement of the environment.

Student internships and volunteer positions are available for those who want to get an idea if this kind of work, or career is right for them. There are over 20,000 employees within the park system today and the need for more is a constant. Like all Federally funded concerns it’s dependent on budget, but the need doesn’t go away. The list of jobs which involve people with precise expertise and skills to those who are naturally good with people. Here’s an overview of the types of jobs that keep a park healthy:

  • Archaeologists
  • Administrative Professional
  • Biologists
  • Botanists
  • Carpenters
  • Contracting officers
  • Education specialists
  • Electricians
  • Facility managers
  • Forestry technicians
  • Gardeners
  • Historians
  • Human resources specialists
  • IT specialists
  • Landscape architects
  • Mechanics
  • Masons
  • Museum professionals
  • Park police
  • Park rangers
  • Physical scientists
  • Public affairs specialists
  • Small craft operators

Within each of these departments there are teams of people working to keep the entire park machine running smoothly. If you are interested in learning more about an internship in one of the sections of the park, it’s easy to contact USAJobs and check-out the opportunities. One basic requirement – to love Nature. I always thought it would be very to become a Park Ranger, but other things in life got in the way. I can easily imagine an “office” where I could be outdoors, lead tours, visit with folks, supply information – be an authority, burn a campfire or two under incredible starry nights and wear a very cool hat.

When thinking about committing to a life, or even just a summer at a National Park, enter into it with a sense of wonder. Those interested in pursuing a career in keeping our planet green, safe and growing are modern day guides and guardians.

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