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What Does a Teenage National Park Worker do? 

As a national park worker, you’ll spend the majority of your time ensuring that people who visit national parks are safe, and making sure that the natural environment is not being ruined or destroyed. Mainly, you will be doing daily inspections of the park, and reporting hazards like blocked trails or overflowing rivers, for example. You will also work with park guests, greeting visitors, enforcing park rules, or running the park gift shops and services. Other responsibilities that are rarer include clearing trails in spring, pruning plants, or putting out fires. You’ll spend a lot of your time outside, hiking so it would be helpful if you are in good physical shape, and if you like the great outdoors and nature.

How Much Does a Teenage National Park Worker Get Paid?

As a teenage national park worker just getting started, you can expect to earn somewhere between $15-$20 per hour.  The biggest issue with this type of work is that you will have to do a lot of physical work, and you will have to face the difficulties of being outdoors, like mosquitoes.  You will have to hike and do patrols on foot very often. If you don’t mind this, this would be great for you, as this will discourage many people from being a national park worker, and you will be more valuable to the industry as there will be less competition for you. If you start now though and stick to it, you’ll likely become very experienced and there are many more opportunities in this industry.

How Can I Get Started as a Teenage National Park Worker?

  1. Make sure that you speak to your parent(s) before trying to become a teen national park worker.  Doing so we’ll ensure your safety and they’ll likely be able to help you in your efforts.
  2. Before you begin, you’ll need to determine if you really want to become a national park worker. It’s a very physical job, and once you get hired, there’s no backing out. You will spend a majority of your time in the woods, talking with guests or hiking and monitoring the safety of the guests. You will have to love nature a lot, and be very motivated to be fit for this physical and tiring job.
  3. Learn about what previous national park workers did. What were some of those stories? You can learn a lot from news articles online where a park ranger is being interviewed. Research a bit about the parks in your area, so you can discuss and teach national park guests and impress your employer.
  4. Now that you’ve got decided that you want to become a park ranger, you’ll need to find a park to apply to. If you’re in the United States, you can visit their national parks website. There’s even a FAQ section for seasonal workers on the website that you can visit, and learn more. Use the map feature to find all the parks in range that you can apply to, and take a look at them. Are they the parks you want to apply to? What cool features do they have that you are interested in? Take a close look, and make a list of the parks that you want to apply to. Once you have that, move on to the next step.
  5. Apply to the parks that you want to apply to, and send them an application. Tell them how much you love the wilderness and how much you want to preserve the natural beauty that the forests are. If you have experience in the industry, tell them that. If you’re in very good physical shape and you can hike for hours, tell them. Even if you’ve had prior experiences visiting parks, tell them what you did as a guest, and what you felt you could improve.
  6. Congratulations, you’re officially a teenage national park worker. You’ll have to brave the wilderness, and put in some physical exercise, but it will all be worth it in the end. You will meet many people, and learn a lot of survival skills. It’s a great job to have for the summer, and it is definitely something future employers would like to see on your resume.

<< Back to Summer Jobs For Teens Database

Helpful Resources

  • Nps.gov:  This is the national park service website which has info, job listings, and more.  This page has specific info about applying and this page has info for seasonal workers.

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