Thursday, March 1, 2012

Park Ranger Employment Advise

From a reader;:

 I thoroughly enjoy your blog " A Park Rangers Life " Thought I would contact you to ask your opinion about something. I am 49.Worked as a seasonal law enforcement ranger with NPS 1981-1986.
Am considering maybe looking into applying again for a seasonal position. Any tips ? Do you know of anyone who was away for a awhile and returned ? How does my L.E. commission get reactivated or is their a statue of limitations of some sort with training. Is their a age/fitness cut off ?

Thank you for the kind words about the blog.  If you have not already, you might want to check out my book A Park Ranger's Life: Thirty Two Years Protecting Our National Parks.  You can find it at Amazon and several other on line sources.  It is now used at four universities as required reading.

There are a couple of issues that you might face if interested in a law enforcement seasonal position.  

Since you have not worked in NPS law enforcement for more than 3 years (off the top of my head I can not specifically remember what the time frame is in the policy, but you are well beyond the time limit) you would need to complete a full Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy again.  This even applies to permanent employees who move into a non-commissioned job and then want to return to law enforcement.

Since the time when you worked, the NPS has adopted a strict adherence to physical and medical standards for LE personnel.  If you go to the Association of National Park Rangers web site at you can find links that will give you details on this information.  I am not saying that your would have any trouble meeting these due to your age; but recommend that you check this out before making a decision.

The age limit for starting a permanent position in LE or Fire with the National Park Service is 37.  The last interpretation I saw of this was that for a permanent job an individual needed to get a position and then complete  FLETC before their 37th birthday.   The last I checked this did not apply to seasonal positions, but would prevent you from qualifying for a full time job.  The other age limit is that you can not work in LE or Fire after you turn 57.  This is all tied to retirement issues.

 Once you decide to apply for a job I would recommend you contact a park you might be interested in working at and talk to the Chief Ranger or staff member to find out the latest interpretations and hiring restrictions.

Of course all of this has nothing to do with a non commissioned or non firefighting position.  So you could apply for any other seasonal work in Interpretation, Resources Management, maintenance, fee collection, etc.  Some of the bigger parks out west may even have openings for EMS personnel.

You can go to the Office of Personnel Management web site  and do a search for what NPS jobs both permanent and seasonal are out there.

Good luck in your decision and job search.  

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