Walk on the Wild Side
Government jobs come in a wide range of environments, from a cubicle to a laboratory. For some jobs, you don’t even have to stay inside at all! This chapter describes how it is possible to get paid to do government work in the great outdoors.
The National Park Service is a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior. It was created in 1916 to preserve the environment, designate certain areas as historical landmarks, and create national parks for conservation and recreational purposes. Parks range from Yellowstone National Park where the grizzlies roam free, to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, where you can see Lady Liberty in New York harbor and the skyline of lower Manhattan. There are more than 80 million acres of land in the national parks system.
Park rangers patrol and manage federal and state parks, historical sites, and other recreational facilities. They do a little bit of everything, functioning as law-enforcement officers, conservationists, tour guides, and much more. They will tell you the history of that giant redwood and give you a fine if you leave a messy campsite behind. You may be a park ranger in places as different as Yellowstone National Park and Jersey City, New Jersey, but no matter where you work, you will have to contend with the local wildlife.
There are many skill levels for a park ranger. Entry-level positions with no requirements are available, along with an entry-level salary. You can start at a higher level if you have a high school diploma, and higher still with a college degree. Education or life experience in natural or earth sciences, law enforcement, business or public