Types of Jobs in America’s National Parks

The National Park System is an incredible treasure. It incorporates all of the United State’s treasured natural and historic areas and allows visitors to learn about and enjoy the country’s heritage and scenery.

Working in a National Park is a real treat. It is a great way to spend a semester off from college or even the rest of your life. The allure of working outside in the natural world is amazing and there are lots of jobs available. You may want to be one of the following:

Yellowstone National Park Sign

Lifeguards patrol the lakes, rivers, and oceans to ensure that people are safe in the water. You need to be 18 years old and hold current American Red Cross First Aid and a Water Safety Instructor certificate. You must also be able to pass a performance test. Be sure to check with each park to find out what opportunities are available. Be ready to make $12 to $18 an hour.

Architect, engineers, and landscapers all play a critical role as seasonal park job employees. You may spend their time surveying, constructing, designing, or planning. Most likely these positions require higher education or professional experience. To apply for these positions contact the Denver Service Center – the organization in charge of park planning, design, and construction. The pay can hit upwards of $40 an hour for these highly skilled jobs.

Professional Technicians have an awesome job. You are a well trained professionals comes in and creates maps and surveys the land. You may have a degree in architecture, cartography, forestry, engineering, drafting, surveying, physics, navigation, or math. Pay can vary drastically, but on average these gigs make about $40,000 a year.

Historians compile reports based on the park’s historical data. You will need a degree in history and are mostly located on the history-rich East Coast. You’ll be doing lots of researching and editing. You can make about $58,000 a year.

Clerk jobs are great for entry-level workers. You’ll be doing office tasks like answering phones, typing, and drinking coffee. Often the job requirements include meeting a proven proficiency on how many words per minute you can type. Many of these jobs are based in Washington D.C. They pay around $8 an hour.

Maintenance jobs include everything from trail repair to bathroom repair. You are needed in every national park across the country. And in general, you can expect to make about $10 an hour.

Trades and Crafts jobs are cool jobs that keep you working with your hands. You may be a master carpenter, mechanic, erosion control, or heavy machinery operator. These jobs are paid based on local comparable wages, not the government pay system. You can plan on $8 to $12 an hour.

Volunteers help fill any jobs they are qualified for, but without pay. Their reward is often free park access and a pat on the back. It is a good way to build a resume and get your foot in the door of the park program.

As you can see, there are tons of opportunities if you want to work in the national park system.


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