Law enforcement park rangers have undergone an extraordinary transformation since the late 1800s when U.S. Army soldiers protected wildlife from illegal hunters in Yellowstone National Park, and protected the resources in other national parks in the west.
Today, Law Enforcement Park Rangers belong to the “Visitor and Resource Protection Division” within the National Park Service. Modern Park Rangers might drive a patrol car, a 4-wheel drive vehicle, a UTV, ride a horse, or pilot a boat almost anywhere in the United States.
Their duties vary depending upon which of the nearly 400 national parks they are assigned to. A park ranger’s typical duty day has a strong law enforcement foundation but also may require hiking the backcountry as part of a search and rescue, providing medical assistance, or fighting a fire. NPS Rangers wear many “hats” and need to be versatile and prepared.
So whether responding to a crime in progress, searching for a lost child, rendering CPR to a heart attack victim, or simply giving directions to visitors, Park Rangers assigned to national parks are well trained, well qualified and well equipped to serve and protect our visitors, as well as the national resource entrusted to their care.
- US citizen or National
- College Student – Must be accepted and enrolled in an accredited school (technical or vocational school or two year or four year college or university)
- Course Load – must be taking at least ½ time course load as defined by their program
- Age – Must be 21 at the completion of the program and no older than 37. Veterans may be exempt from the age requirements – contact the ProRanger Director to discuss your situation.
- Suitability – Must be able to meet the Physical Standards (by the end of the program), have a strong desire to be in Law Enforcement, and be willing to be accountable for a high standard of conduct.
- Background Checks – Must be able to pass security clearance , criminal history, and drugs checks.
- Good Match – Must have a drive to succeed, strong proven work ethic, and demonstrated potential and capacity.
- Commitment – Willing to make a commitment to the ProRanger Program. If you don’t know if this is the program for you – spend a little time getting to know more about the NPS, law enforcement and the ProRanger Program. You are welcome to join ProRanger activities and classes to get firsthand experience with the program.