After settling your comprehensive family medical protection plan Malaysia, you still think of volunteering for helping with anything related to Californian wildlife. Flora and fauna remain your interests since childhood, and you want to help retain their prosperity and beauty.
Though there are plenty of wildlife volunteering programs in California, you start to wonder whether you could quit your current job and be a park ranger instead. Tending nature for a living sounds like the dream job for you.
Before you even jump in, you should ask yourself: are you qualified enough to meet their requirements? Where do you start? What will you typically do as a Californian park ranger? Is volunteering alone enough?
To answer your questions about the usual duties of a Californian park ranger, they go beyond just protecting state parks and making sure that people in there are safe. Rangers perform a variety of duties including but not limited to search and rescue, patrols, law enforcement, fire management and suppression, traffic control and specialized assignments.
If you are a full-on ranger, you may also supervise lower ranking or seasonal staff. Besides, you will also perform other tasks of comparable difficulty and responsibility in an academy training assignment.
On and off duty, your authority as a proper State Park Ranger extends statewide. You patrol the premises by boat, foot or land vehicles, and when doing law enforcement tasks, you issue citations, write reports, make arrests on warrants, criminalities or misdemeanors, and conduct criminal and admin investigations.
For specialized assignments, you will do a variety of tasks such as rescuing in other environments such as lakes and cliffs, horse patrols, snow patrols, or as a canine team handler. When it comes to protections, you would be armed with firearms, batons, chemical agents or handcuffs. You will also be trained to use these equipment and physical defensive tactics.
Education And Other Prerequisites
To be a Californian Park Ranger in the first place, you need a bachelor’s degree and two years of post secondary education if you have at least a year of specialized experience in the GS-4 level. Subjects that may give you a chance to qualify include forestry, natural sciences, social sciences, law enforcement, business administration, parks and recreation, park management and public management.
Expertises or experiences are also recommended. Crisis aid, law enforcement, volunteering in state parks, plan preparation and executions, and working as a tour guide, translator or visitor’s’ centre are some of the examples of relevant experiences.
As for prerequisites to be hired as a park ranger, You need to be 18 years old and older, must be a legal US citizen, have a legal driver’s license, can pass a fitness exam and background checks.
There are three entry levels of a Californian Park Ranger: State Park Ranger Cadet, State Park Ranger and Supervising State Park Ranger.
As a Cadet, this will be your position when you start. An entry and training status, and under supervision, you will learn the duties of a State Park Ranger by attending lessons in basic law enforcement, visitor services and public contact, interpretation and resource management training programs.
You will never be able to move on as a State Park Ranger should you fail the Basic Visitor Training Services Program.
A Cadet should know how to deal with the public, basic maths to account for funds, basic grammar and spelling to prepare reports and records, general resource management and protection, and principal recreational areas of California.
If you make it, you will rise up to being a legitimate State Park Ranger. You will be the leader in areas of visitor services, law enforcement, public safe, interpretation, and resource management. You are still under supervision, and if you perform well, there may be a chance for you to be finally promoted to the next level.
As a State Park Ranger, you know the operation of State Park districts, as well as protecting and interpreting them. Knowledge of the Department of Parks and Recreation is also required when it comes to its objectives, rules, procedures and policies. To prepare and interpret historical and natural exhibits, you must be familiar with the methods and materials used to do so.
Besides, methods of search and rescue, law enforcement, and first aid must also be learned. Knowing the principles of forest fires, disease and insect damage controls are part of the requirements as a State Park Ranger too.
Enter the Supervising State Park Ranger. Also known as chief rangers, this is the first supervisory level where you either work within a Level 1 Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Unit or in a district geographical sector. You will be in charge of a small to medium staff and operate visitor facilities.
Primary duties, besides watching over your staff, include safety and enforcement, patrol, interpretation, and resource management. A Supervising State Park Ranger must know the basic principles of supervision, staff management, business, state and public administrations.
You should also be familiar with the objectives of the Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity, your own role in the laws of said department and the available methods to meet with the objectives.
Besides the above requirements, it is ideal for you as a potential park ranger to demonstrate sufficient physical fitness, hearing and swimming abilities to save yourself and lead aquatic and lifesaving operations. Your vision must be 20/20 in each eye and normal color vision.
Drug screening tests will also be performed on you to see if you aren’t consuming any that will impact your performance. You must possess a clean criminal record otherwise you will never be qualified to be trained or appointed as a ranger. For this reason, a thorough background investigation will be done on you, as well as physical and psychological tests.
You may also have to provide your fingerprints so your records can be checked locally, in the state or nationally to see if you have any past criminal records. Furthermore, if you are a foreigner applying to be a ranger, you must have already applied as a legal US citizen.
Depending on the experience, salaries of Californian park rangers range from around US$38,532 to $51,756 during the cadet period. When you are a proper State Park Ranger, on Level A you may be paid between US$40,128 to a maximum of US$53,604.
Or if you are in Level B, the total salary ranges between US$47,772 and US$64,440.
Finally as a Supervising State Park Ranger, US$55,080 was estimated to be the minimum pay while US$75,150 is the maximum you will be paid in.