How to Become a Forest Ranger

How to Become a Forest Ranger
As protectors of our natural resources, forest rangers spend each day in the great outdoors ensuring that our public lands remain protected. Additionally, forest rangers are first responders and are trained to handle a variety of emergencies. A career as a forest ranger requires skill, dedication and a passion for our protected land.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bachelor's degree in range management, forestry or environmental science Physical stamina Love of the outdoors Problem-solving skills Knowledge on how to handle firearms
  • Bachelor's degree in range management, forestry or environmental science
  • Physical stamina
  • Love of the outdoors
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge on how to handle firearms
Step 1
Research and get an understanding of the mental and physical demands it takes to be a forest ranger. Forest rangers often work in the solitude of remote areas.
Step 2
Work out and maintain peak physical conditioning. The work of a forest ranger can be physically challenging and require you to be on your feet for long periods of time.
Step 3
Complete a bachelor's or associate's degree from an accredited college or university. Degrees with a concentration in forestry, range management or environmental science are highly looked upon during the hiring process.
Step 4
Take a course in a firearms safety. Forest rangers are required to carry and use firearms on the job for public safety.
Step 5
Pass the state civil service test. Depending upon the state requirements, this test might not be necessary. Other states might require the completion of a physical fitness test as well.
Step 6
Search and apply for jobs with the U.S. Forest Service or the state forestry service for employment as a forest ranger. Apply to the U.S. Forestry Service, U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management or your state forestry service for employment as a forest ranger. Depending on where you are hired, you might be required to undergo additional training.

Tips & Warnings

 
The process and training for becoming a forest ranger will take time and patience. Understanding the requirements before beginning the process will help you decide if this is the right field for you.

Article Written By Patricia Poulin

Patricia Poulin is a freelance writer based out of the western slope of Colorado. Poulin's travels and insight have chronicled in print media resources, such as "Inside Outside" and "Breathe" magazine. She is also a regular contributor for other various publications including "USA Today." Poulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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