Law Enforcement Ranger-Job, Pay, and Benefits
What's the Job?
Normal Duties-Normal duties will vary greatly based on assignment location and time of year. For example, Rangers at Amistad may be working a bass fishing tournament and doing boat patrols to ensure compliance with boating laws in the summer, while rangers in Coronado may be making four wheel drive patrols of snowed-in areas to ensure no visitors have gotten stuck in the mountain pass. Rangers in Big Bend may drive an ambulance to the hospital while rangers at Organ pipe may be performing tactical tracking operations, while rangers at Padre Island are working with the Coast Guard on illegal smuggling interdiction. Any number of factors, including staffing, funding, weather, level of illegal activity, can affect the types of duties performed.
Other LE Specialties-Rangers can do a variety of specialized tasks including K-9 handlers, intelligence officers, rescue specialists, firefighters, and medics. Some parks have boats, aircraft, and horses all of which require special skills to operate or work around. Most rangers have collateral duties that use skills in computers, radios, mapping, technology, and grant writing. Instructor skills may be developed and utilized for teaching the use of tasers, firearms, defensive tactics, driving, and interviewing techniques to name just a few.
Working Conditions-The majority of the work is done outside under all types of physical conditions, from extreme cold to extreme heat. Park temperatures may range from low teens in the winter to over 110 in the summer including sunny days, rain and/or snow. The parks include a variety of environments; high mountains, seashores, desert, and lush vegetation.
Physical Demands-The physical demands are high; including a wide variety of weather and landscapes. One of the standard annual fitness tests includes carrying a 45 pound pack over 3 miles in 45 minutes. Hiking 5-10 miles over rough, steep terrain, carrying heavy loads in excess of 45 pounds may be routine. In addition, good physical fitness is required for restraining and taking into custody subjects who are uncooperative or violent.
What are the Qualification Requirements?
Education and work experience requirements vary.
What’s the Pay?
Depending on experience and education, pay will range from GL5 level at $32,389 to the GL9 level at $58,557.
What are the benefits?
Overtime is compensated at a rate of time and one-half or compensatory time off. Pay may increase with night differential, Sunday premium pay, and overtime.
Annual leave earned at a rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of Government service.
Sick leave is earned at a rate of 13 days annually. There is no limit to the amount of sick leave a ranger can accumulate.
Ten paid federal holidays.
The government provides high quality uniforms and equipment.
A retirement program is also available. Employees will be covered by a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security (FICA) and a voluntary 401-k style Thrift Saving Plan (TSP). TSP allows you to make tax deferred contributions and receive matching agency funds for part of it. Law enforcement rangers are eligible for the 6c enhanced annuity 20 year retirement.
Did You Know?
The Coati (Chulo in Spanish) is a member of the same family as the raccoon. Rare in the U.S., coatis can be found at Coronado National Memorial in southeastern Arizona. The coati is one of the few communal carnivores in the United States.