Our rangers come to work in the NPS law enforcement through many different avenues. There truly is no "one path" to become an NPS law enforcement ranger, though becoming a fully-commissioned law enforcement park ranger usually involves three steps: training, seasonal employment and then permanent placement.
Some of the other routes to permanent employment include:
- Going to school at one of the seven training academies across the country
- Coming to the NPS already with law enforcement or relevant military experience
- Transitioning from another NPS department into law enforcement
- Getting your "feet wet" working as a dispatcher or other law enforcement support position
- Get your foot in the door through one of our many intern programs
Most new hires spend two to three years as a seasonal employee before they receive a permanent placement.
Once you have some experience under your belt, you can take your career even farther and become a special agent with the NPS. The Investigative Services Branch works with the law enforcement rangers on the ground at different parks to investigate complex, sensitive or long-term cases that may involve crimes of violence, major property crimes, fraud, embezzlement, major resource violations and drug cultivation.