NPS Law Enforcement Ranger Training and Employment Process

Law Enforcement Park Rangers
Law Enforcement Park Rangers

NPS Photo

Our rangers come to work in the National Park Service (NPS) law enforcement through many different avenues, with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The National Park Service hires both full-time permanent law enforcement rangers and seasonal law enforcement rangers.

  • The National Park Service hires new permanent law enforcement rangers approximately twice per year. Typically, jobs are posted on, and applicants will apply through one of two avenues:
  • Delegated Examining (DE) Vacancy Announcement - Open to all US citizens or nationals. Military veterans receive preference in hiring.
  • Merit Promotion (MP) Announcement - Open to current government employees, reinstatement eligible employees, and people under certain hiring authorities.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Changes to NPS Law Enforcement Hiring

NPS Seasonal Law Enforcement

If you are only interested in working seasonally, or if you want to gain valuable experience in the job before committing to pursuit of a permanent position, you can attend a Park Ranger Law Enforcement Training Academy, or PRLEA. These academies provide eligibility for a Type II Law Enforcement Commission, allowing you to apply for seasonal appointments. Working seasonally for a federal land management agency, whether as a law enforcement officer or in a non-commissioned position, can help you earn hiring eligibility under the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act.

Last updated: May 15, 2024