In the peak summer season, a few dozen people work for the National Park Service in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. There is a wide variety of jobs available throughout the park, from backcountry rangers and resource technicians to maintenance staff and wildland fire technicians. Wages vary with the position and required skills.
The National Park Service hires employees either full-time or seasonally (summer and/or winter). Most employment extends from the beginning of June through Labor Day, with some seasonal positions lasting up to six months. Positions may also be available through the Student Conservation Association, Youth Conservation Corps, or the Volunteers in the Parks program.
National Park Service
National Park Service job opportunities in Gates of the Arctic are announced on USAJobs. Applicants must submit a specific application, within a specific time frame, for every position available. There is not a "generic" application for positions, nor is there a "standing file" for positions. Gates of the Arctic consistently receives more applications than there are available positions. Only United States citizens may be considered for government positions with the NPS. All applicants receive consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, or national origin. Generally, employees must be 18 years of age.
Some jobs may also be announced using the local hire authority, where only residents in specific communities are eligible to apply. These announcements will only be posted locally and are not listed on USAJobs.
Gates of the Arctic participates in the National Park Service's Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program. Over 85,000 annual volunteers donate more than 3,000,000 hours of service in the US national parks. The program uses voluntary help in a way that is mutually beneficial to the National Park Service and the volunteer. Volunteer applications can be submitted directly to the park.
Due to the remote nature of the park, volunteers usually work full-time for two weeks to 3 months. Volunteers assist park staff with a range of responsibilities. Those volunteering for shorter periods of time are usually offering a specific skill set such as photographic, video or other fine arts skills. Programmatic volunteers usually volunteer from 6 weeks to 3 months.
- Developing original writing, photography, and fine arts pieces for use by the park in communicating with the public (all work done as a park volunteer becomes public domain).
- Assisting with visitor operations at the visitor center in Bettles & Fairbanks and conducting education programs for youth.
- Assisting the maintenance program with mechanical, carpentry, or other needs.
Because of the rugged and remote Alaskan wilderness nature of the park all volunteer opportunities require a significant level of physical fitness, wilderness skill, and self-reliance.
The park's management needs change on an annual basis. Therefore the best way of finding out about volunteer opportunities is to call the park at 907-692-5494. Please be prepared to tell us what kinds of skills you can offer so that we can direct your inquiry to the appropriate park operation.
Prospective volunteers need to fill out a volunteer application and email it to us. Please be sure to tell us about what skills, knowledge, or experience you can offer to the park.
Volunteer Throughout the United States
Student Conservation Association
Each year, Gates of the Arctic welcomes interns from the Student Conservation Association (SCA). These interns, who may be high school or college students or other adults, assist with vital activities from surveying natural resources, backcountry patrols, to assisting park visitors both in the visitor centers and in the field. In return, the volunteers receive valuable training and experience, have most expenses paid, and are able to live and work in one of America's wildest national parks and most remote mountain ranges in the world. In addition to Gates of the Arctic, SCA places volunteers at hundreds of other national and state parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and other natural and historical sites nationwide.
The Artist in Residence program offers professional writers, composers, musicians, two and three-dimensional visual artists, photographers, filmmakers, digital artists, and artisans of all types the opportunity to pursue their art in a premier wilderness setting; Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.