National Park Service

The Learning Place
NPS Career Fields

Below is a list of the 16 identified career fields in the National Park Service with a short description of each. Universal Competencies are included in this list, since they are the foundation of all careers and are critical to all employees. They do not, however, constitute a separate Career Field.

Universal Competencies
Competencies needed across all Career Fields at all levels of work by every employee; they are obtained through personal education and experience, through Service orientation and mission renewal training programs, and through interaction with peers, teams, and supervisors.

Administration & Office Management Support
A multidisciplinary career field serving both non-clerical adminstrative personnel and office support positions located throughout the Service; includes a wide variety of administrative skills in budget and finance, personnel, acquisition, and property.

Cultural Resources Stewardship
An interdisciplinary career field focusing on the tools and techniques necessary for appropriate planning, preservation, interpretation, protection, and maintenance of an extensive and diverse colleciton of cultural resources; includes employees working in anthropology, archeology, cultural landscapes, curation, historical architecture, and history. (This Career Field is closely linked with the Natural Resources Stewardship Career Field.)

Fire & Aviation Management
A group of specialized skills for special situatiions, including fire prevention and pre-suppression, structural and wildland fire management, aviation management and use, and incident command systems (diaster preparedness and emergency operations).

Historic Preservation Skills & Crafts
A specialized career field that concentrates on specialized techniques for preservation and maintenance of historic properties, including preservation techniques, preservation philosophy, and application of historic crafts and materials, as well as long-term programs like the Preservation & Skills Training (PAST) Program.

Information Management
A multidisciplinary career field addressing the programmatic areas of Computer and Communications Technologies focusing on the implementation and support of new technologies and software applications; Resources-Related Computer Systems like the Geographic Information System (GIS); and Technical Information Storage & Retrieval including Library services.

Interpretation, Education & Cooperating Associations
A broad career field that includes employees who deliver traditional interpretive programs in parks; who develop school curricula that integrates park themes into local educational programs; and who work closely with cooperating associations in parks.

Law Enforcement & Resource Protection
A specific career field for employees having law enforcement duties including U.S. Park Police; encompasses federal law and regulations, human relations, patrol operation, resource protection, and criminal investigation.

A multidisciplinary career field covering over 80 classification series in all technical trades and crafts (Wage Board positions) as well as technical programs for associated professional tracks (like facility managers); includes standard maintenance programs, vocational training courses, craft and professional licensing programs, and development of specialty maintenance programs.

Natural Resources Stewardship
An interdisciplinary career field focusing on the tools necessary to protect and maintain natural resources; techniques for resource identification, evaluation, and monitoring; general ecosystem management and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental law and policy. (This Career Field closely links with the Resource Stewardship: Cultural Resources.)

Organizational Development
An interdisciplinary career field for employees responsible for organizational and employee development, training and instruction, education, and equal opportunity.

Planning, Design & Construction
An interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary career field including Planning & Facility Development Support (environmental assessment, public involvement); Design & Construction (site and structural specifics such as regulatory requirements and licensing provisions); and Technical Support to Planning, Design, & Construction.

Recreation & Conservation Programs
A diverse career field for employees such as recreation planners working primarily in technical assistance programs external to the Operations of the NPS, including Rivers & Trails and Conservation Assistance; Long-Distance Trails Studies; National Register of Historic Places; Historic American Building Survey and Historic American Engineering Record; Land &Water Conservation Fund; and Archeological Public Education & Outreach.

Risk Management (Occupational Health & Safety)
A career field that affects all employees through compliance with health and safety regulations and for specialists who deal with life/safety issues, Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) regulations, inspections and evaluations of employees and visitor facilities, and accident and Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP) claims.

Specialty Fields
A career field encompassing a wide variety of occupational series that do not lend themselves to an easily identifiable niche, including Concession Management; International Affairs; Lands Management; Legislative Affairs; Public Affairs; Writing/Editing.

Supervision, Management, & Leadership
An interdisciplinary career field involving all career fields that include the crucial responsibilities of directing and guiding the work of others in achieving unit and organizational supervision and management; and of expanding employees' abilities to visulize self and group potential, create environments that increase personal and organizational abilities, and work effectively in teams.

Visitor Use Management
A multidisciplinary career field that includes responsibilities such as special park use and recreation use management; Emergency Medical Services (EMS); search and rescue; backcountry and wilderness management; accessibility management; and application of sociologic and economic data to park situations.

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Last Update: August 30, 2002