How to Become a Park Ranger in Arkansas

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How to Become a Park Ranger in Arkansas

Arkansas is called a natural state because of its variety of natural resources.

It has mountains, flat wooded land, lakes, rivers, and abundant wildlife.

It is in the middle of a major flyway for bird migration as well.

With all that nature, there need to be some park rangers to take care of it all and to help the public enjoy those natural amenities.

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Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in Arkansas

There are several specialties within the range of being a park ranger in Arkansas, and the requirements can vary.

You could be in park management, natural resource management, law enforcement, as well as earth and natural sciences.

Some of these specialties require a person to complete a law enforcement training program.

Most specialties require a college degree in a related field, but some require only a high school diploma.

Park Ranger Duties in Arkansas

Duties can vary depending on specialty, but in general, the job involves managing parks and taking care of people who visit those parks.

To a large extent, the park ranger is a policeman for the parks, maintaining law and order.

The ranger would also help park visitors, and help with the operation of the park itself.

They could be involved in search and rescue operations.

Some park rangers do presentations and educate the public on the history and natural resources.

Wildlife management is another area that has its own set of duties.

State Parks in Arkansas

Petit Jean State Park was opened in 1923 and is the oldest state park in the state.

It is at the top of a mountain and covers 3400 acres.

It has a lot of wooded areas with trails, streams, bluffs, rock formations, caves, and waterfalls.

There are 20 miles of hiking trails.

There is a small lake, cabins, meeting facilities, a hotel, and a restaurant.

Mount Magazine State Park sits atop another mountain and is the highest place in the state.

It has 2200 acres and is inside the Ozark National Forest.

It is known for its scenery, river valleys, canyons, woodlands, and the Mossback Ridge mountain range.

The park has camping and lodging options.

It has several miles of hiking and biking trails.

The mountain is high enough for hang gliding, rock climbing, and rappelling.

Hot Springs National Park is next to the city of Hot Springs.

It has a hydrological system of wells that deliver hot water year-round.

It is the smallest national park in the nation.

There are several hot baths and spas, and a historic bathhouse row.

There are 26 miles of hiking trails, guided tours, and scenic mountain roads in the area.

There are about 40 campsites with full hookups.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park is where the white river flows into Bull Shoals Lake.

The area is famous for trout fishing.

There is a riverside marina.

It has several miles of hiking trails, interpretive programs, fishing programs, and nature walks.

The park has 113 campsites and 20 primitive tent camping sites.


The salary for park rangers in Arkansas starts at about $31,000 and can go up to $45,000.

The average is $37,000. That is about $4,000 less than the national average.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Little Rock $38,003
Fort Smith $35,871
North Little Rock $35,871
Fayetteville $37,371
Jonesboro $37,768
Pine Bluff $36,754
Springdale $37,371
Conway $37,634
Rogers $37,149
Texarkana $37,427

Frequently Asked Questions

How many state parks are there in Arkansas?

There are 52 state parks, and it is a small state, so it won’t be far to one wherever you are.

There is one national park.

There are several preserves and wildlife areas.

Do you need to be in good shape to be a park ranger?

Yes, you need to be able to walk long distances, and you might have to participate in search and rescue missions.

Some jobs require long periods of standing.

There is some maintenance work required, so being able to lift 50 pounds is also required.

How can you advance as a park ranger?

There are raises in pay based on experience.

Beyond that, you may transfer from a state park to a national park.

Transferring to a larger state park can also advance your career.

At the national park level, you can easily transfer from state to state.

At the state level, you would have to be hired in a new state, and whether your experience counts would depend on the state.

Where can a park ranger work, other than a state park?

Park rangers can work at national parks, and that has the same qualifications and duties.

There are also historical sites, visitor centers, state or national monuments, and some trails.

In addition to its parks, Arkansas has six national historical landmarks and 16 sites on the national register of historical places.

Is law enforcement training required?

Park rangers who work in law enforcement have the same training police officers have by completing police academy training.

This is usually in addition to a college degree.

Is a college degree required to be a park ranger in Arkansas?

Most of the specialties require a four-year college degree in a related field.

Even when not required, people with a college degree are generally given preference.

You may also complete your college education as a park ranger if you get it done in a specific amount of time.

Is a park ranger a police officer in Arkansas?

Most of them are, but some are not.

It depends on your specialty.

A police training program must be completed for some of the specialties.

Law enforcement in the parks is a major part of what park rangers do.

They have the power to arrest people.

USA Park Ranger by State

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