How to Become a Park Ranger in Delaware

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How to Become a Park Ranger in Delaware

Delaware is home to over a dozen state parks and reserves.

When you love nature and being outdoors, becoming a park ranger can be a great career choice.

Learning what it takes to be a park ranger and what you can expect on the job will help you to determine if it’s the right career path for you.

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in Delaware

If you want to become a Delaware park ranger, also known as a DNREC Enforcement Trainee, there are various requirements.

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First and foremost, you will need to have a minimum of an associate’s degree in an area that is beneficial to the parks system, such as environmental science, sociology, or natural resources.

If you have experience with policies and procedures and conducting investigations, it may be enough for you to apply with only a high school diploma or GED.

There are also a few other prerequisites that you will need to have before you apply for an open position:

  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Pass a pre-employment background check
  • Be in good physical shape
  • Do not have any felony convictions on your record

Before a position can be offered to you, you also have to pass a psychological exam and a written exam and agree to join a labor organization/union, which also means paying dues.

Park Ranger Duties in Delaware

When you are a park ranger in Delaware, you’ll have a number of duties that focus on maintaining the safety of park visitors and the environmental conservation efforts of the park.

You may be required to work with various agencies to conduct investigations.

Park rangers perform foot patrols of the various regions in the park and ensure that visitors follow the various rules.

This includes everything from not setting up tents in certain places to ensuring that pets are not brought into certain parks.

Often, there are many recreational activities that will need to be managed.

If a park closes during certain parts of the season, the park ranger will be responsible for signage as well as closing down areas.

Other tasks for a park ranger include nature talks and organizing special events for the public.

State Parks in Delaware

The parks in Delaware are spread out across the state.

Each park has something unique to offer, whether it is a bit of history that is being preserved or various recreational activities.

Below are some of the state parks to explore in Delaware:

Auburn Valley State Park: Located in Yorklyn, the park is located along Red Clay Creek.

It is home to one of the largest operating collections of Stanley Steamer cars in the world.

Bike riding, picnicking, and more are popular, and there are many events on the calendar every year.

First State Heritage Park: Located in Dover, the park is the first urban park within the state.

There is a lot of Revolutionary history to be learned about here, ad there are thematic programs and events available on the first Saturday of every month.

Delaware Seashore State Park: Located in Rehoboth Beach, the park is situated conveniently along the Atlantic coastline and on top of the Indian River Inlet bridge.

You’ll find kayaking, swimming, surfing, and even camping as some of the activities to enjoy at the coastal park.

Holts Landing State Park: Located in Rehoboth Beach, the park offers a boat ramp for the Indian River Bay.

Free outdoor concerts occur, and you can also visit not only the shoreline but also the maritime forest.

Fox Point State Park: Located in Wilmington, the park offers some incredible views of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

There are pavilions and playgrounds, making it a great locale to gather with family and friends.


Working as a park ranger in Delaware can result in high earnings, though, it will depend on many factors.

On average, the annual salary is around $43,700.

The range for park rangers in Dover, DE, according to is between $36,127 and $52,882.

When you want to determine where you will fall within the salary range, it is often based on negotiating based on special skills, experience, and education.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Dover $43,704
Middletown $43,627
Newark $43,743
Milford $43,809
Seaford $42,910
Smyrna $43,657
New Castle $43,776
Wilmington $43,776
Bear $43,727
Delaware City $43,743

Frequently Asked Questions

Are state parks open year-round in Delaware?

Many of the state parks are open year-round in Delaware.

Some may be closed in the winter depending on the weather conditions.

Is there a minimum age to be a park ranger in Delaware?

You must be at least 20 1/2 years of age to be considered for a park ranger if employed by the state.

If you wish to work at a national park, you must be at least 21.

Are special licenses needed to be a park ranger?

There are no special licenses needed to be a park ranger, but various certifications will need to be obtained and maintained once hired – including CPR and first aid training.

What is the largest state park in Delaware?

The largest state park in Delaware is Cape Henlopen State Park, which is located in Sussex County.

It encompasses 5320 acres and holds the remains of Fort Miles, a WWII-era base.

Are there internships to become a park ranger?

Various paid and unpaid internships are available within the Division of Parks and Recreation, which can help you to gain valuable experience.

USA Park Ranger by State

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