How to Become a Park Ranger in Kansas

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How to Become a Park Ranger in Kansas

There are several kinds of park rangers in the state that take care of public and natural areas in Kansas.

There are rangers for state parks, national parks,  natural resource officers, conservation officers, and seasonal ranger jobs available.

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in Kansas

Regardless of where the position is, or the specialty, all park rangers have some things in common.

They all need some law enforcement training or background, and there are some educational requirements.

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You must also not have a criminal record.

Park rangers for state and national parks have the same requirements.

Both require some law enforcement background.

The candidate must be 21 years old and have a bachelor’s degree with courses in law enforcement, archeology, and wildlife management.

At least one year of graduate school is required for higher levels.

Experience in law enforcement or park guidance can be substituted for some educational requirements.

An Emergency response certificate is also helpful.

Conservation officers, sometimes called game wardens, are also park rangers in Kansas.

You must be certified as a law enforcement officer in addition to the state requirements.

A natural resource officer is a higher-ranking park ranger.

A degree in the park or natural resource management is preferred in addition to the general state requirements.

Seasonal park rangers are hired as security officers in peak seasons.

This is more of a security position and requires a law enforcement officer certificate.

Park Ranger Duties in Kansas

Park Rangers take in a broad range of jobs in Kansas, so there can be a lot of job duties depending on your job.

Running education programs is a key part for a lot of park rangers, as well as answering questions from the public.

Keeping the park maintained is another area where park rangers are kept busy.

For park rangers, like wildlife officers, there is more involvement with law enforcement, even making arrests and preparing cases.

You might also have to be an administrator of the park itself where you work, or supervise the staff at the park.

State Parks in Kansas

Cedar Bluff State Park is in the north-central part of the state, surrounding the Cedar Bluff reservoir built in 1951.

There are fishing and water sports, camping facilities, and swimming areas.

Cheney State Park is around a reservoir built in 1964, near the town of Cheny and not far from Wichita.

It is one of the top sailing lakes in America.

There are lots of water sports, fishing, and campsites available.

There are three nature trails and bicycle trails.

Clinton State Park was created in 1975 after the creation of the Clinton reservoir near Lawrence.

It is busy with 600,000 visits per year.

It has a 25-mile hiking trail, a five-mile cross-country ski trail, and a short nature trail.

Water sports abound, and there are nearly 400 campsites.

Eisenhower State Park was called Melvern State Park until 1990.

It has almost 2000 acres, and half of that is tallgrass prairie.

Connected to the park is a 10,000-acre wildlife management area that has woodlands where you can get away from everything.

There are ample campsites, and a lot of trails to explore.

Fort Larned State Park preserves the fort built in 1859 to protect settlers along the Sante Fe Trail.

The full army post is recreated with live demonstrations.

There are lots of wooded areas around to explore as well.

The Flint Hills Trail State Park is a 117-mile-long trail that goes from the eastern part of the state to the central part.

The trail is a converted railroad and goes through the Flint Hills, which looks like it did 200 years ago.

The trail does not have a lot of amenities, but it goes through a lot of small towns.

Salary for Park Rangers in Kansas

Salaries for park rangers in Kansas range from $32,000 to about $47,000.

There are yearly step raises, and the pay depends on years of experience.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Wichita $39,547
Overland Park $40,171
Kansas City $40,314
Topeka $38,393
Lawrence $39,002
Olathe $40,061
Shawnee $40,171
Salina $39,136
Manhattan $37,982
Hutchinson $39,136

Frequently Asked Questions

How many parks are there in Kansas?

Kansas has 31 state parks, 32 state wildlife areas, three wildlife management areas, four historic sites, and five national historic trails.

A lot of parks in Kansas are connected to manmade lakes and some involve long trails.

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

State Parks may be where most park rangers are employed, but there are other options.

National parks, historic sites, some trails, visitor centers, and state or national monuments also employ park rangers.

Game and wildlife enforcement is also part of being a park ranger.

Why is law enforcement part of the qualifications?

Game and wildlife officers are considered park rangers.

In Kansas, park rangers also provide security and do law enforcement at state parks.

What is the significance of trails in Kansas?

In the early 1800s, as settlers went west, there were three trails that were primarily used.

The Sante Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail all converged in Kansas City and went separate ways from there.

The Chisholm Trail was the trail used for most of the cattle drives where the legend of the cowboy was born.

Several railroad lines have also been made into trails and linear parks.

All of these trails have visitor centers, or parks, where rangers could be employed.

Do you need a certificate to be a park ranger in Kansas?

To be a park ranger you need a certificate that includes a basic law enforcement training program.

Once completed, you can be appointed as a permanent employee.

It does not have to be renewed.

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