How to Become a Park Ranger in Kentucky

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How to Become a Park Ranger in Kentucky

Working as a park ranger allows you to work with nature every single day.

You can educate the public about ecosystems and protect the safety and habitat of the park.

With 45 state parks in Kentucky, there are some incredible opportunities.

Find out what it takes for you to start along this career path.

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Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in Kentucky

There are a few basic requirements to become a park ranger in Kentucky.

You will need to be at least 20 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree.

Preferred degree fields include such things as public administration, criminology, environmental studies, botany, and other similar fields.

If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, some practical experience is desired.

It is also important to note that the state does offer internships, which can provide you with valuable experience.

During the hiring process, you will need to submit to both a drug screening and a background check.

Since some of the parks are larger and have more activities going on, the requirements to be a park ranger may differ.

As such, it’s always a good idea to check the individual job listings within the Kentucky Department of Parks.

Park Ranger Duties in Kentucky

Park ranger duties in Kentucky focus on managing the park as well as paperwork and bookkeeping that helps to keep the park operating properly.

You will partake in facility maintenance and operations, including overseeing the groundskeepers.

You will be responsible for maintaining equipment, supplies inventories, reports, and business records, and preparing operational reports.

Public relations is also an important aspect. Guests want to receive an education about nature – and specifically the habitat of the park they are visiting.

You may provide education through guided tours, special events, and even lectures.

Finally, you will be responsible for public safety, including ensuring that everyone is following the rules and regulations of the park.

If the rules are broken or safety is risked, you may have to conduct investigations and work with other agencies to find the perpetrator.

State Parks in Kentucky

You’ll find that every state park in Kentucky can offer something unique.

There are dozens scattered across the state and being a park ranger in many can affect the demands of the position.

Check out some of the state parks now:

Barren River Lake State Resort Park: Located in Lucas, the park is home to an award-winning 18-hole golf course, countless nature trails, and even a shuffleboard.

A lodge allows you to stay overnight, and the patio is a popular place to watch the sunset.

You can also fish for bluegill, bass, and catfish on Barren River Lake.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park: Located in Carlisle, the park has a pioneer museum, a significant amount of history on Daniel Boone, and even a gift shop.

There’s also the site of the last battle of the Revolutionary War.

Additionally, the park has a restaurant, mini golf, and many other activities.

John James Audubon State Park: Located in Henderson, the park has a nature center, a world-class museum, and a wetlands boardwalk where you can do a significant amount of birdwatching.

There are also six miles of trails that you can hike as well as several cottages that you can rent while being surrounded by nature.

Lake Malone State Park: Located in Dunmor, the park offers a lot of trails, rock walls, and a waterfall.

Swimming, fishing, and picnicking are popular activities, and it is also possible to arrive by boat and use a boat launch within the camp.

Yatesville Lake State Park: Located in Louisa, the park has a number of activities including golf, boating, and birdwatching.

The scenic lakeside is popular for families year-round, and there is even boat in and out campsites available.


Park rangers in Kentucky have the ability to earn quite a bit of money depending on skills, certifications, education, and the number of years on the job.

On average, Park rangers will earn a salary of around $38,600.

According to, the range for park rangers in Lexington, KY is $31,967 to $46,792.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Lexington $38,672
Owensboro $38,568
Bowling Green $37,174
Covington $40,158
Louisville $38,725
Hopkinsville $36,959
Frankfort $37,542
Richmond $38,283
Henderson $38,814
Jeffersontown $38,343

Regional Salary in Kentucky

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN30$64,440$30.98$89,560$41,450
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Conservation Scientists, OCC Code 19-1031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the largest state park in Kentucky?

Nolin Lake State Park is the largest of the parks in Kentucky.

It encompasses more than 6,0o0 acres.

Are the state parks open year-round?

Most of the states in Kentucky are open year-round.

Some of the recreational activities may shut down during different seasons, however.

What are some of the other available positions inside a state park?

If you are looking to gain education and experience, there are other positions you can work in a state park, including lifeguard, park guide, and groundskeeper.

Does a park ranger require any special certifications?

There are no special requirements to be a park ranger in Kentucky, though you will need to have and maintain a valid driver’s license.

How many hours does the average park ranger work?

The average park ranger will work around 40 hours per week, which may include nights and weekends.

There may be times when longer hours are required based on investigations or special events.

USA Park Ranger by State

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