How to Become a Park Ranger in Maryland

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How to Become a Park Ranger in Maryland

When you love spending time outdoors and learning about nature, becoming a park ranger can be the perfect career path.

Learning to be a park ranger in Maryland is simple – and you can embark on the exciting educational journey quickly.

With over 50 state parks across the state, there are all sorts of opportunities for you to explore.

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in Maryland

If you want to be a park ranger in Maryland, you will want to apply with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Park Service.

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There are some requirements, including having a four-year degree and being at least 18 years of age.

You will need to be a resident of Maryland to work for the state.

And if you want to be a park ranger at a national park, you will need to be at least 21 years of age and be an American citizen.

To work as a park ranger, there are a few degrees that are considered ideal – conservation biology, wildlife and forestry, and even public administration.

The state of Maryland also has a significant amount of training to be considered a full-fledged park ranger.

This includes such mandatory training as:

  • Completing the Maryland Office of Tourism Development Welcome Center National Certification Training Program
  • Working for six months under the mentorship of a park ranger
  • Passing an in-service test on Maryland Park Service and Park Ranger history
  • Completing a two-day Intro to Search & Rescue course
  • Becoming CPR and First Responder certified

If you have any of these certifications prior to applying, it can enhance your resume and reduce the amount of time you spend in training.

Park Ranger Duties in Maryland

Park rangers in Maryland have a number of duties, though providing safety to all visitors is at the top of the list.

It is why there are so many requirements for first aid and CPR.

You will be responsible for paroling the park that you are assigned to as a way to ensure there are no environmental problems and that everyone is following the rules of the park.

Conservation and protection of the historical and natural resources of the park will be a top priority.

Depending on the park, you may be asked to oversee some of the various recreational activities.

You may also host walks along the trail, nature lectures, and manage some of the special events that take place throughout the year.

State Parks in Maryland

There are a lot of parks in Maryland, many of which are located along the Appalachian Trail and various bodies of water.

A few to explore include:

Wolf Den Run State Park: Located in Garrett County, there are off-highway vehicle trails for you to follow.

You’ll also be able to explore approximately 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Greenwell State Park: Located in St. Mary’s County, the park consists of 586 acres.

It is home to picnicking, trails, and even swimming.

Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park: Located in Talbot County, the park welcomes a number of fishermen throughout the year.

You’ll also find that crabbing and wildlife observation are popular within this park.

Greenbrier State Park: Located in Washington County, the park is open year-round for camping and trails.

There are also gazebos that can be used for picnics and get-togethers.

Pocomoke River State Park: Located in Worcester County, the park is found on the lower eastern shore of the Pocomoke River.

You’ll find a boat launch to explore the river, mini cabins for rent, and countless playgrounds.

There are also a number of trails to help explore the 18,000 miles of the park.


The salary of a park ranger in Maryland can vary, though the average annual salary is around $42,000.

According to, the range for a park ranger in Baltimore, MD is between $34,896 and $51,081.

Your salary will depend on such things as education, certifications, and even how long you have worked as a park ranger.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baltimore $42,216
Frederick $44,110
Gaithersburg $45,591
Bowie $45,619
Rockville $45,660
Hagerstown $41,629
Annapolis $43,515
College Park $45,715
Salisbury $43,776
Cumberland $37,682

Regional Salary in Maryland

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD120$85,620$41.16$143,060$51,640
* 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 are other jobs that you can work within a state park?

Depending on the state park, there are many jobs that you can work.

This includes lifeguards, naturalists, and even a maintenance technician.

Some of the jobs can help you to get experience until you have the necessary skill set to become a park ranger.

Are any special licenses needed to be a park ranger in Maryland?

There are no special licenses needed for you to obtain before you can apply to be a park ranger in Maryland.

How many hours does a park ranger typically work a week?

The average park ranger will work 40 hours a week.

This can vary based on unique scenarios taking place and special events on the calendar.

Are state parks closed in the winter?

Some of the parks will close for the winter while others will continue to remain open – though the activities may change based on weather conditions.

What is the largest state park in Maryland?

Gunpowder Falls State Park is the largest state park in Maryland.

It was founded in 1959 and encompasses over 18,000 acres.

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