How to Become a Park Ranger in New Jersey

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How to Become a Park Ranger in New Jersey

If you love the outdoors and talking to others about flora and fauna, you might want to become a park ranger in New Jersey.

It’s a chance to work at one of the forests or parks within the state where you can care for the property and operate guided tours throughout the year.

The process to become a park ranger might be easier than you think, too.

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in New Jersey

If you want to become a park ranger within New Jersey, you will be applying with the New Jersey State Park Service, which is part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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All state employees must reside within the State of New Jersey.

As such, you’ll need to provide a NJ driver’s license to provide residency.

You should have a bachelor’s degree in a subject that is beneficial to the parks system, such as life science, zoology, botany, recreation, criminology, or public administration.

In some instances, a bachelor’s degree will be waived if you have a significant amount of job experience within the area.

You can also apply for internships within the state to add special skills and improve your likelihood of getting the job.

Once you apply, you will also need to submit to a background check so that you can prove that you don’t have any felony convictions on your record.

There will be specific instructions for every job that you apply to on the state website – and you will need to furnish everything that they ask for to be considered for the job opening.

Park Ranger Duties in New Jersey

The duties that you perform as a park ranger in New Jersey can vary based on the park or forest where you are located.

First and foremost, you will be responsible for responding to emergencies – both environmental and public safety.

Depending on the layout of the park, you may patrol on foot, with bikes, ATVs, or even with boats.

It will allow you to make sure that there are no issues and that all rules within the park are being followed.

Additionally, you will provide guidance to park visitors, whether it is leading a tour, conducting an activity for junior rangers, or even setting up a special event.

State Parks in New Jersey

You’ll find that there are a lot of parks and forests throughout New Jersey.

Some of the ones of interest include:

  • Jenny Jump State Forest: Located in Hope, the park is found on the Jenny Jump Mountain Range. You’ll get amazing views when you climb to the top, and there’s an observatory, trails, and more to explore.
  • Wawayanda State Park: Located in Hewitt, the park is surrounded by forested hills and is part of the Appalachian Trail. You’ll find boating, canoeing, and even playgrounds to keep you busy.
  • Cheesequake State Park: Located in Matawan, the park is one of the smaller ones in the state. However, there is a ton of recreational activities available ranging from mountain biking to swimming.
  • Double Trouble State Park: Located in Bayville, the park is situated on Cedar Creek. It is popular with kayakers, nature photographers, as well as horseback riders.
  • Island Beach State Park: Located in Seaside Park, it is one of the state’s coastal parks. You’ll have the opportunity to explore miles of sand dunes, white sandy beaches, and one of the largest osprey colonies in the state.


The salary of a park ranger can vary, though the average one in Trenton, NJ will earn approximately $44,380 per year. estimates that the range for park rangers is between $36,686 and $53,700.

Much of your earning potential depends on certifications, special skills, and how long you have worked as a park ranger.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Newark $46,897
Jersey City $49,402
Paterson $47,349
Elizabeth $46,897
Edison $46,076
Woodbridge $46,076
Dover $47,087
Atlantic City $44,194
Trenton $44,381
Camden $43,990

Regional Salary in New Jersey

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Trenton, NJ40$92,790$44.61$129,020$62,780
* 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 New Jersey?

The largest state park in the New Jersey State Parks System is Wharton State Forest.

It is home to over 122,000 acres, which is nearly four times the size of the second largest park (which is Brendan T. Byrne State Forest at 37,000 acres).

Do the job requirements change to work in state parks versus national parks?


In order to work within the National Park Service as a park ranger and federal employee, you will need to be at least 21 years old and be a U.S. citizen.

You will also need to meet the various requirements to be a GS-5 federal-level employee.

How many hours do park rangers typically work?

Most park rangers work approximately 40 hours a week.

These hours can vary seasonally based on the special events that may be taking place.

Is any special license needed to become a park ranger in New Jersey?

No special license needs to be obtained or maintained to be a park ranger.

Instead, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection focuses more on your job experience and skills.

What are some of the other jobs that exist in state parks?

A variety of positions can help you to decide if you enjoy working in state parks.

You may want to look at being a lifeguard, a visitor service assistant, or even a trail steward.

USA Park Ranger by State

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