How to Become a Park Ranger in New York

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How to Become a Park Ranger in New York

Park Rangers take on a variety of roles according to what they’re trained for.

Some might act as security guards or help enforce park laws.

Do you want to become a Park Ranger in New York?

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in New York

Park Rangers must have a driver’s license to drive state vehicles and be 18 years of age.

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They also must undergo a background check.

When starting out as a security guard, you need about 24 hours of training.

The New York state parks provide this.

It’s also a good idea to have basic computer and smartphone skills, you must pass a physical exam, and your ID must come from New York.

If you want to become an advanced-level Park Ranger, you must take law enforcement academy training.

In this case, your classes will equip you with how to handle situations that normally would require a police officer.

Other training you would need includes CPR, swimming safety, and classes on how to handle hazardous materials.

Sometimes, you also might monitor traffic and provide protection near park entrances.

Recommended Education

The range of duties is so broad that it would do you well to pick an additional study concentration besides security or law enforcement training.

For instance, you perhaps have an interest in biology or environmental sciences.

Otherwise, you maybe would like to take up studies on social justice and human behaviors that affect state parks.

Park Ranger Duties in New York

Your responsibilities depend on your level of training and experience.

As a security guard, you would patrol park grounds and enforce local laws, such as “no drugs” or not cutting down trees.

Noise ordinance control may also fall under your duties.

In addition, you may end up responding to emergencies if you have the training.

State Parks in New York

Some of the state parks in New York are redeveloped land masses over the top of former man-made facilities.

Others are reserves always existing in nature.

Riverbank State Park

The North River Wastewater Treatment Plant sits under the Riverbank State Park.

This 28-acre park sits by the Hudson River in Manhattan.

It features a skating rink, sports fields, playgrounds, and pools.

Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza sits on the East River on Long Island, at Hunters Point.

This Queens park used to be a manufacturing site with a dockyard.

Some of its old manufacturing buildings still stand in this area.

This New York park allows dogs and has picnic tables, a playground, and beach areas.

It also has skyline views from renovated piers.

Marsha P. Johnson State Park

Marsha P. Johnson State Park extends to 11 acres. It’s in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

It sits along the East River, and you can find 7th, 8th and 9th Streets near it.

It features a view of the Williamsburg Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.

Tallman Mountain State Park

Tallman Mountain State Park spans over 687 acres.

It’s in Rockland County, New York next to the Hudson River.

It has a running track, a tennis course, and a cross-country skiing trail.

It consists of wooded areas east of the Palisades uplands.

There’s the Piermont Marsh in this area too, which is a part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve.


The average yearly income for a Park Ranger Law Enforcement professional is about $48,806 as reported in September 2022.

Salaries typically range from $40,648 to $59,834.

Developing more skills and seeking new certifications could upgrade you to the top earning tier.

You could make $69,874 or more.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
New York $49,402
Buffalo $39,272
Rochester $40,482
Yonkers $47,335
Syracuse $40,477
Albany $41,551
New Rochelle $47,139
Mount Vernon $47,315
Schenectady $41,572
Utica $39,325

Regional Salary in New York

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA380$73,480$35.33$107,880$45,990
* 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

How long does it take to become a Park Ranger?

That depends on how much experience you acquire.

You may want to start out taking on seasonal jobs at parks in your local area.

Then, maybe check out opportunities at state parks and take classes at the same time.

You probably will need about two years of schooling if you want to become a Park Ranger Law Enforcement Officer.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a Park Ranger?

One advantage is spending quite a bit of time outside in nature.

You might even have the chance to live on the site of a place, such as a campground or a state park.

The hours you work probably are not that convenient though, and you have to put up with working in nasty weather.

How much does Park Ranger training cost?

It costs you about what it would be for any college you attend, probably an average of about $5,000 per semester, not including extra supplies and books.

You can take a program that is financial aid eligible though.

If you’re in the military, you might also have forestry opportunities that come with paid or reduced-cost training.

What kind of degree does a Park Ranger need in NY?

You could start out with an associate degree.

Advanced positions may require a bachelor’s degree though.

Some research positions might require a Master’s degree or post-graduate certificate.

Is there a need for Park Rangers in NY?

It depends.

It can be a competitive field.

For the entire country, the growth rate for the Conversation Scientists and Foresters category is about 5% until 2030.

This is as fast as average.

USA Park Ranger by State

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