How to Become a Park Ranger in North Dakota

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How to Become a Park Ranger in North Dakota

North Dakota is world-renowned for having some of the most pristine National Parks in the United States.

Visitors travel from all over the globe to visit the National Parks in North Dakota.

Park Rangers are trained, skilled, and qualified professionals that uphold the law in these parks and keep the parks in good order.

North Dakota Park Rangers ensure that visitors to the park are safe and have a pleasant experience while also assisting visitors with any information or guidance they may need to make their visit more enjoyable.

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It’s an honorable field for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career as a Park Ranger in North Dakota.

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in North Dakota

Before candidates may even consider a career as a Park Ranger, the candidates must first meet the minimum requirements for the role, which include:

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Must hold a valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to perform the duties of the job successfully (Physically demanding job)

Candidates who wish to pursue this field in North Dakota are not required to hold a formal education such as a Bachelor’s degree.

However, having such a degree may give the candidate an advantage during the hiring process or during the promotion process over candidates who do not hold a degree or any other form of formal education.

Should candidates opt to study for a qualifying degree in a related field, the following degrees will suffice:

  • Public administration
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Earth sciences
  • National resource management
  • Natural sciences
  • Archeology

Candidates who wish to pursue a career as a Federal Park Ranger should meet the following requirements:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Hold a valid driver’s license issued by the state of North Dakota
  • Pass a physical exam, background check, drug test, and pre-employment medical examination
  • Be 21 years old or older

The National Park Service (NPS) does require that candidates hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, as well as GS-4 level specialized experience of one year or more.

Specialized experience at the GS-4 level includes the following:

  • Candidates must have experience working in an investigative or enforcement capacity.
  • Rangers must have worked as Tour Leads or Tour Guides.
  • Rangers must have experience in fire management and forestry.
  • Rangers must have conducted research work in archeology or preservation work.
  • Rangers must have experience in formulating policies for the protection, conservation, or management of parks or related areas.

In addition to these requirements, candidates who wish to work as protective Park Rangers for the NPS must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a certified medical responder
  • A minimum of three years experience in the role of an NPS law enforcement or seasonal role
  • Successfully completed a seasonal or law enforcement training program within the previous three years

Park Ranger Duties in North Dakota

North Dakota Park Rangers must fulfill the following job duties:

  • Patrol park ground by foot, vehicle, horseback, boat, or air.
  • Conduct necessary investigations
  • Write reports on findings
  • Conducting law enforcement duties, including arrests for felonies and misdemeanors
  • Conduct search and rescue efforts
  • Issue citations and enforce park rules and laws
  • Traffic control
  • Assist with wildfires and their suppression
  • Provide medical assistance and aid

State Parks in North Dakota

Candidates who want to pursue a career as a Park Ranger in North Dakota have 13 state parks to choose from:

  • Beaver Lake State Park
  • Cross Ranch State Park
  • Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
  • Fort Ransom State Park
  • Fort Stevenson State Park
  • Grahams Island State Park
  • Icelandic State Park
  • Lake Metigoshe State Park
  • Lake Sakakawea State Park
  • Lewis and Clark State Park
  • Little Missouri State Park
  • Sully Creek State Park
  • Turtle River State Park


The annual salary for a Park Ranger in Bismarck, North Dakota is $39,267.

The salary range is $32,459 to $47,513. A state park ranger’s salary will depend on which position the state park ranger holds, which establishment the ranger works for, the position of the ranger and his/her duties, as well as the years of experience that the ranger has.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Fargo $38,528
Bismarck $39,267
Grand Forks $36,224
Minot $38,651
Mandan $39,267
Dickinson $38,651
Jamestown $38,282
West Fargo $38,528
Williston $38,651
Wahpeton $37,912

Regional Salary in North Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bismarck, ND40$68,990$33.17$95,220$48,860
* 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 weapons do park rangers use?

Park Rangers who are responsible for the safety of civilians in the park and the wildlife may carry body armor, a gun, a taser, handcuffs, a baton, and pepper spray.

What are the risks of being a park ranger?

Park Rangers may need to arrest members of the public for felonies or misdemeanors.

As such, they are subjected to the same risks as deputy sheriffs or police officers.

On many occasions, the Park Ranger may work in isolation, which may pose risks to safety in the park.

In addition, Park Rangers may form part of search and rescue teams and firefighting efforts.

These duties pose real risks to the safety of the Park Rangers.

Are park rangers considered police?

Park Rangers have the authority to arrest members of the public who transgress the laws related to the park.

In addition, many Park Rangers employed in National Parks have the training, education, and experience in law enforcement.

What is the highest-paying park ranger job?

As of 2021, the highest-paid salary for a Park Ranger was $199,300 and the rank is that of Head Ranger.

Can a US Park Ranger pull you over?


A Park Ranger may pull you over if you drive erratically in the park.

In addition, the Ranger has the authority to issue a citation.

USA Park Ranger by State

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