How to Become a Park Ranger in South Carolina

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How to Become a Park Ranger in South Carolina

South Carolina offers a lot of flora and fauna to fall in love with.

The state parks are a great way to explore – and you can be a part of all of that by being a park ranger.

You can get a degree that will help you to work for the state.

Find out more about what it takes to be a park ranger in South Carolina and what you can expect along the way.

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Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in South Carolina

There are a few requirements to be aware of if you want to be a park ranger in South Carolina.

The state park service requires you to have either a degree in a related field such as environmental science, public administration, or environmental engineering.

You may also be able to qualify for a position if you have at least one year of experience in a related field.

When positions become available, you will need to submit your resume through the state website.

From there, you may be called in for an interview and be required to submit to a pre-employment criminal background check to ensure that you have not been convicted of any felonies.

Park Ranger Duties in South Carolina

The duties of a park ranger in South Carolina depend heavily on the park.

You may be required to patrol the area on foot, by bicycle, or by vehicle.

Safety is a top consideration, and you may also be required to work with area agencies to conduct investigations.

You will also assist with park administrative duties, collect and account for revenue, and instruct and supervise the maintenance staff.

Environmental conservation is another critical component.

If there is a natural emergency, such as a fire, you will be responsible for helping to identify the cause and to protect the park until the emergency has subsided.

Many of the parks have Ranger-guided programs including walks and talks.

Additionally, there are recreational activities that you may be required to oversee, including camping, boating, and more.

Various programs exist that will require attention to detail.

For example, many of the parks have special Christmas events, ranging from lighting spectaculars to bird counts.

There are also various specializations that may require you to obtain special certification, including being part of the bike-mounted rangers, ceremonial corps, ATV training, and law enforcement.

State Parks in South Carolina

There are a number of state parks throughout South Carolina, each offering something unique.

The parks are enjoyed by South Carolina residents as well as tourists all year long.

Some of the estate parks for you to explore include:

Table Rock State Park: Located in Pickens, the park is known for providing natural beauty across 3,000 acres.

It allows you to explore some of the Blue Ridge Mountains, take advantage of a swimming hole, and even go camping.

Devils Fork State Park: Located in Salem, the park offers waterfalls that are accessible by boat as well as plenty of recreation on Lake Jocassee.

There are campgrounds as well as a fully furnished villa on-premises.

Edisto Beach State Park: Located on Edisto Island, the park is rich in Native American history.

There is a significant amount of oceanfront property to explore as well as hiking and biking on trails.

Santee State Park: Located in Santee, the park sits on Lake Marion and is known for its high population of catfish.

There’s a community meeting building, pontoon boat tours through the cypress forest, and plenty of biking and hiking trails.

Paris Mountain State Park: Located in Greenville, the park offers historical exhibits that are used to teach about the ecology of the area.

You’ll find year-round activities, including 17 miles of trails throughout the 1700-acre park.


In South Carolina, you can expect to earn quite a bit as a park ranger, though it depends on an array of factors.

On average, the annual salary is around $39,000. estimates that park rangers in Charleston, SC earn a range between $32,236 and $47,187.

Your salary will be based on such things as your education, special skills that you have, and the amount of time you have working as a park ranger.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Columbia $38,053
Charleston $38,998
North Charleston $38,998
Greenville $39,009
Rock Hill $40,421
Mount Pleasant $38,998
Spartanburg $38,380
Sumter $36,721
Hilton Head Island $38,339
Florence $37,017

Regional Salary in South Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC40$65,460$31.47$97,880$28,080
Columbia, SC40$84,200$40.48$108,980$47,110
* 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 many state parks are there in South Carolina?

There are 47 state parks across the state of South Carolina.

Are any special licenses required to be a park ranger?

No special licenses are required to be a park ranger in South Carolina, but it is necessary to maintain specific certifications – including First Aid.

How many hours does a park ranger work?

A park ranger will typically work about 40 hours a week assuming there are no special events or investigations happening.

What are some of the other careers available in state parks?

When you want to start working in a state park before having the various requirements met to be a park ranger, consider working as a security guard, a lifeguard, or even a trail guide.

What is the largest state park in South Carolina?

Caesars Head State Park is the largest park in the state.

It is over 13,000 acres and connects to Jones Gap State Park.

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