How to Become a Park Ranger in Texas

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How to Become a Park Ranger in Texas

The biggest state in the continental United States has some of the most diverse terrains in the country.

In the west, there’s the desert.

In the east, there are lakes and vegetation.

Even the south has something different; the ocean.

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Overall, there are two national parks and 89 state park areas covering 640,000 acres.

So, whether you like lush gardens or feeling like you’ve landed in an old Hollywood western, there’s an outdoor adventure for you.

If this sounds exciting, being a park ranger in Texas might be right up your alley.

Requirements to Become a Park Ranger in Texas

The first minimum requirement to begin your park ranger career is that you need to be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license.

Next, you need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, no convictions for serious crimes, and a good moral history.

While those are the minimum requirements, you could have a better chance of becoming a park ranger if your bachelor’s degree is in one of several related majors.

Those include:

  • Park Administration
  • Public Administration
  • Natural, Cultural Resource Management and Interpretation
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Biology
  • History
  • Wildlife or Fishery Science

You are also expected to pass a physical and psychological evaluation as well as a background check and drug test.

Park Ranger Duties in Texas

Rangers work in some of the most beautiful and scenic environments in the state.

Some of the duties required are for educational services, such as talks and tours about the park’s history, geology, wildlife, and ecosystem.

Other duties they perform have to do with traffic control, upholding laws, and investigating violations.

Rangers also manage and protect resources such as fish, wildlife, lakeshores, forests, historical buildings, archeological sites, and recreation areas.

State Parks in Texas

  • Abilene State Park
  • Atlanta State Park
  • Balmorhea State Park
  • Barton Warnock Visitor Center
  • Bastrop State Park
  • Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
  • Big Bend Ranch State Park
  • Big Spring State Park
  • Blanco State Park
  • Bonham State Park
  • Brazos Bend State Park
  • Buescher State Park
  • Caddo Lake State Park
  • Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
  • Cedar Hill State Park
  • Choke Canyon State Park
  • Cleburne State Park
  • Colorado Bend State Park
  • Cooper Lake State Park
  • Copper Breaks State Park
  • Daingerfield State Park
  • Davis Mountains State Park
  • Devils River State Natural Area
  • Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area
  • Dinosaur Valley State Park
  • Eisenhower State Park
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
  • Estero Llano Grande State Park
  • Fairfield Lake State Park
  • Falcon State Park
  • Fort Boggy State Park
  • Fort Leaton State Historic Site
  • Fort Parker State Park
  • Fort Richardson State Park, Historic Site &…
  • Franklin Mountains State Park
  • Galveston Island State Park
  • Garner State Park
  • Goliad State Park & Historic Site
  • Goose Island State Park
  • Government Canyon State Natural Area
  • Guadalupe River State Park
  • Hill Country State Natural Area
  • Honey Creek State Natural Area
  • Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
  • Huntsville State Park
  • Indian Lodge
  • Inks Lake State Park
  • Kickapoo Cavern State Park
  • Lake Arrowhead State Park
  • Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
  • Lake Brownwood State Park
  • Lake Casa Blanca International State Park
  • Lake Colorado City State Park
  • Lake Corpus Christi State Park
  • Lake Livingston State Park
  • Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
  • Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway
  • Lake Tawakoni State Park
  • Lake Whitney State Park
  • Lockhart State Park
  • Longhorn Cavern State Park
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area
  • Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
  • Martin Creek Lake State Park
  • Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
  • McKinney Falls State Park
  • Meridian State Park
  • Mission Tejas State Park
  • Monahans Sandhills State Park
  • Mother Neff State Park
  • Mustang Island State Park
  • Old Tunnel State Park
  • Palmetto State Park
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park
  • Pedernales Falls State Park
  • Possum Kingdom State Park
  • Purtis Creek State Park
  • Ray Roberts Lake State Park
  • Resaca de la Palma State Park
  • San Angelo State Park
  • Sea Rim State Park
  • Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
  • Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental…
  • South Llano River State Park
  • Stephen F. Austin State Park
  • Tyler State Park
  • Village Creek State Park
  • Wyler Aerial Tramway


Park rangers in Texas make $40,799 a year, on average.

However, depending on experience and location, a ranger can expect to make anywhere between $34,000 and $50,000.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Houston $42,093
Dallas $40,799
San Antonio $39,933
Austin $40,388
El Paso $35,919
Fort Worth $40,015
Arlington $39,949
Corpus Christi $38,544
Plano $40,624
Garland $40,712

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Amarillo, TX40$58,230$28$76,150$44,720
Austin-Round Rock, TX430$59,260$28.49$77,770$42,680
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX60$53,990$25.96$76,150$42,680
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX40$54,010$25.97$70,620$38,360
Corpus Christi, TX90$58,900$28.32$73,760$46,470
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX130$57,490$27.64$85,820$38,810
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX220$57,450$27.62$91,480$40,010
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX110$55,980$26.92$75,800$40,830
Waco, TX30$52,630$25.3$66,020$42,680
* 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's the difference between a game warden and a park ranger?

Like park rangers, game wardens are law enforcement.

The difference is that they don’t report to the same government entities.

Game wardens are under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office and park rangers are part of the National Park Service.

Can rangers have tattoos?

Yes, but they must be kept covered as much as possible.

Can park rangers marry people?

They actually can.

First, you need to get a special use permit and then get approval from the park ranger.

Now you’re ready for a fun wedding!

Can a park ranger pull you over?

Yes, both state and national park roads are regulated.

Rangers can pull you over and ticket you for driving erratically or speeding.

Are park rangers basically cops?

Yes, they are officers that have the authority to enforce laws within parks.

USA Park Ranger by State

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