Ever since my trip to Yellowstone in June, I've been enamored (okay, maybe obsessed) with anything related to the National Park Service (NPS). From planning a return trip to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) in October to watching brown bears fish at Brooks Falls in Katmai, I've been focused on all things NPS.


This singular focus has even crept into my talks with my sixth-grade son about what he wants to be when he grows up. Right now he thinks a park ranger or even a YNP geologist or volcanologist would be a great job and honestly, I have to agree.


This conversation quickly led to questions about how he could get a job at a national park, how much the jobs pay, and pretty much any other question that a 10-year-old can think of. In turn, these questions led me to the USAJobs.gov website.


After researching park ranger jobs on the official Yellowstone website, I knew that all I had to do to find park service jobs was enter NPS in the "What" search field. Right now there are 99 job openings with the NPS. To my son's delight, many of these jobs are park ranger positions.


The first job on the list was for a park ranger (Protection) in Death Valley. Alex crinkled his nose at the idea of working in Death Valley. As a child growing up in Arizona, he knows what it's like to hang out in 110+ degree weather, so the thought of working in Death Valley was anything but enticing to him.


We quickly discovered that there are no park ranger openings in Yellowstone, so he settled on researching the park manager/program manager position at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska.


The National Park Service is seeking one full-time, permanent employee to fill the role of park manager at Denali. The position is a few steps up from entry-level park ranger, but it is fun to see where a career as a park ranger could take you.


On the job responsibilities include: “Promotes scientific studies of natural and cultural resources, and incorporates findings to make science-based decisions relating to park management, conservation of resources, and public access and enjoyment.”


Alex thought this sounded like a pretty cool job. Then again, he’s only 10 and in a few years he might change his mind about being a park ranger. Regardless of his ultimate profession choice, it was certainly fun to sit down with him and research park service jobs.


More national park stories on MNN: 

I want to be a park ranger
A conversation with my son led us both to the USAJobs.gov website.