Here’s a hot job tip for lovers of the great outdoors. In an otherwise stagnant job market, the U.S. National Park Service is hiring, reports CNNMoney.com.
If you’ve always wanted to be a park ranger, your chances of landing that coveted gig right now are pretty good: More than half the positions in the Northeast will be vacant in the next five years, said Chief Ranger Jill Hawk. In particular, urban parks — like the Statue of Liberty in New York, Bunker Hill Monument in Boston and Independence Hall in Philadelphia — are notoriously tough to staff. (They’re not in the wilderness, so nature-lovers typically vie for boldface names like Glacier National Park in Montana or Olympic National Park in Washington.)
“The myth of the national park ranger is that they’re at Yosemite,” said Hawk. “What’s not really well known is that there are park rangers in the inner city protecting the national heritage of the U.S.”
Over the summer, the NPS recruited students at urban colleges for summer gigs that could lead to full-time work. Students at Temple University in Philadelphia and at San Antonio College in Texas spent 12 weeks earning up to $16 an hour in the hopes of landing a $50,000-a-year gig as one of 1,500 armed law enforcement rangers when they graduate. The main idea behind the summer internship is to “reach a younger audience and people who maybe never thought of the park service before,” says NPS spokeswoman Kathy Kupper.
And the job likely will be there for them: Right now, Hawk said the NPS has 10 ranger slots open at Independence National Historical Park and 25 openings in the Northeast. Most park rangers spend several years working at different parks around the country before they land plum jobs in places like Yosemite National Park in California, or Acadia National Park in Maine.
This summer, the student interns worked in urban locations, such as Independence Hall. College administrators praised the recruitment drive, describing it as a unique kind of economic stimulus. “We want people to think broadly, particularly in this economy,” said Rachel Brown, director of Temple’s Career Center.
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