Park ranger

What they do

Park Rangers manage, maintain and protect natural areas that are set aside for conservation and/or tourism. Working in national parks from Ningaloo Reef in the north of the state to the Valley of the Giants in the south-west, these workers ensure that the public are able to use and enjoy Western Australia's natural environment, whilst protecting native flora and fauna. They patrol, monitor wildlife, carry out surveys and other research, and inform the public on how to appropriately use and enjoy these areas. They may also undertake basic maintenance or lead guided walks through the habitats that they care for.

Working conditions

Park rangers spend a significant amount of their day outdoors, in all kinds of climatic conditions. They undertake physically demanding work and may be required to complete it in sometimes extreme weather conditions. They may also work in isolated areas and may be required to work and stay alone in these remote areas. These workers may also be required to travel between parks and reserves around the state. They often work weekends and public holidays.

Tools and technologies

Park rangers use a number of tools, including gardening and bush-clearing equipment, measuring and recording equipment for conducting surveys, fire-fighting equipment, and light building tools for erecting fences and maintaining pathways.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a park ranger without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in conservation and land management, environmental science, environmental management or a related area.

The Certificate II, III and IV in Conservation and Land Management and Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in conservation and land management (level 2, level 3 or level 4). The traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.

You may also improve your employment prospects if you complete a bachelor degree with a major in environmental science, environmental management, conservation biology or natural resource management.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.