While the competition to become a national park ranger is fierce, you can improve your chances by volunteering in a national park. This can help you to land your first seasonal position and launch your career as a park ranger.
The Grand Canyon National Park is offering Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy graduates the chance to join an elite six-month volunteer program at the park. To qualify, you must either have a National Registry EMT certification or be working to obtain one.
Taking part in this program will give you valuable experience and references for when you apply for a full-time park ranger job. The US Park Ranger Service will work with you to identify training areas that would particularly benefit your career options.
While this park has a large number of volunteers filling a variety of positions, the Victor Unit Program is specific for people with a law enforcement background. The program involves supporting the South Rim Patrol and is oriented towards law enforcement, search and rescue (SAR), and emergency medical services (EMS).
You can expect a wide range of duties if you are chosen for the V-Unit program. This will involve assisting law enforcement officers (LEOs) with traffic control and moving violations and possibly even with investigations! You may also be called upon to respond to EMS calls and help with search and rescue to find missing people.
Your training will start with a two-week orientation with the South Rim Patrol. After that, you will spend 32 hours a week on patrol in this part of the Grand Canyon. The Park Service will urge you to sign up for emergency responses after hours, and you will get paid for this service if you are needed.
You have the option of taking part in two seasonal rotations. The first runs from about June 1 to November 30, while the winter season goes from approximately December 1 to May 31.