Park Ranger

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2020: 5,001 to 10,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1,351 to $1,650 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment projections to 2020
Brief Unlike Park Rangers there are few occupations where people spend most of their working day outdoors among natural flora and fauna, breathing in fresh air and meeting people from around the world.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Park Ranger

Accredited (Award)

Introduction

The vast areas of land that comprise the State's national parks, scenic areas, historic sites, nature reserves and other recreational areas are managed by park rangers. Park rangers promote awareness, understanding and an appreciation of the natural and cultural features of a park. They also assist in rehabilitation projects, monitoring waterways, roads and tracks, and the condition of local flora and fauna as well as ensuring that endangered species are protected. Recently local rangers undertook a rehabilitation project that involved planting eucalypt trees to ensure a plentiful supply of gum leaves and homes for the koalas in the park!

Helping and Community ServicesInfluencing and Personal ContactOutdoor

Education Requirements

A Bachelor Degree of higher is usually required with around 75% of workers having a University degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

TAFE SA offers a course relevant to this occupation being the Diploma of Conservation and Land Management. Pathways include the Certificate II, and III in Conservation and Land Management.

Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Adelaide University in the Diploma of Conservation and Land Management/Bachelor of Science (Wildlife Conservation Biology).

Still unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA - check the website for short courses available.

Career Path

Park Rangers are employed by centres throughout the State. Rangers employed may be classified as forestry, reserve or national park rangers. According to other industry representatives Park Rangers require more sophisticated management skills than in the past. Rangers no longer see themselves as enforcers of rules, but as managers of park activities.

Nature of the Job

Park rangers also pay attention to feral (non native) animal control and check that the park's public facilities and amenities actually work. Essentially, you are ensuring that the park is pristine 24/7. This involves general maintenance duties such as collecting rubbish and cleaning the park's amenities. You will also liaise with the general public answering any of their enquiries and we regularly conduct interpretative (ecotourism) tours. Night and day, you may take people through the park, the caves or introduce them to the native wildlife in the park.

Park rangers also advise visitors of park rules and regulations, and enforce these when necessary. They may have to deal with people who exceed an area's speed limit or disturb the public in some way. Directing parking, controlling traffic and collecting fees from campers and visitors are also part of their job description. Fires are not uncommon during the summer months, so park rangers also supervise and coordinate fire management procedures, including firefighting, if necessary.

Typical Physical Working Environment

As far as other technical skills are concerned, a sound understanding of local flora and fauna is imperative to this occupation. A working background in environmental management or recreational park experience will stand applicants in very good stead. First aid skills are also needed. Park rangers may need to assist a bike rider who has fallen in a recreational area or tend to someone with a snake bite. On a personal level, you will need to be able to interact with people from all walks of life. Because park rangers also have to communicate with people who are 'not so pleased' about a parking fine for instance, they have to know how to handle 'heated' situations. During summer you can generally expect to work from 7am until 6pm and between 8am and 5pm in the cooler months.

Typical Occupational Example

Employment is mostly full-time and on average full-time workers work 38.5 hours per week and are employed in most parts of Australia.

Although park rangers spend most of their time outdoors, they do have office duties, such as answering calls from the general public or from government organisations interested in some aspect of the park's management. Rangers also prepare, review and implement reports and submissions about development proposals and environmental impact assessments.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online