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Career Story: Park Ranger And Superintendent

Park Ranger And Superintendent

Job Title: Park Superintendent

Type of Company: I work for the North Carolina state parks.

Education: BS, Natural Resources Management, Ohio State University

Previous Experience: I worked for several years in seasonal positions in the US Forestry Service and various state and county parks across the country before I took a permanent position.

Job Tasks: I am a state park superintendent. I am responsible for all operations in my park. I am a certified environmental educator, first responder, and commissioned law enforcement officer. I supervise ten full-time employees and twenty-five seasonal employees. We operate a residential environmental education program, educating 4,000 - 5,000 children/year. We are a new and developing state park, so we are still working on land purchases and the development of a management plan. The integrity of the natural resources, the safety of the visitors and the staff, and carrying out the mission of the division are all my responsibilities.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best aspects of this job are the happy faces of children learning to love the outdoors, working with employees who actually like to come to work and do their job, and the knowledge that I am actively working to preserve the natural environment.

The worst parts of this job are when employees are not getting along or not living up to their potential, and when the public is not happy with something.

Job Tips: Get as much experience as you can throughout your high school and college years. Your dedication to work and your ability to stick with it will mean a lot to potential employers. You will be more than a step ahead of your competitors who may have the same degree and education, but may not have any practical experience.

Learn as much as you can about a diverse range of topics. You will need to know about natural resources, law enforcement, first aid and emergency response, supervision and management.

Additional Thoughts: This type of career path will not make anyone financially rich, but if you are doing this because you love it, it is a career that will bring tremendous satisfaction. This is a career that will force you out of your comfort zone, just due to the wide variety of responsibilities and duties and will provide continuous challenge throughout your career.

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