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.
On average, park rangers, classified under environmental scientists, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a park ranger develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
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.
You can 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 or a related field.
The Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management, and VET courses in Conservation and Land Management, and Environmental Monitoring and Technology are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a traineeship. The national parks conservation worker, Indigenous lands worker and senior conservation worker traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.
You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a bachelor degree in science with a major in environmental science or environmental management.
Most of the 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. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.