About us

About us

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Field Officer Traineeship Program

Questions and answers

Who are we?

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), which works with the community to protect and conserve the NSW environment, including management of NSW national parks and reserves. OEH is part of the NSW Planning and Environment cluster.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) manages more than 850 national parks and reserves that comprise more than seven million hectares of NSW covering landscapes from rainforests and rugged bush to coastal landscapes and outback deserts.

What is a field officer traineeship?

The NPWS field officer traineeships is a two year program combining full time paid work with regular training through a Registered Training Organisation as well as on the job skills training. The traineeship includes:

  • a fixed term two year contract of rostered, full time, paid employment in accordance with the relevant Awards for the duration of the traineeship
  • a training contract signed by both the employer and trainee and registered with the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The cost of the training is funded by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service with no direct training costs to you. 

Why is this traineeship being offered?

This program is part of the NPWS succession planning. It allows us to bring new people into the agency and through the traineeship establish a pool of skilled and experienced field officers before staff turnover affects our ability to deliver critical services.

What does a field officer do?

National Parks field officers do everything from fighting fires and supervising pest programs, to maintaining walking tracks and overseeing bush regeneration. They carry out practical field work for NPWS and ensure that the public have access to high-quality, safe recreational facilities by:

  • carrying out works programs
  • maintain and improve park facilities and assets including as walking tracks, signs, buildings, roads, shelters, sewage systems fire trails and fences
  • operate and maintain facilities and equipment
  • protect natural and cultural heritage
  • provide advice to park visitors and local residents. 

How many trainee field officers will you be employing under the scheme?

The Minister announced that up to 100 trainee roles will be available.

When will the traineeships begin?

Two intakes of trainee field officers have been completed, and thirty-seven trainee field officers were placed into ongoing roles from these intakes. A third intake will be considered after further detailed workforce planning identifies where there is greatest need for trainees. Dates and additional details of any future intakes will be announced here as they become available.

What are the career pathways?

This traineeship offers a pathway to achieve your longer term career and employment goals. It provides knowledge and skills for career development in related fields of horticulture, agriculture and natural resources such as:

  • Landscape gardening
  • Park management
  • Wildlife management
  • Wildfire management
  • Conservation
  • Farming
  • Fisheries
  • Forestry 

How do I apply for a Trainee Field Officer role?

The first two rounds of recruitment have been completed.

To register your interest in the program and be advised when the next round of positions are advertised, please complete the registration form on the NPWS field officer traineeships page. Please note that as the dates for future intakes are yet to be confirmed, we recommend waiting until the intake dates have been announced before registering your interest.

All positions will be advertised on Jobs NSW where you will need to submit a formal application.

Who is eligible to apply for this program?

This traineeship is only open to people under the age of 25 who are Australian citizens or have permanent residency status.

NPWS is committed to achieving a diverse workforce. By specifically targeting people under the age of 25, NPWS is looking to recruit staff who are under-represented in our current workforce.

Please note that if you have previously completed a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management, or a higher qualification in the same field, you are not eligible to apply for this traineeship.

Who is suitable for the traineeship?

The NPWS Field Officer Traineeship Program is ideal for those who:

  • enjoy practical and mechanical activities as it involves working with things in the natural world, such as plants, soil and wildlife
  • are interested in using tools or equipment to make, fix, install or adjust things
  • are able to undertake manual and heavy work with very physically demanding tasks, requiring lifting, carrying loads, bending climbing and driving many vehicles as well as fire fighting
  • are willing and able to work safely with chemicals and machinery when handling substances such as paint, glue, cleaning agents, fuel, and pesticides
  • are willing and able to participate in fire fighting activities
  • are willing and able to work outdoors in all sorts of weather conditions.

Where will the traineeships be located?

The trainee roles will be located across NSW based on demand and NPWS need. The exact locations of the roles will be advised at the commencement of each round of recruitment.

What national qualifications will I achieve?

  • Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
  • Certificate II in Public Safety (Fire Fighting Operations). 

How will training be delivered?

The training program is a mixed delivery mode of online, face to face workshops and workplace assessments.

Participants may be required to travel within NSW for varying periods of time to complete this program.

What happens at the conclusion of the traineeship?

Trainees who successfully complete the traineeship program may be offered employment as entry level field officers subject to the following conditions:

  • successful completion of all aspects of the program
  • demonstrated commitment and dedication to the job
  • hold an appropriate driver's licence
  • being assessed as proficient under the Public Service Commission capability framework
  • a field officer role being available anywhere within NPWS

What is the rate of pay?

The salary ranges from $297.35 to $529.41 per week.

The rate of pay received depends on how many years the trainee has worked and what level of schooling they have completed.

Please note this is non-negotiable and is subject to change pending Award amendments.

What to do next?

  1. You may choose to register your interest via the NPWS field officer traineeships page once dates for the next intake have been announced.
  2. If you register your interest you will be notified via email when the positions are advertised at each round.
  3. If you do not register your interest you can still apply when the positions are advertised.
  4. A traineeship information package will be available at the time of advertisement.
  5. You will be required to submit a formal application through Jobs NSW by the due date.


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Page last updated: 26 July 2017