Working as a ranger in a national park
Rangers coordinate, implement and supervise projects for managing the natural and cultural heritage in an area. They also help visitors and community members, giving them information that is educational and conservation-oriented.
A ranger's major role is to implement the functions, policies and legislative requirements of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), both on and off conservation reserves. Their tasks include:
Rangers need to be good problem-solvers. They need to be able to think quickly in emergencies (such as bushfires), but must also deal with long-term planning issues.
Decision-making and communication
Rangers have a large degree of independence in the day-to-day operations of areas under their control. These include field management issues, and wildlife and plant licensing. They work within the constraints of deadlines and emergency incidents.
Sometimes, a ranger will seek the guidance of staff in local, regional and central NPWS offices – particularly when they encounter an unusual or difficult issue. At other times, they will need to provide advice and information to staff in other areas. They work as part of a large, often decentralised team.
Rangers communicate with park visitors, park neighbours and community groups. They provide information and advice regarding park use, OEH policies and procedures, and natural resource matters. They also promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of nature conservation among the wider community through appropriate media, including newspaper articles, and radio and television appearances.
Rangers also keep in contact with other government departments and local government staff regarding environment assessment matters, weeds and pests, and bushfire management.
Knowledge, skills and experience
Rangers require skills and knowledge in managing natural and cultural heritage. They must have a degree or equivalent qualification relevant to OEH field operations. They should understand OEH policies and procedures, issues about natural and cultural heritage conservation, and law enforcement.
It is desirable for rangers to know about certain legislation, including the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Because they frequently liaise with members of the public and various stakeholder groups, rangers need excellent communication skills – both verbal and written. Rangers also need to write reports and provide advice within OEH about conservation matters.
Vacancies are advertised on the NSW government jobs website and in The Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph. Look for the 'NSW Government' section of the classified advertisements.
Page last updated: 25 September 2012